The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (NPA), the only statewide professional association of nurse practitioners, has named Janice Ceccucci, DNP, FNP-BC, Nurse Practitioner of the Year, and Daniel Babcock, MS, FNP-C, NP Student of the Year. The awards were presented at The NPA 35th Annual Conference, held in Verona, NY, and were attended by nearly 500 NPs and NP students from across the state.
Stephen Ferrara, DNP, FNP, FAANP, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at Columbia University School of Nursing and Executive Director of the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State, said, “As health care professionals committed to excellence in patient care, nurse practitioners are redefining their role. We’re extremely pleased to recognize Janice Ceccucci and Dan Babcock for their dedication and service.”
Forensic NP and Professor at SUNY Polytechnic Institute Is NP of the Year
Janice Ceccucci is an outstanding Nurse Practitioner and SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). Ceccucci began her career working with sexual assault victims in the Emergency Department. Recognizing that there were gaps in services, particularly for child sex abuse victims, she decided to pursue forensic nursing. She is committed to ensuring services for child sex abuse and physical abuse patients are widely available.
“Janice takes nursing to the next level,” says colleague (and nominator) Elizabeth Spooner Dunn. “Her passion for the profession, dedication to her patients and commitment to excellence make her not just a trusted colleague but an example and mentor to all.”
has also received the Joan Unger Memorial Award given by the New
York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault for demonstrating excellence and
innovation in services offered to the community in sexual assault. She has also
been published by the Journal of Forensic Nursing and
is co-founder of Forensic Nurse Practitioners of Schenectady.
On Call, Inside and Out of the Hospital
Outside the confines of Saratoga Hospital, Ceccucci is on call at home 36 hours a month to provide teleconsulting services to hospitals in remote areas that lack access to sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs). In addition, she conducts sexual assault exams for pediatric patients at child advocacy centers—a service that Ceccucci and a colleague introduced in 2011 to better serve sexually abused children.
A leader in promoting the profession to the next generation, Ceccucci is an assistant professor at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. She is also the co-director and developer of Saratoga Hospital’s Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship Program, which mentors new nurse practitioners and physician assistants, also known as advanced practice providers. And, in case that was not enough to take on, Ceccucci is an assistant professor of nursing for SUNY Polytechnic in Utica and helped pilot a hybrid program that delivers live streaming and on-campus classes.
“I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Ceccucci received her master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from SUNY Poly in 2009, and was awarded her doctorate in Nursing Practice from State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in 2016.
“I’m proud to be the recipient of the NP of the Year. There are so many wonderful opportunities in nursing. For newer NPs, I would advise they take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. I love being an NP. I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” Ceccucci said.
For further information on Janice Ceccucci, visit here.
NP Student of the Year Dan Babcock
Dan Babcock is an Air Force veteran and a former professional fire officer and paramedic who is currently a full-time Graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Student in the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University. He holds a BS in Nursing from Empire State College and as a Registered Nurse has worked in the emergency department and diagnostic imaging. After retiring as a lieutenant from the City of Binghamton’s Fire Department with 20 years of service, he decided to become a nurse practitioner. As Babcock grew up in rural Delaware County, New York, he has a particular interest in improving the health of the poor, rural and vulnerable populations that influenced his early life.
an honor to be awarded NP Student of the Year. I chose to become a nurse
practitioner because I love being challenged and love the relationships I form
with my patients. Aside from the need for primary care providers, I chose
family practice to give me a solid foundation for medical mission work. My wife
and I do mission work in Guatemala several times a year, and I would like to do
medical missions as a nurse practitioner,” Babcock said.
Nurse Practitioner Association New York State
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have completed advanced education, at a Master‘s or Doctorate level, plus additional clinical preparation. These professionals are authorized to independently diagnose illness and physical conditions, perform therapeutic and corrective measures, order tests, prescribe medications, devices and immunizing agents, and refer patients to other health care providers.
The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (The NPA), the only statewide professional association of nurse practitioners, promotes high standards of healthcare delivery through the empowerment of nurse practitioners and the profession throughout New York State. For more information, visit: www.TheNPA.org.
