VMC nurse practitioner earns 
doctoral degree

Visalia Medical Clinic adult gerontology nurse practitioner Andrea Van Beek has earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Duke University.

Van Beek, who sees patients at VMC's anticoagulation clinic, described the new degree as focused on evidence-based practices, quality improvement and systems leadership. The program trains nurse leaders to implement research into a clinical practice.

"I wanted to further my education so that I can best help my patients receive the highest level of care, based upon evidence-based research," Van Beek noted. "The result will be a continual improvement in the care we provide. The DNP degree is not common in this area but it is going to prove to be very valuable to our patients."

As part of her studies, Van Beek designed a quality improvement project looking at the result of implementing home testing for her patients who are on anticoagulation medications such as Coumadin and need to have frequent blood draws. Her project demonstrated that the home testing helped to reduce adverse events, improved patient satisfaction and kept the patients' key numbers in target range, more often than the national average.

Van Beek also holds a master's degree in nursing from Duke University, a bachelor's degree in nursing from California State University, Bakersfield, and is board-certified as an adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

Visalia Medical Clinic, an affiliate of the Kaweah Delta Medical Foundation, offers the expertise of more than 60 providers. VMC also offers a lab and imaging including CT and MRI. For information, call 739-2000 or visit www.vmchealth.com.