FAU Offers New ‘Dermatology NP Post-graduate Certificate Program’

Dermatology, Nurse Practitioners, Dermatological Conditions, Skin Conditions, Post-graduate, Certificate Program, Nursing

The new certificate program will prepare masters and doctoral nurse practitioners to acquire foundational core competencies in their population-focus areas.

By gisele galoustian | 10/27/2020

Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing has launched a new “Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Post-graduate Certificate Program,” to provide nurse practitioners with the knowledge, skills and competencies needed for specialization in general dermatology to care for patients across the life span. Nurse practitioners are licensed, independent clinicians who are focused on managing people’s health conditions and preventing disease.

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, as advanced registered nurses (APRNs), nurse practitioners often specialize by patient population, including pediatric, adult-gerontological and women’s health. Nurse practitioners may also subspecialize in areas such as dermatology, cardiovascular health and oncology.

“Our new certificate program will prepare masters and doctoral nurse practitioners to acquire foundational core competencies in their population-focus areas,” said Susan Bulfin, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC, program director, a professor and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) director of the practice teaching track in FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Most often, nurse practitioner educational preparation includes little dermatology education and training. Therefore, nurse practitioners who desire to specialize in dermatology are left to develop competencies through on-the-job training or in a rare fellowship program.”

Nurse practitioners who complete the FAU Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Post-graduate Certificate Program will acquire the breadth and depth of dermatology specialty knowledge, skills and abilities that are essential for the development of entry-level competencies. Focus will be placed on advancing their scientific knowledge in areas such as immunology, dermatopathology and pharmacology. In addition, sequential sessions will prepare nurse practitioners for the assessment, diagnosis, management and monitoring of patients with acute and chronic dermatologic conditions.

On-campus “hands-on” workshops will be held once a semester to develop skills required for skin exams, biopsies, cryotherapy and other common dermatological procedures. The oversight of clinical practicum hours to integrate specialty knowledge and skills will be conducted under the supervision of experienced, certified dermatology nurse practitioners and board-certified dermatologists.

The curriculum comprises a three course series: dermatology essentials (40 hours); dermatology clinical I (40 hours); and dermatology clinical II (60 hours). Online didactic content (140 hours) will focus on dermatology knowledge and skills for acquisition of the nationally published Competencies for Dermatology Nurse Practitioners. A total of 480 clinical hours will be required and students will be responsible for identifying and securing qualified clinical sites and preceptors. Program graduates will be encouraged to complete required clinical hours and apply for the national “Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) Examination.”

“Nurse practitioners fill a critical role in the delivery of healthcare, especially as our nation faces physician shortages in primary care and other specialties, including a projected inadequate supply of dermatologists to meet the demand for service,” said Safiya George, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is at the forefront of providing innovative programs and services to address these gaps. Our latest Dermatology Post-graduate Certificate Program will equip advanced-practice nurses with the tools required to provide high-quality, holistic care for their patients with dermatological conditions.”

Criteria for admission into the program requires a minimum MSN GPA of 3.0; participants must be a licensed ARNP in good standing with post master’s ANCC or AANP certification; a master’s nurse practitioner student from accredited family, adult or pediatric concentrations, enrolled within the last semester before graduation; and two letters of recommendation from healthcare colleagues or supervisors.

The lead program faculty member is Margaret Bobonich, DNP, FNP-C, DCNP, FAANP, a nationally recognized expert in dermatology care, author and instructor.   

The three series program begins on Jan. 9, 2021 and runs through Dec. 4, 2021. The total cost of the program is $14,000 and the application deadline is Dec. 15. For more information, call 561-297-1109, email nurderm@health.fau.edu or visit https://nursing.fau.edu/derm.

Dermatological conditions include atopic dermatitis, hair loss, acne, psoriasis, rosacea and skin cancer. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two most common types of skin cancer — basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas — are highly curable, but can be disfiguring and costly to treat. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous and causes the most deaths. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Some people are at higher risk of skin cancer than others, but anyone can get it. 

Created in 1965, the role of nurse practitioner has been steadily evolving. Nurse practitioners typically require at least a master’s degree to practice, and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) is rapidly becoming the preferred level of preparation in this field.