Postgraduate Education and Training for the Nephrology Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

      There is no consistent educational model to introduce the physician assistant and/or nurse practitioner to nephrology. The job descriptions of the nephrology physician assistant/nurse practitioner may be similar, but the training, state and federal licensing, background, and recertification are different for the 2 professions adding a level of complexity to the training of the physician assistant/nurse practitioner new to nephrology. On-the-job training is the most common modality, but formats, content, mentors, and practices vary from organization to organization and even within organizations. The advantage of on-the-job training is its flexibility while the disadvantage is its nonspecific outcomes. As nephrology practices vary widely and range from single provider private practices to multiprovider academic practices, it is difficult if not impossible to develop a generic orientation model. This article outlines the history and present state of postgraduate educational offerings for the physician assistant/nurse practitioner and provides insight into components of an ideal training program.

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