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Pictured: (l-r): DNP Program Director Ann Marie Hart; UW DNP Student Kanti Devkota; LRH employee Dr. Lisa Aldrich, FNP; LRH Interim Executive Director Matt Miller; UW Nursing Associate Dean Susan Steiner; UW DNP Nursing Faculty Candace Stidolph and Esther Gilman-Kehrer.
The University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing (UW FWWSON) named Laramie Reproductive Health (LRH) as the 2017 Community Partner of the Year for their work with DNP Program students at the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing. The award was presented to LRH at the program's 4-13-17 "Willow Ceremony", a ceremony instated to encourage DNP students as they continue to prepare for their chosen career.
About Laramie Reproductive Health
Laramie Reproductive Health (LRH), formerly Albany County Family Planning, has been providing quality reproductive and sexual health care services to women and men in Albany County and precepting UW nurse practitioner students for several decades. "Although we don’t know the year that they hosted their first nurse practitioner student," says DNP Program Director Ann Marie Hart, "knowing the passion of their staff, we suspect this occurred within a few weeks of their opening."
The challenge of precepting in LRH
Although precepting, which is a volunteer activity, has its rewards, it is also challenging. Working in a busy clinic is inherently stressful--the demands to see more patients; return patient phone calls; implement new guidelines; document in a timely, yet comprehensive fashion; and squeeze in one more patient, while also maintaining a relaxed, welcoming manner are never-ending and are quite simply, exhausting. "In addition," notes Hart, "the private nature of reproductive and sexual work doesn’t exactly lend itself to 'strangers', which is often how patients view students. Yet somehow, the dedicated staff at LRH make this work. They help patients to feel comfortable discussing very private aspects of their lives and to do so with students. In fact to my knowledge, they have never NOT precepted a student during their 45 years of operation."
DNP student Kanti Devkota was placed at Laramie Reproductive Health for clinical. "I was given the opportunity to practice independently (but under strict supervision and guidance!)," says Devkota. "I was provided with an astounding example of how to treat patients with respect, compassion, and critical thinking skills. while diagnosing and treating them. I also was able to practice theoretically learned skills and procedures during my clinical experience at the LRH." Devkota concludes, "Thank you for your dedication, motivation, encouragement, and positive learning environment for the student practitioners. Thank you for being a role model."
Commitment to Advanced Practice Nursing
LRH is also committed to advanced practice nursing. The agency has been staffed by nurse practitioners and nurse midwives since its first day of operation and hired Dr. Lisa Aldrich, FNP, who graduated from the first UWYO DNP class in 2015. In 2016, they welcomed two DNP students to perform a quality improve project related to depression screening. Furthermore, LRH welcomes UW Nurse Practitioner faculty and allow them to practice 1 or 2 days a week to maintain their clinical currency.
"From students, to patients, to faculty, the DNP program and Laramie Reproductive Health are true partners," concludes Hart.
About the UW Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the standard for advanced practice nursing education. The UW FWWSON has two clinical options: family nurse practitioner (FNP) and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).