2021-2022 Class of Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners stand with program
managers in front of the ICHS International District Medical & Dental Clinic. L-R: Manaye Utaile,
Megan Wilbert ARNP Residency Director, Jenifer Reyes, Lingshan Chen, Thuy-Chau Le,
Michelle Tran, Atalaya Ombati, and Scott Sato, ARNP Deputy Director. Photo courtesy of ICHS.

International Community Health Services (ICHS) has opened online applications for the 2023-2024 ICHS Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Residency program. Candidates interested in community health care and passionate about shaping the landscape of health equity should apply on ICHS’ website before February 17, 2023.

Founded in 2014, the residency’s mission is to educate and retain well-rounded, highly autonomous, effective, and culturally-competent family nurse practitioners. The residency was the first to be accredited in the U.S.

The residency is a full-time, salaried position with benefits. A five-part curriculum, delivered from top-notch clinicians and educators includes: a ramp up schedule, continual education with weekly didactics, and exposure to clinical specialties.

Four residency positions are available. Residents commit to 13 months of employment at ICHS from September 11, 2023 through October 12, 2024.

“The residency was a very humbling experience. It’s humbling because the more we learn from each other and from our preceptors, the more I feel like I should continue to learn… I realize how much of an impact I can make as a primary care provider in a community health center like ICHS.” — Jennifer Reyes, 2021-2022 cohort resident

“Both humbling and also rewarding”

It is a common refrain that not everything can be taught in a classroom. That is certainly true for clinicians providing holistic care to diverse populations. The ICHS residency’s strength is in the combination of intensive hands-on learning and a strong support system, which can provide invaluable professional development opportunities for residents.

“I would definitely do it again,” said Chau-Le, ARNP, 2021-2022 cohort resident. “You learn so much and you consistently feel supported, which is what you may not feel if you’re brand new right off the bat, going into a field where your training might be a month or two before you’re expected to be on your own. And so definitely for those who want to join a residency, I would recommend it, but realize it’s not going to be easy.”

Residents care for patients with complex health challenges. ICHS delivers affordable, high-quality health care services, reaching populations of disadvantaged and underserved immigrant and refugee communities. However, dedicated preceptors, with decades of primary care experience, provide feedback, tools, and lessons for nursing practitioners to build a sustainable career.

A key component of ICHS’ ARNP Residency is the continuity clinic. Nurse practitioner
residents develop their own patient panel while having an ICHS provider exclusively
assigned to them for precepting. Photo courtesy of ICHS.

Jenifer Reyes, 2021-2022 cohort resident says, with a laugh, that the residency was more like diving into the deep end then dipping her toe into community health. “I also learned a lot of stuff that’s not necessarily clinical, but how to be a better provider,” said Reyes.

Residents are taught how to manage the behind-the-scenes work of a provider such as developing better charting, diagnostics and lab management skills. Weekly specialty days rotations bring residents across many different specialty sites to experience patient referrals and learn more of each process.

“Being able to get a glimpse of other specialties and what they do once we do refer patients over [to them] was really insightful,” said Chau-Le.

“Our [ICHS] patients were from Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Afghanistan, China, they have not been able to see any providers or even get preventative care in their native country. On some occasions we are their first contact with a provider who can educate about preventative care. So what we say really does matter to them and many of them take it to heart. And that is both humbling and also rewarding. And at the same, it gave me a deep motivation to learn more so I can be an even better provider and educator.” — Jennifer Reyes, 2021-2022 cohort resident

The 13–month residency goes by quickly. At the end, ARNP residents often reflect that it was the friendships, mentorship, and teamwork that stuck out the most during their time.

“It’s just that cohesive, just being really close with one another,” said Chau. “I’ve made friends for life both with my colleagues that were in the same residency as me, but also the mentors that we had throughout residency.”

ICHS has been long aware of the importance of a pipeline of qualified health professionals that reflect the communities in which it serves. Many of ICHS’ ARNP residency program participants opt to stay on at ICHS after graduation, engaging their talents in a vibrant community health center.

Applications for ICHS’ 2023-2024 ARNP residency program are currently being accepted until February 17, 2023. Click here to apply and for more information.

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