Nurse Practitioner Residency: Behavioral Health Integration in Rural Primary Care using the TANDEM3-PC Model
Funded by: Health Resources & Services Administration
In their 2010 report “The Future of Nursing,” the the Institute of Medicine strongly recommended supporting post-licensure registered nurse and post-graduate Nurse Practitioner (NP) residencies as a strategy for retaining and supporting the nursing workforce. This was and continues to be critical for the rural and remote areas of the US where health care is not always accessible. In 2018, the Health Services and Resource Administration launched a historic call for proposals and funding awards to support a cadre of NP residencies. The UNC School of Nursing was one of the successful applicants for this initiative and is currently implementing the first HRSA funded NP residency in North Carolina.
Dr. Soltis-Jarrett’s vision for her NP residency program was built on the notion that nurse practitioners are ideally positioned to take the lead in rural areas of N.C. to both address the opioid epidemic and contend with the lack of access to behavioral health and substance use services in these medically underserved counties. Teaching primary care NPs to work in tandem with their psychiatric-mental health NP colleagues fosters the strengths of both specialties and promotes NPs to work to the highest level of their scope of practice. This NP residency program is a benchmark for demonstrating that the combined efforts of support, mentoring and post-graduate training is the key to the future of rural health care in N.C.