Science and Medicine
Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Education Program
Studies have shown that increased preparation and knowledge of nurses would have a marked impact on the wellbeing of patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, many nursing education programs provide negligible training or educational opportunities on how to care for Parkinson’s patients, despite critical demand for nurses with experience and interest in Parkinson’s.
To address this challenge, the Edmond J. Safra Foundation is funding a program to educate nursing faculty at undergraduate nursing programs across the United States. The program provides hands-on experience with Parkinson’s patients for the nursing faculty, cultivating their interest, and assisting them in developing teaching materials suitable to their academic settings. Returning to their classrooms better able to teach PD and more comfortable with providing clinical experiences involving PD patients, these nursing professors will be able to train a new generation of nurses with significantly more skills and knowledge about Parkinson’s disease. Through this method of “teaching the teachers”, as many as 1,400 newly-trained nurses will enter the work force each year better prepared to care for the Parkinson’s patient and family.
The program first ran as a pilot at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, teaching four nurse faculty who would eventually reach 320 nursing students. By 2011, the program taught 21 faculty scholars from five sites: Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, Oregon Health Sciences University, University of Miami, and University of Pennsylvania. To date, a total of 41 nurse faculty have participated, providing an opportunity for an estimated 3,280 nursing students representing 33 schools to graduate with knowledge on care of the Parkinson's disease patient and family.
To learn more please visit the project website: www.parkinsonsnursing.com.