RN Patient Advocates | Your Healthcare Safety Net

RNPA Learning Intensive

Welcome and thank you for your interest in
RN Patient Advocacy

Partnered with University of Arizona's College of Nursing and endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association, RN Patient Advocates, PLLC is the national leader in RN patient advocacy, education, and professional development.

RN Patient Advocacy is a growing profession for clinical RNs who are ready to apply their expertise, experience, and passion toward independent practice and patient-centered care. The RNPA Learning Intensive is the only program of its kind developed by and for clinical RNs. It is an advanced and comprehensive education program that equips graduates with the skills and tools needed to practice as independent RN Patient Advocates (iRNPAs).

Enrollment for the Next RNPA Learning Intensive is Open!
May 1 - Sept 1, 2017: Eleven-week Online Education Component
October 2 - 7, 2017: Residential Immersion in Tucson, AZ

Registration is Limited.

Tuition cost is $5899

Download our RNPA Learning Intensive Brochure

The course content centers on the RN Patient Advocacy Process©, an investigative clinical approach to patient-centered care that has been refined and improved since 2002. The first two months of the online component are intensive mentoring with Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA, to initiate students into the creative and expanding mindset of the RN Patient Advocate. The extensive Pre-course Reading List lays the foundation for understanding the health care system context from which the iRNPA nursing role has emerged as a necessity. It introduces the student to new emerging medical paradigms with a special emphasis on Integrative and Functional Medicine and Systems Biology.

The Learning Intensive includes an emphasis on professional empowerment by teaching students to maximize presentation and negotiation skills to work collaboratively and effectively with physicians, institutions, and all members of the healthcare team. Additionally, the Learning Intensive provides a comprehensive introduction to the business components of an independent practice including seminars on marketing, financial management, and overview of the legal aspects such as contracts, insurance, and liability. *** To maximize individual learning opportunities, class size is limited to 25 students. Early application is recommended. ***

  • The Eleven-Week Online Learning Component is facilitated through the University of Arizona’s internet learning platform as well as through the password protected site of the National Network called the RNPA Café!. Students learn the RN Patient Advocacy Process© which is unique to iRNPAs and includes an introduction to The Medical Timeline - a forensic approach to analyzing medical records and developing Areas of Investigation for their clients. Students learn Motivational Interviewing techniques and develop a further understanding of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Additionally, students are introduced to the business components of an independent consulting practice such as marketing and financial management. Students work in groups and will be expected to complete one learning module per week and are required to stay on schedule to receive educational contact hours. The online component utilizes computer testing on the University of Arizona Learning Platform where each student is responsible for answering test questions individually. The RNPA Café!, created by RN Patient Advocates, PLLC., is the central communication area for all iRNPA network members. The Café! is filled with member only content including educational videos, discussion boards and access to professional news and resources.

  • The Six-Day Residential Immersion is held in Tucson, Arizona at the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing campus. This component builds upon and expands all previous material presented, with an emphasis on learning the RN Advocacy Process© and The Medical Timeline SM  through lecture by lead faculty Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA, and practice with actual case studies. The faculty is enhanced by practicing iRNPA's: Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA, Lana Benton, RN, iRNPA, Ruth Rinehart, RN, iRNPA, Nan Wetherhorn, RN, iRNPA and Jessica Koegel, RN, iRNPA and Mellisa Cardine, RN, iRNPA. The residential program is further enhanced by a teaching staff of nationally recognized physicians who present lectures and seminars on Integrative and Functional Medicine therapies, biotoxins, nutrition. Trisha Torrey, of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, facilitates a seminar on starting - your own successful iRNPA practice. The immersion classroom experience facilitates community building as a foundation for the support we all need as we launch our own RN Patient Advocacy practice. Engaged with a professional group of peers, classes are held from 8am to 6pm each day including an introduction to Roots Well Being, an iRNPA designed wellness program to enhance your learning during this program. (See information about the Teaching Staff below).

Post Course Opportunities/Support
The RNPA Learning Intensive tuition includes:

  • Initial 3 months membership in National Network is included in your tuition after which you will then be eligible to join. The National Network offers mentoring, communication and other benefits which can be found on the National Network Benefits page.
  • Free One-Year Membership to Patient Advocate Career Exploration (PACE) through The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA) is included in your tuition.
  • Discounted Tuition to become a Facilitator/Provider to market Roots Wellbeing, the leading edge wellness program created by Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA. This will provide an additional revenue stream for iRNPAs.
  • The potential to become a certified provider of the MEDiKEYSM  The medical record analysis service designed to provide physicians with all pertinent medical and history information. This will reduce the number of misdiagnoses and inaccurate therapeutic choices. This will also be a teaching tool for your clients as well as provide an additional revenue stream for iRNPA practice
  • National Network Members also receive discounted access to several specialized iRNPA programs to increase your revenue stream.

  • The National Network provides an online platform for professional iRNPAs to share knowledge, experience, and practice support, as well as marketing material for iRNPA services, referrals by region for inquiries received through RN Patient Advocates, PLLC, and a growing list of benefits. Graduates of the RNPA Learning Intensive receive 3 months of Membership in National Network of RN Patient Advocates included in your tuition. Learn More on the National Network Page.

