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 now open!
July 11th - Sept 30th, 2016: Online Education Component
Oct 24th - Oct 29th, 2016: Residential Immersion, Tucson AZ

Last time offered at $5299

Next Class Date
Sept 12th - Nov 22nd, 2016: Online Education Component
Jan 9th - Jan 14th, 2016: Residential Immersion, Tucson AZ

The curriculum centers on the Patient Advocacy Process ©, an investigative clinical approach to patient-centered care that has been refined and improved since 2002. The extensive Pre-course Reading List lays the foundation for understanding the healthcare 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 60 students. Early application is recommended. ***

  • The Eleven-Week Online Learning Component is facilitated through the University of Arizona’s internet learning platform. Students learn the 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. They 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 will complete one learning module per week and are required to stay on schedule. The online component utilizes computer testing on the University of Arizona Learning Platform where each student is responsible for answering test questions individually. The online component also will require RNPA students to work in the RNPA Café!, a password protected members only learning site in pre-assigned groups to answer questions pertaining to the Learning Intensive. The RNPA Café!, created by RN Patient Advocates, PLLC., 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 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, Melynda Ruckels, RN, iRNPA, Ruth Rinehart, RN, iRNPA, and Ann-Rose Dichov, 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, and starting/marketing your own successful iRNPA practice. The immersion classroom experience facilitates community building unlike any other RN advocacy education program. 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).

  • See the Course Content for the upcoming Learning Intensive

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 for Roots Wellbeing, the leading edge wellness program created by Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA.

  • 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
    Melynda Ruckels, RN, MSN, iRNPA
    Jessica Koegel, RN, iRNPA

    The 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 Notebook 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 $5,299

    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. Financing is 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.

    Tuition Discounts are available as follows:

    Enrolled RN Patient Advocate students are eligible to earn up to $1500 toward their tuition by referring up to 3 fellow RNs who apply and are accepted into the program. For each accepted RN whom you refer we will grant you a discount of $500 towards your tuition to the maximum amount of $1500.

    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

        June 1, 2016: Application Deadline

        June 11, 2016: Enrollment Deadline, including $1,499 Tuition Deposit

        July 1, 2016: 2nd installment of $1,900 due

        August 1, 2016: 3rd installment of $1,900 due. (Tuition Paid in Full)

        July 11 - Sept 30, 2016: Eleven-week Online Education Component
        (There will be a gap week from August 29-September 2 in observance of Labor Day.)

        October 23, 2016: Arrive in Tucson, AZ

        October 24 - Oct 29, 2016: Residential Immersion component held in Tucson, AZ

        October 30, 2016: Depart from Tucson, AZ
        *Apply before March 15th and complete enrollment before April 1st to receive a $200 Tuition Discount.