In a collaboration between Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, Rutgers College of Nursing in Newark, New Jersey, and Horizon Healthcare Innovations, also in Newark, the PCC certificate program will train 200 nurses over the next two years. Students will complete 12 weeks of classroom, online, and hands-on training based on a curriculum developed by nurses at Duke, followed by a 160-hour preceptorship coordinated by Rutgers.
The first 200 PCCs trained will be placed in primary care practices in New Jersey, but it’s anticipated that the curriculum could serve as a national model.
PCCs help to identify high-risk and clinically complex patients in the primary care practice and coordinate care between the medical home and the community. “The focus is on chronic illness management, disease prevention strategies, health promotion interventions, and transitional care needs,” says Diane L. Kelly, assistant clinical professor at Duke.
Asked how the role of the PCC differs from that of the public health nurse, Edna Cadmus, clinical professor and specialty director of the graduate leadership track at Rutgers, explains, “Public health nurses are looking at the population level and determining the cause of health problems in a community to find ways to prevent them. PCCs are dealing with the individual patient, creating plans of care with the interdisciplinary team, as well as looking at the population for that practice in aggregate” and identifying high-risk conditions for which outcomes could be improved. They then develop systems and programs to support that high-risk population.