Nursing students’ education should never occur in a vacuum. Because most nurses will work not only with patients throughout their careers, but also with varied health care professionals, it’s important for them to learn how to work with others even before they begin their employment. This is where interprofessional education comes into play.
In Part 2 of our interview, Judith Haber and Erin Hartnett of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing continue our conversation about why it’s so important for nursing students. (Revisit Part 1 of our interview here.)
This year, the study was on oral-systemic health. But
have the students studied other health care issues in previous years? Why or
why not? How are the issues chosen?
Judi Haber: NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and
the OHNEP and TOSH programs have been at the vanguard of changing the national
landscape about the importance of integrating oral health as an essential
component of overall health. This priority addressed a national “Call to
Action” by the Surgeon General in 2000 to address the gap in meeting the oral
health care needs of the American public and to consider the relationship of
oral health to overall health. Our programs have made a significant impact by
“putting the mouth back in the head” in nursing education and clinical
Oral health and its links to overall health is our OHNEP
and TOSH priority. Because of the
connections between oral health and numerous systemic health conditions like
diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, cancer, dementia,
autoimmune conditions, and others, students are exposed to a wide variety of
acute and chronic health problems. This provides a perfect platform to for
interprofessional learning because it requires the clinical knowledge and
expertise of multiple professions to create a care plan that is
patient-centered and addresses the needs of the whole person. We have designed
and implemented interprofessional clinical experiences across the lifespan that
address the oral-systemic needs of each population: prenatal, pediatric, adult,
and older adult.
What were the results from this interprofessional
Judi Haber: We evaluate our interprofessional experiences using the Interprofessional Competencies Attainment Scale (ICCAS) before and after each experience. Our evidence shows a significant change in student self-reported interprofessional competencies from pre- to post-test across the professions.
What did the nurses learn from working with students in other
Haber and Hartnett: Students from all four disciplines — Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy — felt that TOSH was a positive experience as evidenced from some of their comments.
“It was mostly actually us teaching each other. The facilitator was there if we had any questions, but she kind of popped in and out and just sort of listened, and let us sort of take the reins which was good.” — Shoshana Gindi, NYU Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Student
“Usually at Long Island University, we’re with pharmacy students only, so this allowed us to basically see other professions and their points of views when it comes to assessing patients.” — Nada Annr, LIU Pharmacy Student
“It was kind of cool to see the role reversal when we got to the part where we were talking about the patient management because we got to learn more about the medications, the medical conditions, how those are managed, and kind of what their focus was versus ours and how those come together.” — Charlotte Guerrera, NYU Dental Student
“It’s good to really get another perspective from other specialties. The dentists will specifically ask about oral questions; a medical student will ask complete body questions. We can learn how to approach patients in a broader way.” — Brandon Oks, NYU Medical Student
“More and more in today’s world, we’re working with the other disciplines in the health care setting. We’re also learning the background of other people’s specialties: what their schooling looks like and what their clinical work looks like. I think that really helps, especially in the nursing field and nurse practitioners making a name for themselves. I think it helps to kind of normalize the battlefield in a sense and give everybody an understanding of what our education looks like.” — RoseMarie Cafone, NYU Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Student
“I have sort of a general idea of what the different professions do, but I really didn’t have any sort of deeper understanding of everything that they bring to the table. I think when we were interviewing the patient, just hearing the kinds of questions that they were asking–what they were focused on–was really helpful in understanding how they’re approaching a patient. And then we were all sitting around a table hearing what they were most concerned about really illustrated for me what each profession is really bringing to that conversation.” — Elana Kreiger-Benson, NYU Medical Student
“We talked about, ‘Would this be valuable in the real world?’ And we all agreed, yes, because especially today in our world with health care changing, it’s even harder to communicate, and communication’s a big problem. Hopefully there’s more trainings like this to help give better communication among all the different health care professions.” — Stephanie Fanelli, NYU Dental Student
“I don’t usually get to interact with dentistry students, so that part was amazing. Being able to see how a dentistry student or a pharmacist would be able to approach an issue with the patient’s mouth was helpful, and being able to make a plan for this patient and create an interdisciplinary team approach to caring for this patient was great.” — Megan Fendt, NYU Midwifery Student
“A couple more of these a year would be beneficial.” — Brandon Oks, NYU Medical Student
What else is important for our readers to know about
Erin Hartnett: The Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice Program (OHNEP), an innovative national initiative led by Executive Director Judith Haber, and Program Director Erin Hartnett has just been designated as a 2019 Edge Runner from the American Academy of Nursing. This initiative recognizes those individuals and organizations who are leaders in designing models of care and interventions to improve health care cost and access. OHNEP [received] this award on October 24, 2019, for its leadership in “putting the mouth back in the head” in nursing education and clinical practice, improving clinical outcomes, and making positive contributions to the financial health of organizations.
