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State Approves New Nurse Practitioner Programs

The New York State Department of Education has approved license-qualifying nurse practitioner (NP) programs to be offered by the new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Created as part of a partnership between Hofstra University and the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the graduate programs are designed to meet the increasing need for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to deliver community-based health care.

Beginning this September with an inaugural class of 30 students, the school will offer a three-year, part-time program leading to a Master of Science degree in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care and Family Nursing. As part of an expedited application process, prospective students can apply online.

In addition to nursing, Hofstra’s two existing programs in Physician Assistant Studies – a dual degree program and a graduate program – will be housed in the new school. The Physician Assistant Studies graduate program is ranked #70 in the nation, according to the 2016 US News & World Report Best Graduate Schools report. The state also recently approved Hofstra’s Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy, which will be housed in the School of Health Professions and Human Services and launch in September.

“We have a unique opportunity to redesign both medical and nursing education in an inter-professional education curriculum that is different than any other in the New York area,” said Kathleen Gallo, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, dean the new graduate school, as well as Hofstra’s School of Health Professions and Human Services.

The graduate nursing school builds on a ground-breaking partnership between Hofstra University and North Shore-LIJ Health System that began with the founding of Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, which graduated its first class in May.

“Meeting the need for accessible, affordable high-quality health care is an economic and moral imperative,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Our expanding partnership with North Shore-LIJ brings together the expertise and experience of the best minds in medicine and the health professions to improve the lives of Long Islanders.”

Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of North Shore-LIJ, said the program’s hands-on approach to learning would tap into North Shore-LIJ’s network of 19 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient clinical practices, as well as a vast educational and research enterprise that includes the nation’s largest patient simulation center and corporate university, a nursing institute and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. “Similar to the pioneering curriculum we developed for prospective physicians at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, we will be training nurses to better adapt to the rapid changes occurring in the way healthcare is accessed, delivered and paid for in this country,” Mr. Dowling said.

Dr. Gallo brings to the new school a blend of scholarly, clinical and management experience. As chief learning officer at North Shore-LIJ, she is responsible for leadership development throughout the health system. She has more than 25 years’ experience in emergency nursing, and previously served as the health system’s director for emergency medicine and vice president for emergency medical services. She also is an associate professor of science education at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.

The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies will build on the holistic, patient-centered approach in place at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine as an educational model that focuses on treating people, rather than illnesses, and emphasizes community-based care. The medical school graduated its first class last May.

The number of nurse practitioners in the United States has doubled over the last decade, from 106,000 in 2004 to 205,000 in 2014, according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Citing the impact of healthcare legislation, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an increased emphasis on preventative care and an aging population, projecting the number of jobs in advanced nursing roles, including nurse practitioners, will increase by 31 percent by 2022.

Nurse practitioner and physician assistant are ranked among the top 10 best jobs in 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report.

“As our population continues to age and as more people become insured as part of the Affordable Care Act, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will both be key in meeting the growing demand for care,” said Dr. Gallo.

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