Association of Post Graduate APRN Programs

Member Feature: Laurie Newton, Assistant Director for Advanced Practice Providers at Children’s Specialty Group

Posted 2 months ago

  1. Tell us about your current position and what it entails. 
    I am currently the assistant director for advanced practice providers at Children’s Specialty Group, the practice group that jointly serves Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin. A large portion of my role entails oversight of our centralized APP pediatric fellowship program, which is currently recruiting for our 4th cohort. There are 3 of us in assistant director roles who work together to ensure our fellowship runs smoothly. I am primarily in charge of our didactic content and evaluations, including continual review and improvement.

  2. Why do you believe fellowships are important for NPs? 
    I have a unique perspective as faculty in a DNP program as well, so I can see first-hand the challenges that many of our new graduates face. Further, I have done work with transition to practice at our organization and many novice APP's site role anxiety and uncertainty is similar to what we know about in the literature. Not only do fellowships provide support and mentorship during that important first year in practice, but our fellowship in particular allows fellows to experience different areas of pediatric subspecialty care to ensure they are also taking a permanent role in an area that is of interest to them!

  3. How do you see NPs grow and develop throughout their fellowship experience?
    This has perhaps brought me the most joy in my role!  Being able to watch fellows grow in their clinical skills from our first week in “Boot Camp” to their graduation is truly amazing; however, perhaps even more amazing to watch is the growth in their confidence and professional skills throughout the fellowship.

  4. Tell us about the fellowship program at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin - how long has it been in place? How many fellows have you all had? Where do you see the program going in the future? 
    Our fellowship has been in place for 3 years now.  We have a standard start date of September of each year and the program lasts one year.  We have had 2 fellows with each cohort (and the fellows love going through the program in a cohort model to have a “buddy”!). We are thrilled that, to date, we have retained 100% of our fellows in positions at our organization. We are currently looking to expand our program to an acute/critical care track and plan to add a 3rd fellow position in the coming years due to the success of our program so far.

  5. What would be your recommendation to other NPs who want to start fellowship programs? 
    Definitely do it. It is a fair amount of work, but if you are interested in education, mentorship, and supporting our novice APPs, a fellowship is the way to go. My advice would be to look at accreditation standards from the start so that you set up your program in this format from the beginning (this will save you work down the road when you are ready for accreditation). Also, reach out to current APGAP members when setting up your program and attend the conference! This was so valuable to us when we set up our program and didn’t really know where to start.   

  6. Why are you an APGAP member? What do you like most about APGAP? 
    I joined APGAP prior to starting our fellowship program. It has been a great resource for setting up our program and refining it over the last few years. The conference is a “must do” for anyone with a fellowship program to learn about best practices in fellowships, as well as innovative practices occurring across the country.

  7. What would you say to someone who was considering joining APGAP? 
    APGAP continues to work to provide value for your membership - not only is the conference a big reason to join, but now there are mentorship groups available, as well as webinars with hot topics in all things post-graduate education.