Sherry Cameron, a medical recruiter for correctional facilities across the US, recently wrote a post for DailyNurse as the first part in this Three-part series. (For part Two, see What to Expect as a Correctional Care Nurse). Now, she’s starring in the latest DailyNurse podcast, “What is it like to be a Correctional Nurse?”
Nurses in correctional facilities work so closely with other members of the healthcare team that Sherry describes it as a “family-oriented environment.” Often looking after inmates who have never received regular medical care, these nurses perform the usual nursing tasks such as administering medications, blood sugar checks, and tending to injuries incurred in the kitchen or carpentry shop.
Also, correctional facilities offer the opportunity to experience one of the most gratifying aspects of nursing. Corrections nurses act as educators for people who have rarely had any sort of relationship with a healthcare provider. Sherry recalls, “one nurse said to me that ‘it’s a very special moment when you see a patient come to tears because someone took the time to finally talk with them and educate them about their health.’ That to me is a true nurse at heart”.
In this episode of the DailyNurse podcast, you will hear Sherry discuss the character traits that she looks for in potential correctional nurses, the concerns they have when they first consider a career as healthcare providers in a correctional facility, advice for those interested in correctional nursing, and much more.
This is part of a monthly series about side gigs—nurses with interesting side jobs or hobbies. This month, we spotlight a volunteer puppy raiser.
In 2017, Catherine Burger, BSN, MSOL, RN, NEA-BC, now a Media & Brand Specialist for RegisteredNursing.org, was in the midst of building her own home-based business after having retired from corporate nursing. Along with her husband and their youngest son, Burger had moved from Sacramento to San Diego, California, and she was looking for a volunteer opportunity.
“I kept seeing puppies with yellow vests in my area,”
recalls Burger. “We had lost our dog several years prior, and it took many
years before I was ready for another dog. I told my family that I believed we
were meant to raise a service puppy, so we looked into it more.”
Burger had friends already involved with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), so she and her family were able to talk with them and ask lots of questions. After completing an online application, as well as a home visit by a CCI staff member, they were approved and placed on a list to receive a nine-week-old puppy to raise.
“Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit
organization, was founded in 1975 to provide expertly trained service dogs to
enhance the lives of people with disabilities,” explains Burger. “These dogs
are not just providing help with daily living by being the arms, legs, and ears
of their partners, but also open to opportunities to live with
greater independence and confidence.”
CCI provides these dogs to adults, children, veterans,
and professionals, depending on their needs. The breeds used are yellow and
black Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and mixes of these two breeds. “Most
service-dog programs charge up to $40,000 for a trained assistance dog. Through
volunteer puppy raisers like us, plus donations and sponsors, CCI is able to
provide the trained dogs at no cost to the recipients,” says Burger.
When they started working with CCI, Burger and her family received a lot of training. “CCI provides mentoring, guidebooks, and many areas offer weekly training classes. As a puppy raiser for CCI, you commit to attending at least two puppy-training classes each week. There are professional dog trainers available for consult as needed if the puppy has any specific issues,” says Burger. “It is an extremely supportive program and community of puppy raisers. For example, we watch each other’s puppies when anyone is traveling.”
Burger and her family are raising their second puppy for
CCI. Their first puppy, Nancy VI, is now a Change of Career (COC) dog, and they
adopted her. Unfortunately, Nancy wasn’t able to get over having car anxiety. “We
worked closely with the professional trainers to try to break her of the panting,
drooling, and stiff body language,” says Burger. “While we were thrilled to
adopt Nancy as our own COC dog, we were disappointed that she was not able to
move into professional training to offer help and hope to someone in need.”
