Health Services Researcher Studying Nurse-Managed Care is Selected for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Nation’s Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty
Philadelphia—Jennifer Bellot, Ph.D., R.N.,M.H.S.A., an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to study the provision of nurse-managed health care for the frail elderly. Bellot is one of just 12 nurse educators from around the country to receive the three-year $350,000 Nurse Faculty Scholar award this year. It is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The grant period begins next month.
“The generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will help me assess the type, quality and affordability of care provided by nurse-managed centers for the frail elderly and other vulnerable populations,” Bellot said. “That information will help shed light on whether nurse-managed centers are providing the kind of care that would make them eligible for reimbursement from the federal government as patient centered medical homes, which would help these kinds of centers expand more quickly and serve more people in need.”
For her research project, Bellot will study patient care for the frail elderly at 15 nurse-managed centers in and around Philadelphia. In the first phase of the project, she will collect and analyze demographic data about the centers’ patient populations, information about patient diseases and health-related problems, and the cost of nurse-led and nurse-provided care. In the second phase, she will conduct focus groups comprised of patients and health care providers to determine whether nurse-managed centers are acting as de-facto patient-centered medical homes, which are eligible for reimbursement through Medicare.
There are currently roughly 250 nurse-managed centers around the country providing care to vulnerable populations with unmet health care needs. The number is expected to grow due to a confluence of factors: the shortage of primary care physicians, an aging population, and advances in medicine that enable people to live longer with multiple chronic and acute conditions. Although the federal government supports innovations in nurse-managed care, Medicare does not recognize nurse-managed centers as patient-centered medical homes and as such does not reimburse them for these services.
“The lack of Medicare funding hampers the growth of nurse-managed centers at a time when demand for their services—especially among vulnerable populations—is growing,” Bellot said.
“That is a missed opportunity for nurses and for the patients they serve.”
Bellot’s selection comes as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is embarking on a collaborative campaign to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care. Based on the recommendations from a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine nursing report released last year—The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, RWJF is spearheading the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to engage nurses and non-nurses in a nationwide effort to overhaul the nursing profession. The campaign is working to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care.
Her mentors are: Beth Ann Swan, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., professor and senior associate dean of academic affairs at the Jefferson School of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University; and Christine Arenson, M.D., associate professor and director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing. Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses and faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they lack the faculty to teach them.
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping to curb the shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service at their universities.
The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
This is the fourth cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars. Many members of the first three cohorts have been published and recognized for outstanding work since they were accepted into the program.
The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit www.nursefacultyscholars.org.
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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For nearly 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.
Contact: Gretchen Wright or Johanna Diaz