ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Nurse Practitioner Residency Program at Highland Family Medicine in Rochester is helping improve health care outcomes across our region.

Luzann Ampadu is the Academic Director for the program.

“Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses, either masters or doctorally prepared, and they are an integral part of the U.S. healthcare system,” Ampadu said. “I myself, along with Drs. Carissa Singh and Heidi Robinson who are here with me today are family nurse practitioners and we are licensed to practice in New York State. We can diagnose, treat, and prescribe a variety of health conditions to all types of patients across the lifespan. Also, we lean toward a patient-centered and family-centered approach to care which includes health promotion, disease prevention, patient counseling, and patient education.”

Dr. Singh explained how the residency program helps build confidence and competence.

“Highland Family Medicine offers an NP residency which is a post-graduate clinical training program in family medicine,” she explained. “The goal of the NP residency is to support new grads who are interested in working in primary care. This is a one-year post-graduate training program that’s designed to provide nurse practitioners with the competence and confidence they need to deliver high-quality patient care to patients within our community. The way that we’re able to accomplish our mission is through caring for patients as well as providing didactic education with the family medicine residents and shadowing specialists within our community.”

The residency program focuses on both urban and rural settings. Robinson said that distinction is important.

“People who live in rural communities often have particular issues — specifically with transportation, access to care, and those kinds of things,” she said. “So really the rural track of the Nurse Practitioners Residency Program is designed to help the nurse practitioner gain the critical skills necessary to help manage a lot of the conditions that maybe if you live closer to the city it would be faster to go to a specialist. We have to kind of be a little bit more jack-of-all-trades down here in the rural areas. Covering the Southern Tier really it’s necessary to train the nurse practitioners to practice in a rural setting. It’s just making a well-rounded nurse practitioner to be able to go out to places where access to care certainly can be a problem.”