Posted on Apr 3, 2018

USF College of Nursing Partners with Neurosurgery Clinic to Offer Specialized Fellowship Training

USF College of Nursing Partners with Neurosurgery Clinic to Offer Specialized Fellowship Training

The University of South Florida’s College of Nursing is partnering with the USF Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair in the Morsani College of Medicine to offer its first neurosurgical-specific nursing fellowship for advanced practice nurses seeking specialized training after graduation.

The new, 12-month Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Neurosurgical Fellowship is slated to begin in July of 2018 with the goal of providing up to two acute care nurse practitioners the opportunity for increased experience and knowledge, thereby developing clinical expertise and providing evidence-based care in neurosurgery.

The interdisciplinary collaboration follows a national trend in which an increasing number of nursing schools and academic medical centers are offering post-graduate fellowship programs for practicing clinicians seeking in-depth training in specialty areas such as critical care.

The Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair’s neurosurgery clinic is currently accepting applicants for the fellowship’s first cohort, which will begin curriculum rotations in late June and July 2018. The APRN fellows will be working closely with the physicians, residents and advanced practice providers in the clinic’s residency program, as well as fellows in their two surgical specialties — complex cranial neurosurgery and spinal surgery.

“We’re very excited. The physician and nurse practitioner fellows will have an opportunity to share the training opportunities and develop their neurosurgical skills in an interdisciplinary environment. The goal is to expand opportunities for advanced practice post graduate training and position USF Health as a leader in developing Nurse Fellows across the nation” said Susan Perry, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, the vice dean for clinical integration and scholarship at the College of Nursing.

Program coordinators believe this is the first neurosurgery-specific nursing fellowship in Florida and across the nation. They are designing the fellowship’s curriculum to meet the accreditation standards from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and plan to apply for certification after the completion of the fellowship’s first year.

To ensure the fellowship complies with the ANCC accreditation guidelines, College of Nursing leaders are helping to oversee the program’s curriculum, structure, and evaluation process.

The APRN fellows, who will be full-time USF employees during their 12-month fellowship, will receive extensive training in focused critical thinking and evidence-based care in the neurosurgery field, with rotations at Tampa General Hospital and Florida Hospital Tampa.

Marcia Johansson, DNP, ARNP, ACNP-BC, who is concentration director of the acute care programs in the College of Nursing, is helping to recruit alumni who may be interested in this type of advanced training opportunity.

Graduates of this nursing fellowship will leave not only as experts in the field of neurosurgery, but with comprehensive clinical skills that are in high demand, said Dr. Johansson.

 “I think it’s a really good opportunity to get experience. It’s a valuable opportunity for those who want to build their skills,” she said.

Braden Mantei, business manager and administrator for the Department of Neurosurgery, said the decision to collaborate on the new ARNP neurosurgery fellowship was a unique opportunity to be at the national forefront in specialized neurosurgical-specific training for advanced practice nurses.

Not only will the new fellowship offer training in the best evidence-based care, but Mantei sees the program eventually drawing from a regional and national pool of applicants and possibly branching out to more specialties.

“It sounded like a great idea from our end. We’re very excited to get this off the ground. It will be something we can build on,” said Mantei.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing