RN Patient Advocates | Your Healthcare Safety Net

RNPA Learning Intensive

Welcome and thank you for your interest in
RN Patient Advocacy

Jointly provided by the University of Arizona, Continuing Nursing Education, and endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association, RN Patient Advocates, PLC is the national leader in RN patient advocacy, education, and professional development.

The RN Patient Advocates/University of Arizona College of Nursing Learning Intensive is created to open new areas of knowledge and skills for the RNPA students in order that each may find and follow her/his own passion and practice as an independent RN Patient Advocate – meeting the pressing needs in the medical system today.

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!

Registration is Limited.

Download our New Updated 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, through exploration of actual case studies. 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 clients, 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 35 students. Early application is recommended. ***

  • The 5 months 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, PLC., 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 Program is held in Tucson, Arizona at the University of Arizona 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, 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).

  • Course Content
    Download the 2018 Course Content

    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, PLC, 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, PLC
*For additional information about Karen Mercereau including the history of RN Patient Advocates, PLC

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 Program 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:

  • 5 months of online (web-based) education
  • A six-day residential immersion program 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, PLC and 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 $6,399

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, PLC, has 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 for Class 12 2018 To Be Announced