Texas Children’s nurses lead first graduating class of APRNs from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

With the national and local demand for Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AC-PNP), Texas Children’s and Texas Tech University have entered into a partnership agreement that supports faculty roles for APRNs, Priscila Reid MS, RN, FNP, CPNP-AC and Julie Kuzin, MSN RN CPNP-PC/AC. The inaugural class began in Fall 2014 and included five students, with two from Texas Children’s – Tasha Bryant in cardiology and Maria Happe in critical care.

“Entrance to AC-PNP programs is competitive, yielding bright and highly successful graduates,” Kuzin said. “Texas Children’s Hospital has the unique opportunity to contribute to the training of these graduates, as well as opportunities to recruit them.”

The partnership provides for onsite faculty that are available to current and prospective students for guidance, support, and mentorship. The onsite faculty have developed and teach the curriculum for the core courses, Pediatric Acute Care I, II, and III.

AC-PNPs practice in a variety of settings not only in the hospital’s intensive care and subspecialty units, they extend their practice to the community in caring for the technology dependent child and the chronically ill child with special needs. Historically, the hospital has relied on an abundance of residents to staff the 24/7 units.

The shortage of residents and the mandate to reduce resident work hours from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has led many hospitals to rely on acute care nurse practitioners to provide quality patient care. With the shift in the model of using more acute care PNPs, the need for education and training has increased.