Practice Matters

Supporting Advanced Practice Fellowship During COVID-19

Miranda Osborne,(1) MSN, RN-BC, CEN®, Amy Rettig,(2) DNP, MALM, APRN-BC, Amy Lindsey,(2) MS, APRN-CNS, PMHCNS-BC, Kris Mathey,(2) MS, APRN-CNP, AOCNP®, Loraine Sinnott,(3) PhD, and Diana McMahon,(2) DNP, MSN, RN, OCN®

From (1)Memorial Hospital of Union County, Marysville, Ohio; (2)The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute, Columbus, Ohio; (3)The Ohio State University Colleges of Optometry and Nursing, Columbus, Ohio

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Miranda Osborne, MSN, RN-BC, CEN®, 500 London Avenue, Marysville, OH 43040. E-mail: miranda.osborne@memorialohio.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2022;13(8):816–821 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2022.13.8.8 | © 2022 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

With the aging population and increasing number of cancer survivors contributing to a projected provider shortage, one solution is the specialization of nurse practitioners and physician assistants (part of the advanced practice provider [APP] workforce) in oncology. However, a lack of preparation in caring for the patient with cancer has led to burnout and stress in these groups. The authors studied an APP fellowship program to describe resilience, stress, and compassion in a transition-to-practice program and explore the experience of intentional, facilitated conversations. During 2019 and 2020, 18 APP fellows at a large, academic comprehensive cancer center participated in this descriptive study. The fellowship started in-person but changed to a virtual setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Resilience was measured through the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale 10, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Professional Quality of Life Scale at four points in time: baseline, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months. The experience of intentional, facilitated conversations was captured through simple theme collection as part of a standard program evaluation. Resilience, perceived stress, and compassion showed no statistical significance over the course of the fellowship. Evaluations of an intentional, facilitated conversation program found focal areas that included challenges, fatigue, empathy, relationships, role, self-awareness, and self-care. Despite the challenges of the pandemic on the health-care provider, the retention rate of APPs remained steady during the fellowship. The findings from this study suggested there was a benefit in an oncology fellowship for advanced practice and that intentional, facilitated conversations provide reflection and support during this experience. 




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