Nurse Practitioners Use AHRQ Research for Online Continuing Education

Comparative Effectiveness
October 2010

When the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) wanted to expand online continuing education (CE) opportunities for its 37,000 members, the group developed two online programs by incorporating AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program products.

After learning about the Effective Health Care clinician summary guides through an AHRQ Knowledge Transfer project, Mary Jo Goolsby, EdD, MSN, Director of Research and Education, saw an immediate opportunity to package these materials for AANP members. Goolsby wanted to incorporate AHRQ's Comparative Effectiveness Reviews and clinician summary guides as substantive course material that AANP members could review and then receive credit for based on knowledge adoption demonstrated on a post-test.

AANP'S online Continuing Education Center currently offers 48 programs for credit to help clinicians maintain their licensure requirements. Its CE credits are universally accepted by nurse practitioners. In the CE program, members read the provided material or watch an educational video before completing a post-test to earn nurse practitioner contact hours, often with pharmacology credit.

Goolsby sees the AHRQ resources as representing unbiased, evidence-based research syntheses with formats that facilitate numerous CE applications. She reports, "We're always looking for evidence-based opportunities for learning and so much of CE/CME is industry-sponsored. AHRQ is a wonderful resource for disseminating the latest research."

AANP launched a CE program in June 2009 based on AHRQ's Comparative Effectiveness Review, Comparative Effectiveness, Safety, and Indications of Premixed Insulin Analogues for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. The organization offered nurse practitioners 0.70 pharmacology contact hours for completion.

By the end of July 2009, 122 nurse practitioners had completed the post-test and 108 received credit. The online Continuing Education Center provides nurse practitioners with a link to both the full research report and the clinician summary guide for review. A link to the site can be found at

Due the success of the pre-mixed insulin analogues course, Goolsby recently launched a program on the Comparative Effectiveness Review, Comparative Effectiveness of ACEIs and ARBs for Treating Essential Hypertension. Goolsby notes, "I will definitely continue to use the [Comparative Effectiveness Reviews] as a source for CE material, because I know they continue to be well-received."

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Effective Health Care Program
Topics(s): Continuing Education
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Date: 10/01/2010


Comparative Effectiveness, Safety, and Indications of Insulin Analogues in Premixed Formulations for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. September 2008. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 14, AHRQ Pub. No. 08-EHC017-1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Comparative Effectiveness of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEIs) and Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists (ARBs) for Treating Essential Hypertension. January 2006. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 10, AHRQ Pub. No. 08-EHC003-1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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