Health Professional Education Certificate Program (HPEC)

HPEC CandidatesOne of the objectives under the first SWIFT goal was to recruit and support 20 master-prepared advanced practice nurses (APNs) to complete the Health Professional Education Certificate (HPEC) program in order to become nurse educators. The HPEC program is offered through the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. It is an interdisciplinary five-course program which can be completed online, except for the final course, which involves approximately one day per week of actual practice teaching with students. Coursework takes approximately 13-16 months to complete and includes content on principles of adult education, educational program planning, and teaching in a practice discipline . Tuition support from the SWIFT grant was provided to candidates who agreed to teach full- or part-time for one to two years at any Wisconsin nursing education program upon completion of their certificate.

There is and continues to be increasing opportunities for APNs, including nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to serve as part-time faculty while maintaining their employment as APNs. Nursing education programs need masters prepared APNs to teach clinical practice and theory courses; however, many APNs are unprepared to teach because they have had no training in educational principles and strategies.

A brochure for recruiting 20 APNs was created and mailed to members of advanced practice nurse organizations throughout Wisconsin in the first quarter of 2006. The series of courses for the SWIFT HPEC cohort ran from April 24, 2006 to May 10, 2007. In order to continue to meet the recruiting goal, more than 20 applicants were selected in the first 4 months of the coursework to replace several students who dropped out of the program during the first 2 courses.

Number of applicants
Number of applicants accepted as candidates 22
Number of candidates who completed the program 15
Number of completed candidates employed as nurse educators 14
Number of accepted applicants who dropped from program 7