    Teaching Staff

    Residential Intensive Lead Faculty
    Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA - Founder and CEO, RN Patient Advocates, PLLC
    *For additional information about Karen Mercereau including the history of RN Patient Advocates, PLLC

    Lead Faculty for Online Component
    Mary Koithan, PhD, CNS-BC, FAAN, Cheryl Lacasse, MS, RN, OCN, Paula E. Galvin - Specialist, Instructional Design, Mari Tankanoff,

    Lectures and Seminars presented by Nationally Recognized Teaching Staff
    Experts in their fields will present on topics ranging from Integrative and Functional Medicine to Naturopathic Oncology to Bookkeeping and Marketing. Click here to read more.

    The Residential Immersion includes classroom support from practicing iRNPAs who will participate in the seminars and lead panel discussions on billing, independent practice, and self-employment.

    Karen Hallbauer, RNC-OB, iRNPA
    Karen DiMarco, RN, BSN, iRNPA
    Jessica Koegel, RN, iRNPA

    The RNPA Learning Intensive includes:

    • Eleven weeks of online (web-based) education
    • A six-day residential immersion course in Tucson, AZ
    • Course Material including the Learning Intensive Course Content Flash Drive and the RN Patient Advocate Appendix (Resource Material) on two separate USB drives
    • An extensive List of Recommended Reading
    • A two-hour post-course group conference call with Karen Mercereau RN, iRNPA
    • A one-year complimentary membership to Patient Advocate Career Exploration (PACE) through the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates
    • A three-month introductory membership in the National Network of RN Patient Advocates
    • All relevant Advocacy forms will be available as a member of the RN National Network at a reduced rate such as a service contract and HIPAA release form template

    Upon completion of the coursework graduates will:

    • Receive a Certificate of Completion from RN Patient Advocates, PLLC and The University of Arizona College of Nursing and be awarded over 90 contact hours. The University of Arizona Continuing Nursing Education is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

    The Tuition Total is $5,899

    Tuition for the Learning Intensive and associated expenses are typically tax deductible (IRS Form 970). Check with your tax preparer. Note: travel, meals, and accommodation are not included in the tuition. RNPA has a preferred hotel provider at reduced rates. Payment Plans are available for qualified applicants. Call for more information: 520-743-7008

    RN Patient Advocates, PLLC, in association with the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing, have created the leading education program to prepare you to enter the field of RN Patient Advocacy. If you are ready for a new career, you can join the vanguard of this national nursing initiative and become an independent RN Patient Advocate. APPLY TODAY.

    What RNPA Graduates Are Saying About the Learning Intensive

      “In a year’s time after taking the RNPA Learning Intensive, my career, my health, my family, my very life has been transformed. I am forever grateful.” — Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA

      “The way of the future of nursing...an absolute must if you want to make and be the difference in righting the wrongs of healthcare. Karen is a wonderful mentor who has put her soul into this program. Passion, Vision, Perseverance.” — Lana Benton, RN, iRNPA

      “The forethought, experience, openness, philosophy and preparation provides all the tools, thought process, and confidence to begin and succeed as an iRNPA.” — Leta Gill, RN, iRNPA

      “My experience attending the iRNPA program was a refreshing one, to say the least. This program was packed with life changing information that is not readily taught or available to RN's. This program equipped me with the tools I need to be an iRNPA!  If you are ready for a change after working for many years in the clinical setting and are driven to help patients and families, this is the program for you!  Karen is a wealth of knowledge that is unmatched in the advocacy process.” — Jamie Long, RN, iRNPA

      “Thank you so much for putting together such an incredible RN PA intensive course!  It is truly intensive but so worth it!  I learned a lot and will be using the Medical Time Line and lab spreadsheet with as many clients as I can.  All great information and can’t wait to get my speaking engagements lined up now that I have your fantastic power points!”
      Nan Wetherhorn, RN, BSN, iRNPA
      Health Care Advisor

    The Learning Intensive Objectives
    New models of nursing care delivery continue to emerge in response to increasing chronic illness across the US population. The iRNPA certificate program introduces the knowledge and skills necessary to implement a consultative model of care delivery that coordinates the complex healthcare delivery necessary for individuals with acute and chronic illness. The iRNPA’s also work with individuals to reach their goals of optimal health and wellness.

    Program Objectives
    Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

    1. Implement the iRNPA patient care delivery model.
    2. Integrate various systems of care (homeopathy, naturopathy, integrative therapeutics) into their care coordination /advocacy plans.
    3. Create a business plan to launch their own iRNPA consultative practice.
    4. Build a practice management team for their iRNPA consultative practice.

        Up to 90 contact hours are offered for this program.

        Important Dates

        Feb. 14, 2017: Early Bird Discount Deadline

        April 24, 2017: Enrollment Deadline, including $1,499 Tuition Deposit

        May 1 - May 26, 2017: Part I of Online Intensive Components - Case Studies with Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA

        May 22, 2017: 2nd installment of $1,466.50 due

        June 5 - July 21, 2017: Part II of Online Intensive based on University of Arizona College of Nursing Learning Platform. There will be a gap week for July 4 holiday

        July 10, 2017: 3rd installment of $1466.50

        July 24 - August 25, 2017: Part III of Online Intensive based on RNPA Cafe

        August 28, 2017: 4th and final tuition installment due of $1466.50

        October 1, 2017: Arrive in Tucson, AZ (hotel discount arranged - no car rental necessary)

        October 1, 2017: Welcome Dinner

        October 2 - 7, 2017: Residential Immersion component held at University of Arizona College of Nursing, Tucson, AZ

        October 8, 2017: Depart from Tucson, AZ

        *Apply before February 14th to receive a $200 Early Bird Tuition Discount.