More than 20 years ago, Cook Children’s hired our first nurse practitioners to meet the basic health care needs of the most vulnerable children in the Fort Worth community. This small team of nurse practitioners engaged the vast community in order to establish relationships and improve the quality of life for local children. Trust was built, diseases were managed, prevention was practiced and patients were able to gain crucial access to desperately needed health care services. And, the role of the advanced practice provider at Cook Children’s began to take shape.
Two decades later, our advanced practice provider team plays an integral role in the excellent patient care provided at Cook Children’s Medical Center. This team continues to experience exponential growth year after year, with a projected growth to more than 50 new advanced practice providers by the completion of the 2016 fiscal year (September 30).
Today, our advanced practice team is composed of nearly 250 master’s and doctoral prepared, board certified pediatric nurse practitioners (PNP), acute care pediatric nurse practitioners (PNP-AC), family nurse practitioners (FNP), nurse anesthetists (CRNA) and physician assistants (PA-C). These providers work collaboratively with physicians as part of the health care team across a majority of clinical areas.
At Cook Children’s, advanced practice providers enhance the quality and safety of care provided in a majority of clinical areas, including our primary care network, neighborhood clinics, Emergency Department, CARE Team (child abuse and neglect), urgent care centers, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Surgery, Trauma Services, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Infectious Disease, Dermatology, Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care, Heart Center (Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit), Perioperative Services, Anesthesia, Orthopedics, Endocrinology and Congenital Hyperinsulinism, hospitalists, Short Stay Unit, Gastroenterology, Genitourinary, Ear, Nose and Throat, Behavioral Health and inpatient psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, and our NEST Center (for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit development follow-up). These providers not only excel at providing patient care, they also serve on system committees, mentor clinical students, conduct research, participate in community service and present nationally and internationally in their areas of specialization. Our advanced practice provider team at Cook Children’s is truly committed to expanding the reach of our Promise.