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National Nursing Leaders Speak on Caring in Crisis at UR Nursing’s DNP Summit

  By Ivy Burruto
  Thursday, November 5, 2020

For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Rochester School of Nursing gathered nursing experts in a national discussion about the value of doctorally prepared nurses in the modern world of health care.

This year’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Summit, “DNPs Leading and Caring in Crisis” addressed the need for strong practitioners and nursing professionals to be prepared to meet challenges and enact positive change during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The summit began on Friday, Oct. 16, and continued Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. In contrast to previous years and fitting with the event’s theme, the summit was held virtually to maintain COVID-19 safety measures and precautions.

The digital format proved to be a great success, attracting nearly 250 attendees. Alumni, current students, UR School of Nursing and University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) employees, and individuals from healthcare institutions in almost every state across the U.S. tuned into the event.

Presenters included Strong Memorial Hospital’s Kate Valcin, DNP, RN, CCRN-K, NEA-BC, CNL, University of Delaware School of Nursing’s Sharon Dudley-Brown, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s April Kapu, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP.

A co-leader of the Highly Infectious Disease Unit, Valcin helped lead Strong’s COVID-19 planning— transforming the academic medical center’s response from reactionary to proactive planning.

In her DNP summit presentation, “Hitting the Ground Running: DNP Preparation Meets Global Pandemic,” Valcin shared stories of nursing innovation, rapid implementation of evidence-based practice, and interprofessional collaboration within URMC. A 2020 UR Nursing DNP graduate, Valcin also recounted her many “aha” moments where lessons learned in her academic journey aligned with the work being done to combat COVID-19.

Dudley-Brown was this year’s Clare Dennison Lecturer, a designation that traditionally kicks off the University of Rochester’s Meliora weekend celebrations. Dudley-Brown, an associate professor and director of the DNP Program at the University of Delaware School of Nursing, shared what every DNP-prepared nurse needs in a time of crisis in her presentation titled, “DNP Toolkit: Critical Competencies for Leading and Caring in Crisis.”

An associate nursing Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and nursing professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Kapu explained how she saw the challenges of COVID-19 as opportunities to innovate and lead.

During her presentation, “Crisis and DNP Opportunity: Practice and Policy during COVID,” Kapu also elaborated on the policy and legislative changes throughout the pandemic that opened doors to demonstrate the impact of increased access to nurse-driven, evidence-based care.

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