As puppy raisers, Burger and her family volunteer to provide everything for the puppy for the first 10 months of its life. Then they turn the puppy in for professional training. “We pay for the food, vet bills, vaccines, anything the puppy needs,” says Burger. “We are responsible to teach around 30 commands to the puppies at home — which are modeled through puppy class sessions — such as sit, down, back, side, heel, up, car, off, etc. Along with this training, our most important role is to socialize the puppies in public to get them ready to handle numerous situations in order for them to provide the most support to their future handler. Puppy class also provides field trips for the puppies to experience trains, buses, and even practice with getting through TSA and onto an airplane. The more confidence through varied experiences we can provide to the puppy, the more prepared they are for professional training and better prepared to be a strong assistance dog.”
Although they give so much to CCI and the community through raising puppies, Burger says that she and her family get a lot back as well. One of the best experiences has been seeing how the lives of those who receive dogs from CCI are radically changed. “Parents of an autistic child who, after receiving a dog for their son, were able to sleep through the night for the first time in 8 years because having the dog in bed gave him so much comfort,” says Burger. “I have also participated several times at Paloma Valley High School’s ‘Paws for Finals,’ where puppy raisers in the area bring their puppies to the school during finals. The kids are able to come pet and love on the dogs to minimize their stress. It brings tears to my eyes every time when I see a group of the popular kids, the geeky kids, the Emo kids, the shy kids, and the athletes all sitting around with their hands on my puppy, sharing dog stories together. It is also interesting that the puppies are absolutely exhausted after this stress-absorbing time with the kids!
“We are very proud to be associated with such an organization,” says Burger.
The week of November 10-16 is National Nurse Practitioner Week, the annual recognition of the vital contributions of nurse practitioners (NPs) nationwide.
Providing Much-Needed Access to Primary Care
For over 50 years, Nurse Practitioners have been championing the needs of patients. In fact, “Patients are benefiting now more than ever from the comprehensive, patient-centered health care services NPs provide,” said Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, president of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). “At a time when millions of patients in our country lack access to primary care providers in their own communities, Nurse Practitioners are growing the capacity of our health care workforce to meet patient demand and challenging regulatory roadblocks that prevent patients from choosing NPs as their health care provider.”
In every state, NPs assess patients, order and interpret tests, make diagnoses and provide treatment – including prescribing medications. Further, Nurse Practitioners can be found in clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, nursing homes and private practices nationwide. As clinicians that blend clinical expertise with an emphasis on disease prevention and health management, they also bring a comprehensive perspective to health care and are the health care provider of choice for millions of patients.
Serving 1.6 Billion Patient Visits a Year
“In the next decade, seniors will outnumber kids for the first time ever. Health care provider shortages are a growing concern, yet the growth of the NP role is addressing this challenge head-on. The faith patients have in NP-provided health care is evidenced by the 1.06 billion patient visits made to Nurse Practitioners annually,” said Thomas. “NP Week helps to educate patients about their choice in health care providers, and to create awareness of the many services NPs provide that enable patients to access excellent care, no matter where they live.”
To help strengthen public awareness of NPs, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners has created We Choose NPs (WeChooseNPs.org), a national multi-media public awareness campaign integrating television, radio, digital, and in-person events that reach communities nationwide. The campaign provides useful information about patient choice, the importance of finding a primary care provider and the critical roles NPs play in patient health.
The “Voice of the Nurse Practitioner”
AANP is the largest professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties, representing the interests of the more than 270,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve patients and other health care consumers. For more information about NPs and to locate one in your community, visit WeChooseNPs.org.
SOURCE: American Association of Nurse Practitioners
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing has been offering interprofessional education experiences for its nursing students since 2006. To explain how it works and why it’s essential for nursing education, we interviewed Judith Haber, PhD, APRN, FAAN, the Ursula Springer Leadership Professor in Nursing and Executive Director of the Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) Program at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and Erin Hartnett, DNP, PPCNP-BC, CPNP, the Program Director of OHNEP and Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH) Programs at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Haber and Hartnett took time to answer our questions. What follows is Part 1 of our interview. Keep on the lookout for Part 2 next week.
