Oita University of Nursing and Health Sciences

The Nurse Practitioner Course


 The In 2008, we established a Master’s course to educate and train nurse practitioners (NPs), which was the first graduate school program for NPs in Japan. Our aim is to systematically train nurses of high expertise who have highly specialized medical knowledge, clinical reasoning ability and advanced practical and decision making skills, which is a level of ability nurses in Japan have not been trained to possess until now. We believe that by acquiring advanced practical skills, nurses can provide patients with peace of mind by offering timely, safe and effective medical care, and that NP education will lead to a further expansion of the role of nurses in Japan in the future.

Characteristics of Our Course

 The objective of our NP course is to train nurses to provide primary care, so our curriculum teaches how to conduct medical and nursing assessments from a comprehensive medical perspective and how to timely and appropriately manage the symptoms of clients in collaboration and cooperation with physicians.

 Our NP curriculum enumerates seven essential abilities that nurses are required to possess: 1) competency in comprehensive health assessment, 2) competency in the management of basic medical procedures, 3) skilled nursing practice capabilities, 4) nursing management capacity, 5) ability to collaborate and work in medical teams, 6) competency in utilizing and developing local medical, health and welfare systems, and 7) ethical decision making capability. Students are required to acquire fifty five credits to complete the NP Master’s course. This includes fifteen credits of clinical practice to acquire practical skills and ability, comprised of six hundred hours of clinical practice, which is the standard in the United States.

 The objective of our NP course is to train and educate nurses who are able to offer a higher level of care based on medically sound clinical reasoning enhanced by advanced ability in physical assessment, pharmacology and pathology.

After Graduation

 As of March, 2014, twenty-six nurses have graduated from our NP course and are employed at outpatient departments and wards of hospitals, home medical care facilities, health centers for the elderly, and facilities for children with severe psychosomatic disorders. The evidence indicates that our graduates improve the overall efficiency of their workplace by raising the level of nursing care, improving communication in medical teams, and increasing patient-family security by being able to offer more frequent and comprehensive consultation. In health centers for the elderly, the evidence shows that preventive interventions by our graduates reduce hospitalizations by approximately half, reduce fevers of unknown origins, and lead to earlier diagnose and treatment. In home nursing stations, our graduates can provide treatment to critically ill patients and end-of-life care patients at home. In hospital wards, our graduates provide early inspection and treatment of patients while physicians are occupied with consultation and surgical procedures, leading to an overall increase in efficiency of care.