New Hopkins Nursing curriculum aims to put NPs at forefront of HIV care

HIV can't tell a physician from a nurse practitioner, and studies suggest that who cares for someone with HIV has no effect on the patient's outcome

With that in mind, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has launched a new curriculum to give nurses specialized training in the care of HIV/AIDS patients. The curriculum was developed by Jason Farley, an associate professor at the School of Nursing, and will be an option for students in the school's Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner master's programs.

"For many years these specialty training programs in HIV have been available for physicians," Farley says. "This is the first time JHU is offering them to non-physician providers. It's quite an important development. When you look at data comparing patient outcomes with physician care and with nurse practitioner care in HIV, whether in the United States or in sub-Saharan Africa, those outcomes are the same."

The development of the new HIV curriculum is funded by a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

In all, there are 20 sites where Hopkins Nursing students will be working, ranging from specialty care facilities to prevention-oriented programs and primary care clinics. Most are in Baltimore, but three are in Washington, D.C., and one is focused on HIV care in rural areas. The Baltimore and Washington regions both rank among the top 10 in the country for both the number of individuals with HIV and the number of new infections per year.

Farley expects the new curriculum to launch with an enrollment of 10 to 12 students.

"Our HIV provider population is aging," Farley says. "We really need to get these new young people in so that they can learn from the providers who've been doing this for a long time."

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Tagged hiv/aids, nursing