The ARHP is pleased to announce the relaunch of its highly successful online Fundamentals of Rheumatology Course (FRC). This updated version is earning high marks from users and reviewers for ease of navigation, choice of presentation formats, depth of research and separate learning activities (i.e., modules) for the care of adult and pediatric patients.
According to scientific editor Geri B. Neuberger, RN, MN, EdD, and emerita professor in the School of Nursing, University of Kansas, “The expanded FRC now offers 10 online CME learning activities to help you meet your educational needs.” The online course provides an evidence-based overview of adult and pediatric rheumatic conditions, nonpharmacological and pharmacological care, and additional information on insurance preauthorizations for those new or transitioning into a rheumatology practice.
10 Learning Activities
To revise the course, the ARHP eLearning Subcommittee completed an extensive review and then created updated content in collaboration with experienced rheumatology clinicians [see sidebar, below.]
The FRC’s original five modules were expanded to create 10 learning activities. The modules on assessment and medications are now in separate learning activities for the child and the adult. Nursing Management of the Infusion Patient and Insurance Preauthorization and Funding for Medications are now individual activities, and two new activities—Consultation with Other Health Professionals in the Management of the Child with Rheumatic Disease and Consultation with Other Health Professionals in the Management of the Adult with Rheumatic Disease—were also created.
“All of these activities,” says Dr. Neuberger, “highlight the unique and essential contributions of other healthcare professionals to the care of patients with rheumatic disease.”
Reviewers & Users Comment
Pediatric rheumatologist Carol Lindsley, MD, professor emerita, University of Kansas Medical Center, has been a long-time collaborator with Dr. Neuberger on other projects and agreed to review and edit activities of the expanded FRC. “The activities were generally very well done,” she notes, and required few edits. “They are good teaching activities for a whole variety of allied health professionals.”
Dr. Lindsley pioneered the establishment of outreach clinics in rural Kansas for children with rheumatic disease. She says, “one challenge in smaller sites and outreach clinics is to obtain allied health professionals who are trained and knowledgeable and can support the clinics. So these kinds of teaching activities [like those in the FRC] could help people not working at an academic center.”
Another rheumatologist specializing in the care of adults with rheumatic diseases, Samar Gupta, MD, also read and evaluated all of the Fundamentals of Rheumatology modules. Dr. Gupta is an associate professor of medicine at the University Michigan and chief, VA Clinical Rheumatology & Medical Education, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Pediatric nurse practitioner Courtney Kremer, RN, BSN, MSN, CPNP, works in an academic center: the Department of Pediatrics and Division of Rheumatology at the University of Iowa. “I work with pediatric patients, so I appreciated a separate pediatric course that was geared to my population,” she wrote in an email to The Rheumatologist.
In addition to completing Activity 8, Consultation with Other Health Professionals in the Management of Children with Rheumatic Disease, she also completed Activity 5, Consultation with Other Health Professionals in the Management of Adults with Rheumatic Disease. The latter activity was also helpful, she wrote, because she learned about complementary adult therapies and care coordination.
The most positive aspect of the course, wrote Ms. Kremer, was how easy the course was to navigate. “You have the choice between listening to or watching a recorded presentation, or opening up a PDF to read on your own time. Each module has research supporting the information, which I found helpful.”
Monica Richey, MSN, ANP-BC, an adult rheumatology nurse practitioner at Northwell Health, Division of Rheumatology, New York, also found the course “more dynamic and up to date” than the previous version, with which she was also familiar. “In this version, you now have the person who created the slides delivering the presentation, and as the discussion progresses, the presenter gives case scenarios so you can relate this to your practice. It’s almost like sitting for a lecture, so I enjoyed this version much more.”
Professor Donald Miller, Pharm D, School of Pharmacy in the North Dakota State University College of Health Professions in Fargo, N.D., reviewed Activities 9 and 10, Nursing Management of the Infusion Patient, and Insurance Preauthorization and Funding for Medications. “Each was well prepared and guided learners through fundamental concepts clearly and logically,” he commented in an email. “They give a great introduction and overview.”
A Basis for Growth
The updated FRC can be especially helpful for nurses and allied health professionals entering rheumatology, Ms. Richey notes. Recalling her own initial experience in the field, she says, “It can be kind of scary, because you’re dealing with a lot of sick people. This actually gives you the basis you need to grow on as you learn.”
Dr. Lindsley says, “It’s going to be very helpful to other professionals who want to read about cases or summaries of the different areas of rheumatology. Ultimately, the more knowledgeable the whole team is, the better the care [for patients] is.”
To register for the Fundamentals of Rheumatology, visit www.rheumatology.org and select Learning Center.
Gretchen Henkel is an award-winning health and medical journalist based in California.
Acknowledgment: The author thanks the ARHP eLearning Subcommittee and Geri B. Neuberger, RN, MN, EdD, for their contributions to this article.
The Team Behind the Update
Geri B. Neuberger, RN, MN, EdD, served as the scientific editor. Deb Rizzo, MSN, FNP-BC, served as the advanced course scientific editor, and Anneke Smith (since 2010) and Emily Delzell (since 2012) served as the managing editors. Each scientific editor oversaw specific activities, including the recruitment of authors and reviewers, and the evaluation of content to ensure it aligned with current evidence and best practices. The editorial and writing teams were supported by ARHP senior specialist educational products staff member Ramona Hilliard, who ensured timely completion and delivery of the products.
“It has been my pleasure,” says Dr. Neuberger, “to work with the following experienced advanced practice nurses as they took time from their busy clinical positions in rheumatology to serve as authors on the following activities”:
- A1: Overview of Rheumatic Disease in the Adult: Maura McCall, MSN, RN
- A2: Overview of Rheumatic Disease in Children: Donna Nativio, PhD, CRNP
- A3: Assessment and Management of the Adult with Rheumatic Disease: Karen Huisinga, MN, ARNP, FNP
- A4: Management of Medications for the Adult with Rheumatic Disease: Karen Huisinga, MN, ARNP, FNP
- A5: Consultation with Other Health Professionals in the Management of Adults with Rheumatic Disease: Karen Huisinga, MN, ARNP, FNP
- A6: Assessment and Management of the Child with Rheumatic Disease: Annelle Reed, MSN, CRNP
- A7: Management of Medications for the Child with Rheumatic Disease: Annelle Reed, MSN, CRNP
- A8: Consultation with Other Health Professionals in the Management of the Child with Rheumatic Disease: Annelle Reed, MSN, CRNP
- A9: Nursing Management of the Infusion Patient: Cora Vizcarra, RN, BSN, CRNI, MBA
- A10: Insurance Preauthorization and Funding for Medications: Janet Jolly, MSN, BSN