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Explore This IssueMay 2015
Dramatic changes have occurred over the past 50 years in rheumatology practice and management. As an integral part of the healthcare team, the rheumatology nurse must navigate these changes and the advancements in treatment options and care available for patients with rheumatic disease. Rheumatology nursing was recognized as a nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors in 2012. In 2013, the Rheumatology Nurses Society (RNS) and ANA co-published the first edition of the Rheumatology Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. The Scope and Standards text defines rheumatology nursing, the areas in which these nurses work and the unique skill set needed to care for patients with rheumatic disease. These were the first steps toward a certification process for rheumatology nurses.
Core Curriculum for Rheumatology Nursing Published
The RNS published the first edition of the Core Curriculum for Rheumatology Nursing, a 484-page hardcover textbook edited by four recognized rheumatology nurse leaders, Sheree C. Carter, PhD, RN, Victoria Ruffing, RN, CCRP, Cathy Patty-Resk, MSN, RN, CPNP, and Deborah Hicks, RN, in 2015. The editors led a team of 26 rheumatology nurse authors, five section editors and other experts in education, research and publishing. The first edition exposes the principals, knowledge and resources available to the rheumatology nurse, as well as encourages nursing research in the areas of economic, political, physiologic and psychosocial care.
The text was developed by nurses for nurses to help bridge the gap between knowledge and patient care. It helps guide rheumatology nurses in their approach to care across many of the more than 100 rheumatologic diseases throughout the lifespan of patients.
Certification Program Under Development
To further support the advancement of rheumatology nursing, in 2014, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the RNS announced the development of a new board certification through portfolio for rheumatology nursing. The new certification program is in development and anticipated to launch in early 2016.
“We are delighted and excited to endorse ANCC’s development of a board certification to recognize the passion, commitment and quality that rheumatology nurses bring to their practices and the care of their patients every day. ANCC board certification will provide a credible means for rheumatology nurses to validate their knowledge, engage in lifelong learning, and be recognized for their experience,” says RNS President Sheree C. Carter, PhD, RN.
For more information and to order the Core Curriculum for Rheumatology Nursing.