Integrating Advanced Practice Clinicians Into Neurology: Calli L. Cook, NP, DNP

The nurse practitioner at the Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University detailed why a cultural shift is needed to incorporate APCs into the neurology space and thus improve multidisciplinary care.

"For our physician colleagues who are not as comfortable with APPs [advanced practice providers], to understand what the training programs are like and how they differ from a medical training program. Identify what those differences are and how to utilize those differences and then create onboarding or training plans to make up for some of the limitations.”

Calli L. Cook, NP, DNP, nurse practitioner, Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University, recently published a viewpoint editorial highlighting the need to integrate advanced practice clinicians (APCs)—also referred to as advanced practice providers, or APPs—into the neurology field. She noted that APCs can assist with seeing urgent new and returning patients in the office, as well as expediting admissions, discharges, and patient education on a timely basis in inpatient settings.

Despite the advantages these APCs may bring, there has been some reluctance to integrate them fully. From an APC perspective, there has been dissatisfaction about not being allowed to operate to the fullest extent of their license as clinicians, as well as other monetary concerns and fear that their voices are marginalized. Neurologists themselves may have their own concerns about integrating APCs, including the financial business plan that provides return on investment, the potential financial and mental stress of replacing an APC, and the time it takes to have them fully comfortable with the system of care.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Cook detailed the multi-level effort it must take to incorporate APCs into common multidisciplinary neurology care. She stressed that this is a culture change that should be first recognized by clinical administrators, and then passed down through education.