Jenna Gonillo Davis, MS, ACNPC-AG, CCRN
Angie Murkins, FNP-BC
Ana Kukulj, FNP-C, MSN, BSN, RN
Advanced practice providers (APPs) have become the ever-present providers in critical care departments. They act as a stabilizing force for intensive care units (ICU) where residents and fellows rotate and may not have the same level of interest in critical care as a prospective intensivist. The consistent presence of APPs makes the integration, advancement, and education of APPs essential to maintain a highly functional ICU.
With the APP Podcast Miniseries, we wanted to present “the department director”, “the attending physician” and “the forward-thinking APP” with ways to optimize the neurocritical care unit through APP utilization. The NCS podcast is easily accessible and reaches a wide audience of society and non-society members; section leadership considered this a valuable and effective platform to begin an important conversation.
In this five-episode series, we discussed:
- Tele-ICU - Episode 37, June 1, 2020: Teresa Rincon, PhD, RN, Telehealth Director of Clinical Operations and Innovations at University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care and Johnny Isenberger, NP, is interviewed by Emmaculate Fields, NP
- Orientation and Onboarding - Episode 41, August 1, 2020: Tamra Langley, DNP, the Director of Advanced Practice Provider Services in Critical Care Medicine, is interviewed by Thomas Lawson, NP
- Utilization of the APP - Episode 45, October 1, 2020: Dr. Ruth Kleinpell is interviewed by Kelly Rath, NP
- Staffing Models - Episode 49, December 1, 2020: Justin Kokiousis, DNP, CRNP, NP-C is interviewed by Angie Murkins, NP
- Billing and Coding Practices - Episode 62, December 6, 2021: David Carpenter, PA at Emory University is interviewed by Chris Reeves, MSN, APRN at Massachusetts General Hospital
In addition, this series advocated for APPs to be utilized at the top of their scope of practice. Topics were chosen based on responses from an in-person needs assessment at the NCS 18th Annual Meeting in Vancouver. With the exception of tele-ICU, the APP section had expressed continued interest in the other four subjects through annual meeting topic submissions and lively discussion board posts. We surmised that new, expanding, and established APP groups alike could all benefit from this series.
A call for volunteers was put out on the section discussion board after articles were approved by the leadership committee. Volunteers curated interview questions based on the chosen article and the author's area of expertise. As luck would have it, though, the COVID-19 pandemic began just after the first episode was recorded in January 2020. Nevertheless, the podcast volunteers tirelessly continued their efforts to contact and interview authors even as they were being redeployed into COVID-19 ICUs and working extra shifts. However, this experience also elevated tele-ICU into a hot topic and prompted its addition to the mini-series. One by one, the episodes were recorded throughout 2020, with the final episode of the mini-series released on December 1, 2021. As of December 14, the mini-series has had over 6400 streams, with the first four episodes each accessed over 1400 times.
The APP Leadership Committee is always striving to meet the needs of our members. Our current initiatives for 2022 include continued support of the APP community, providing high-quality educational subject matter, and planning APP content for the NCS 20th Annual Meeting. A significant accomplishment of this group was the recent development of the APP curriculum for specific training in the neurocritical care field. This is being utilized nationwide by many existing and developing hospital programs that utilize APPs in their neurocritical care units. The Advanced Practice Providers Orientation Course is regularly updated from the wealth of feedback provided by users, with an annual review of content.
Currently there are over 450 APPs in the society, making up almost 20% of the membership, with many of the APPs taking active leadership roles in various committees and teams throughout the society. The APP Leadership committee works closely with APPs in other sections of the society on common projects of interest. One such joint effort is a survey tool spearheaded by APPs amongst multiple NCS groups and committees to identify training gaps for incoming providers into the field.
The NCS APP and Managers and Rising Leaders discussion boards are a great forum to access resources as well as interact with peers socially and academically. Individuals can post a topic or a question on the society webpage to allow further collaboration with other society members. The APP Leadership Committee regularly checks the APP discussion board to help facilitate discussions. All disciplines are welcome in the Managers and Rising Leaders section. This group serves as a forum for discussion on issues facing formal and informal leaders within their fields such as staff engagement, career advancement, and team building.
Planning for the APP Masterclass at the NCS 20th Annual Meeting is also in full swing. A case study will highlight pearls of clinical management and diagnostics. This interactive presentation with high profile APPs will be one you will not want to miss!