Why do you offer interprofessional education for nursing
students? Why is it important?
Judi Haber: These experiences are an important component
of the education of all students in the health professions. Historically,
health education in the United States has been delivered in well-established
silos. Yet patients come to primary and acute care health care settings with
health problems that cross the boundaries of those disciplines. Student
exposure to interprofessional education (IPE) experiences are designed to break
down the traditional professional silos and prepare students to practice in
teams that understand each other’s roles and responsibilities, value and
respect the contributions of all team members, and communicate and function
effectively on interprofessional health care teams. That is the health system
model of the present and future!
Professional practice silos also have been documented in a series of reports by the Institute of Medicine (2001; 2003) to have a negative impact on the quality and safety of patient care. Fostering interdisciplinary team building and collaborative practice was proposed to improve patient outcomes; a call to action challenged faculty educating students in the health professions to educate them interprofessionally as members of collaborative teams who “learned from, with, and about each other.” Publication of the Interprofessional Education Competencies (IPEC) in 2011 propelled this interprofessional education agenda and soon accreditation standards for nursing, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other professions required evidence that students were being exposed to interprofessional education experiences.
Essentially, these interprofessional education experiences are preparing students to “hit the ground running,” prepared to practice in high-performing teams following graduation.
What other students work with them? At what schools
are they studying?
Judi Haber: The NYU interprofessional education
experiences have always had a clinical focus and have always included dental
and medical students and, more recently, pharmacy students.
What happens during this three-day study? How does it
Erin Hartnett: The
TOSH–Teaching Oral Systemic Health event has been held every September for the
past seven years. In 2013, we started with about 300 students from three
schools–NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, NYU College of Dentistry, and NYU
School of Medicine–and in 2019, our seventh year, we have almost 800 students
from four schools–NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, NYU College of
Dentistry, NYU School of Medicine, and Long Island University (LIU) Pharmacy.
TOSH brings together students from different health
professions to participate in an interprofessional oral health simulation with
a Standardized Patient and a case study discussion experience to learn from,
with, and about each other. The goals of this experience are for the student to
learn about oral health, specifically the oral health connection, and the oral
exam; as well as to learn to work together as a team using the interprofessional
educational competencies (IPEC competencies) to learn each other’s roles and
responsibilities, values, and ethics and to learn to communicate and
collaborate as a team for the good of the patient–to provide better, safer,
more cost effective health care
Prior to the TOSH experience, all of the students are required to complete an assignment, which includes: two Smiles for Life Modules, read about the IPEC competencies, watch a video on the TeamSTEPPS® SBAR communication techniques, and read an article about prescribing for acute dental pain (Clark et al, 2010; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).
When students arrive at the Simulation Center, they take
the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS) on
their phone (MacDonald, Archibald, Trumpower, Casimiro, Cragg, & Jelly,
2018). The ICCAS measures their interprofessional competencies prior to the
experience. Students are then assigned to a team consisting of a nurse
practitioner, midwifery, medical, dental, and pharmacy student. They work together as a team obtaining a
focused history from the Standardized Patient– which should lead them to
suspect Type 2 Diabetes, periodontal disease, and acute dental pain.
The dental student then demonstrates the oral exam on the
Standardized Patient to the other students, and each student is then required
to practice the oral exam on the Standardized Patient with the dental student
The teams then all move to a case study discussion room
where they meet with another team. The students introduce themselves to the
other team and then each profession pairs with the member of their profession
to develop a problem list. After completing the problem list, both groups meet
back together to develop a care plan, which incorporates each profession.
Students then role-play calling each other on the phone
using the TeamSTEPPS® SBAR technique to explain the Situation,
Background, Assessment, and Recommendations for this patient.
At the end of the experience the students debrief with
their facilitator on how the IPEC competencies were met.
Is participation required for nursing students or
voluntary? Do the nursing students need to be in a particular semester in order
Erin Hartnett: All second-year NP and Midwifery students,
fourth-year dental students, second-year medical students, and fourth-year pharmacy
students are required to attend.