WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of National Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 11-17), MinuteClinic, the nation's largest provider of retail-based medical clinics, salutes the outstanding patient care delivered by nurse practitioners and continues to expand its role as a leader in creating educational and career development opportunities for members of the profession.
"Every day, thousands of individuals across the United States see evidence of the compassion, care and patient education provided by nurse practitioners, and we see the appreciation for that care through consistently high customer satisfaction ratings," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., President, MinuteClinic and Senior Vice President/Associate Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark. "As the shortage of primary care physicians continues to grow and nurse practitioners play an even larger role in patient care, we are committed to creating advancement opportunities for clinicians through a growing program of preceptorships, residencies, scholarships and grants."
MinuteClinic employs more than 2,000 nurse practitioners and physician assistants who treat patients at more than 600 walk-in medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
In the past year, MinuteClinic has increased the number of nurse practitioner and physician assistant preceptorships at its clinics from 40 to more than 200. Spanning from a semester to a full academic year, the preceptorships give graduate-level students the opportunity to observe practitioners, learn clinical skills and see what it's like to work in a retail clinic setting.
In addition, MinuteClinic launched its first nurse practitioner residency program in September in conjunction with the school of nursing at the Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. The program supports eight new graduates in their first year of practice as they transition from the classroom to the professional role. It includes educational modules and mentor-supported clinical practice to further build on the practitioners' medical and career skills.
"We are currently working with more than 100 colleges and universities in the United States at various levels to support nurse practitioner and physician assistant education," said Paulette Thabault, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic. "We also believe in the importance of developing new continuing education and research grants for professionals."
MinuteClinic helps to fund scholarships at several schools and organizations including the United Negro College Fund and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professionals, and it supports the work of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Nurse Practitioners and American Nurses Association among others.
Through the American Nurses Foundation, MinuteClinic helps to fund a grant for nurse practitioners who are pursuing their doctorate and conducting research into community-based health issues. In addition, MinuteClinic supports members of its practitioner team who are conducting research as part of their doctorate studies through a series of select grants issued by an internal review board.
MinuteClinic medical clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia and hepatitis A & B are available at most locations. Walk-in camp, sports, college and DOT physicals are available daily. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
MinuteClinic practitioners use a software program that at the conclusion of each visit generates educational material, an invoice and a prescription (when clinically appropriate) for the patient, as well as a diagnostic record that is sent via electronic health record, fax or mail to a primary care provider with patient permission.
MinuteClinic is open seven days a week, including weekday evening hours. No appointment is necessary, and most health care insurance is accepted. For patients paying cash or credit, treatment prices are posted at each clinic and on www.minuteclinic.com. The cost for most services starts at $79.
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 600 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than 13 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive three consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.