URI nursing professor awarded prestigious national fellowship to improve health care

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Lynne Dunphy Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow

KINGSTON, R.I. –June 8, 2009- A national fellowship focused on expanding the role of nurses to lead change in the nation’s health care system has been awarded to University of Rhode Island Nursing Professor Lynne Dunphy, who is the Routhier Chair of Practice in the URI College of Nursing. She is one of 20 nurses selected nationwide as a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellow. She is the first in Rhode Island to be chosen for the program.

Now in its 12th year, the three-year fellowship program provides extensive leadership development for nurses in executive roles in public or community health, science and research, corporate health, academia, government or military health service. Fellows remain in their current positions while they receive training, mentoring, and the opportunity to implement innovative health care strategies in their communities.

“Nurses provide a unique perspective in the health care system, understanding both the patient experience and the way policies and procedures affect health outcomes,” said Marilyn P. Chow, Executive Nurse Fellows National Program director. “We are thrilled to have Professor Dunphy join the 2009 group of fellows. The experience will enable her to bring new skills and resources to improve health care in Rhode Island.”

As part of the fellowship, Dunphy will have an opportunity to design and implement a leadership project to address issues of essential importance to the future of the state of Rhode Island, as well as to the broader health care system. This leadership project is focused on the development of the recently named Rhode Island Center for Nursing Excellence, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce. An official URI center, it is housed in the URI College of Nursing. It is a consortium of the Rhode Island College School of Nursing and the Community College of Rhode Island, with the University as the lead agency.

“I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to explore new solutions for maintaining and expanding nursing educational capacity in the state of Rhode Island, working together with all the state programs,” said Dunphy, a resident of Narragansett. “Our goal is to provide a well-prepared, diverse, and adequate nursing work force for the future.”

Dunphy is the co-chair of the Rhode Island Senate Commission on Nursing, which issued a report and variety of recommendations in April. The legislation for a tax-incentive for all full-time nursing faculty in the state of Rhode Island, one of the commission’s recommendations, is moving through the legislative process. Dunphy also is the lead author for a major textbook for nurse practitioners studying to become primary care providers. Published by FA Davis publishing company in Philadelphia, Primary Care: The Art and Science of Advanced Practice Nursing, is being readied for a third edition.

The fellowship is supported through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and matching funds from the University.

For more information about the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program visit: www.enfp-info.org

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

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University of Rhode Island Nursing Professor Lynne Dunphy, who is the Routhier Chair of Practice in the URI College of Nursing. She is a Narragansett resident.