Meeting the Demand: Community-Based Care

New physician assistants & nurse practitioners will be crucial in meeting the growing demand for care. As the internal medicine nursing supervisor at NSUH, Verna Hamilton-Israel, RN, NP, mentors nurses in their work to maintain quality measures.

Getting older means seeing life through an experienced lens. It can also mean visiting the doctor’s office more often. Health issues can come with the territory. The new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Graduate Nursing and Health Professions will help meet the graying population’s increasing need for medical care.

An expansion of the organizations’ successful medical school partnership, the school will educate nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), who have become popular health partners for many Americans. Consider: The number of NPs in the US has doubled in the last decade, from 106,000 in 2004 to 205,000 in 2014, according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Similarly, the number of PAs grew 219 percent from 2003 to 2013, according to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Pending New York State approval, the school will offer a three-year, part-time program leading to a Master of Science degree in nursing as a family nurse practitioner or an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. It will also house the university’s two existing programs in PA studies — a dual-degree program and a graduate program.

“Meeting the need for accessible, high-quality health care requires well-trained medical professionals of all types. This is a natural next step in our partnership with the North Shore-LIJ Health System,” said Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University.

Expanding the Patient-Centered Focus

The new school will continue the innovative, holistic, patient-centered approach to care pioneered by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. The educational model focuses on treating people rather than illnesses and emphasizes community-based care.

“As our population continues to age and more people become insured as part of the Affordable Care Act, NPs and PAs will be key in meeting the growing demand for care,” said Kathleen Gallo, RN, PhD, the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s senior vice president and chief learning officer and associate professor of science education at the School of Medicine. “With the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and this new school focused on the training of future NPs and PAs, we have a unique opportunity to pursue an interprofessional education curriculum that differs from any other in the New York area.” Dr. Gallo is the founding dean of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Graduate Nursing and Health Professions.

“Through this new school, we’re taking another step toward redesigning medical and nursing education to reflect the rapid changes occurring in the way health care is accessed, delivered and paid for in this country,” said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.


At a Glance: NPs and PAs

Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) give patients the same standard of care. They practice in all 50 states and Washington, DC, with some regulations differing by state.

PAs earn a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s in physician assistant studies, health or medical science. In New York State, they practice under the supervision of a physician.

NPs are nurses with advanced clinical training who have earned a master’s or doctorate degree. In New York State, NPs practice with a collaborating physician or, if they have more than 3600 hours of hands-on NP experience, with a licensed health care facility.

NPs and PAs can:

  • perform a physical exam;
  • diagnose an injury or illness;
  • set bones;
  • order and interpret tests;
  • give immunizations;
  • write prescriptions; and
  • teach patients how to manage illness. 


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