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Practicing Clinicians Exchange Forms Partnership With Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation
Date:5/6/2009

STAMFORD, Conn., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Practicing Clinicians Exchange (PCE) has formed a partnership with the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Foundation to provide continuing education programs to nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) throughout the United States.

The partnership capitalizes on the strengths of both organizations. The RLS Foundation is a leader in advocacy and research in RLS, and PCE is the national leader in providing continuing education focused solely on the needs of NPs and PAs.

It is estimated that 1 in every 10 Americans suffers from RLS. The disease is characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs combined with unpleasant sensations in the legs. Symptoms often occur at night, disrupting sleep and causing a reduced quality of life. RLS occurs frequently, yet the disease is not well understood by the public or clinicians. Effective screening and symptom recognition should be a focus of primary care clinicians to reduce the burden of this disease.

With the US population aging and fewer physicians practicing primary care, the country is facing a healthcare emergency of too many patients and too few doctors. NPs and PAs are instrumental in solving this crisis by filling the primary care role once solely held by physicians. This has led to a primary care tipping point, with NPs and PAs collectively numbering over 200,000, and increasing by more than 14,000 per year.

Georgianna Bell, executive director of the RLS Foundation, sees NPs and PAs as having vital roles in the identification and management of RLS: "NPs and PAs provide patient-centered care that allows them to recognize RLS symptoms and appreciate the impact of the condition on those who suffer from it. With awareness and education about RLS continuing to grow, we're pleased to be working with PCE to educate this emerging segment of healthcare practitioners on a national scale."

"PCE has the unique ability to develop educational content specifically for NPs and PAs. The partnership between PCE and the RLS Foundation will better prepare clinicians to keep a high index of suspicion for the symptoms of RLS, and help patients improve their quality of life," said Mary D. Knudtson, DNSc, NP, FAAN, a nurse practitioner from Irvine, California, and a frequent moderator of PCE symposia.

"PCE is delighted to be partnering with the RLS Foundation for this educational initiative," said Bradley Mock of PCE. "The RLS Foundation aims to increase knowledge and research about RLS, and PCE plans to accomplish this by educating the country's growing ranks of NPs and PAs. NPs and PAs are cost-effective, highly trained members of the healthcare team and a critical part of the solution to our nation's healthcare crisis. We are very excited and confident that this partnership will further the mission of the RLS Foundation and PCE to bring quality care to patients suffering from RLS."

About the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation: Established in 1992, the RLS Foundation is the nation's leading health organization dedicated solely to RLS. The mission of the RLS Foundation is to increase awareness, improve treatment, and encourage research to find a cure for the condition. The RLS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Rochester, Minnesota.

About Practicing Clinicians Exchange: Since 2006, PCE (www.practicingclinicians.com) has been the national leader in providing continuing education focused solely on the educational needs of NPs and PAs. PCE conducts an 18-city national symposia series and home study activities reaching more than 50,000 clinicians and extends its reach through a variety of formats, including regional and local symposia, dinner meetings, satellite symposia, Web conferences, e-courses, monographs, supplements, CD-ROMs, and other Web-based programs via its large database of NPs and PAs. Visit www.practicingclinicians.com for more information. PCE is a division of Continuing Education Alliance.

    Contact: Eric VanStone
    203.316.2149
    evanstone@cealliance.org
    www.cealliance.org
    www.practicingclinicians.com

    Continuing Education Alliance
    1 Dock Street, Suite 510
    Stamford, CT 06902 USA
    Phone: 203.316.2100
    Fax: 203.487.0406


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SOURCE Practicing Clinicians Exchange
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