Insights in Caring for Patients With MS in Rural Areas


A series of video modules aims to address the unique challenges faced by nursing professionals caring for patients with MS in rural areas.

This content is courtesy of IOSMN. To view the original post, click here.

This online curriculum provides up-to-date information related to the comprehensive care of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in rural areas. Led by expert faculty with extensive experience in both MS care and rural health, it is designed to address the unique challenges faced by nursing professionals practicing in rural areas. Many of these challenges are exacerbated by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In a series of short video modules, the faculty share their perspectives, offering insights into best practices and strategies for overcoming barriers, with the goal of improving the comprehensive care of people living with MS.

The following modules link back to and are available to complete on the IOSMN site.

Module 1: State of the Art in MS: A review of MS pathophysiology

Module 2: Epidemiology of MS and Achieving and Early and Accurate Diagnosis of MS in the Rural Setting

Module 3: A Match Made in MS: Linking physiologic mechanisms of MS with therapeutic targets

Module 4: Evaluating Established, New, and Emerging Disease-Modifying Therapies for MS

Module 5: Approaches to Effectively Educating Patients and Care Partners

Module 6: Working as Part of the MS Team: The role of the rural nursing professional

Module 7: Cases and Solutions: A review of challenging cases, management approaches, and success stories of people living with MS in rural areas.

Bonnie Blain, RN, CNN(C), MSCN (Chairperson)
Central Alberta MS Clinic
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

A native of northern Saskatchewan, Ms. Blain understands the lack of awareness and access to healthcare in rural communities, and the significant negative impact on health outcomes. Now living in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Ms. Blain has been providing care and support to people living with MS for the last 16 years in the Central Alberta MS Clinic. In her role, she works to provide MS care to the very large rural population served by the clinic. Ms. Blain also serves on multiple committees to strategize care models for people living with MS across Alberta, where she advocates for the importance of developing relationships in healthcare and building capacity to care for people living with MS at all levels of the healthcare system.

Mary Filipi, PhD, FNP-C, MSN, BSN, RN, MSCS (Expert Faculty)
Adjunct Professor
University of Nebraska Omaha

Dr. Filipi has nearly 5 decades of nursing experience, with 24 years as a nurse practitioner specializing in MS. Having worked primarily in rural healthcare settings, Dr. Filipi’s experience gives her insights into the unique challenges that rural healthcare professionals face. In addition to her clinical practice, she was an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing, and adjunct faculty in the Department of Biology and the Department of Biomechanics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In addition to her nursing degrees, Dr. Filipi earned an MSN in Health Care Administration and a PhD in Neuroscience.

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