RN Role Reimagine: A Paradigm Shift in Primary Care

RN Role Reimagine: A Paradigm Shift in Primary Care

Today’s U.S. healthcare system are challenged with the complexity partially due to an increase shortage of primary care providers and a move for improving collaborative care. There is a push for health care delivery system redesign and for RNs in expanded roles in primary care settings. However, most traditional nursing schools do not prepare prelicensure nursing students to practice in primary care settings. As the largest segment of the U.S. workforce, RNs are in a unique position to meet patients’ healthcare needs by increasing access and be part of team-based practice models in the primary care setting. This presentation describes a recent developed primary care didactic course for RNs interested in learning and/or transitioning to the primary care setting.


Blanca Iris Padilla, PhD, MBA-C, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP

Blanca Iris Padilla, PhD, MBA-C, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP, is an Associate Professor at the Duke School of Nursing. She has been a nurse educator for over 16 years teaching advanced practice nurses and doctoral of nursing practice students. Her nursing experiences include trauma-critical care at Vanderbilt’s Level 1 Trauma center, emergency department, and surgical intensive care. She is also a Family Nurse Practitioner with over 18 years of experience in Primary Care managing acute and chronic conditions, specifically diabetes and diabetes-related comorbid conditions, to socioeconomically diverse patients. Dr. Padilla has been instrumental in creating and leading “diabetes clinics” in primary care using a team-based approach. She strongly believes in delivering interprofessional team-based quality care to patients and continues to model this approach. She currently practices as a diabetes consultant in a federally qualified health center and at Duke Regional Hospital inpatient Diabetes Management Service. Her passion for nursing leadership and expanding the nursing role in the primary care setting has led her to successfully develop a course for Registered Nurses interested in transitioning from the inpatient to the Primary Care setting.