From new nurse practitioner to primary care provider: bridging the transition through FQHC-based residency training

Online J Issues Nurs. 2011 Nov 28;17(1):6.


Community Health Center, Inc. (CHCI), a multi-site, federally qualified, health center (FQHC) in Connecticut, implemented a one-year-residency program for new nurse practitioners (NPs) in 2007. This residency program is specifically designed for family nurse practitioners intending to practice as primary care providers in federally qualified health centers. These centers comprise the nation's largest safety net setting; they are commonly referred to as community health centers. Supported in part by the Health Resources Service Administration, health centers are private nonprofit or public organizations serving populations with limited access to healthcare. They are located in designated, high need communities; governed by patient-majority boards of directors; and provide comprehensive, primary healthcare services. The author begins by reviewing the background and context for a nurse practitioner residency program, the importance of NP residency programs, and the recruitment and selection of NP residents. She explains how the residents are trained to a model of care and the content of care. She furthers the discussion by addressing program evaluation and outcomes and costs. Implications for national health policy, clinical practice, and nursing and areas for further research are presented. This article is timely in light of recent recommendations in the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report on the future of nursing recommending the development of residency programs for new, advanced practice registered nurses.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Connecticut
  • Humans
  • Internship, Nonmedical / organization & administration*
  • Nurse Practitioners / education*
  • Nurse Practitioners / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Program Evaluation