Nurse Practitioner's Dermatology Fellowship at Lahey Clinic

    United States

    Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Dermatology


    The Dermatology Fellowship

    To help meet the needs of our patients, Lahey Clinic has developed a unique, intensive, full-time fellowship program in the specialty of dermatology for certified nurse practitioners.

    Our objective is to provide, in a one-year course, a thorough, didactic and clinical curriculum that will prepare trainees to become valuable providers in any dermatology setting. Fellows will be exposed to various academic settings that will foster and expand their knowledge base.

    This program is funded by Lahey Clinic, and fellows are hired as employees with a training salary and full benefits. It is designed as a 40-hour-per week residency style training.

    Lahey Clinic dermatologists practice in Burlington, Lexington and Peabody, Mass. Some portion of the training will occur at each of these sites. All department physicians and nurse practitioners participate as preceptors in the program.


    Lahey Clinic's Department of Dermatology is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School Dermatology Residency Program. This allows our fellows to participate in weekly Grand Rounds and other didactic sessions sponsored by the residency.

    Grand Rounds and other lectures are held at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston.

    Eligibility Requirements

    This program is designed for certified nurse practitioners who have a lifelong commitment to learning and who are seeking a career in dermatology. Several years of clinical experience in a general medical setting is preferred. Massachusetts state licensure and nurse practitioner certification is also required.

    Application Procedure

    Applications are accepted from January 1 to March 1. A personal interview with potential candidates is required, if possible.

    To apply for the fellowship, please submit the following materials:

    • A personal statement, including future professional goals in the field of dermatology
    • A resume, including a description of past dermatology experience, if any
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation, at least one from your current or recent supervising physician

    Inquiries and applications, including letters of reference, should be directed to:

    Mary Nolen, ANP, BC
    Lahey Clinic
    Dermatology Department
    41 Mall Road
    Burlington, MA 01805

    Telephone: 781-744-1750

    Selection Process

    All applications will be reviewed by Nancy Burnside, MD, medical director, and Mary Nolen, ANP, BC, program director.

    Finalists for the positions will be offered an interview in March/April. Final selection will be completed by the beginning of May. The fellowship commences in September.


    The nurse practitioner fellowship is a full 12-month program beginning in mid-September and ending in mid-August and exposes the fellows to all aspects of dermatology. Although the focus of the program is medical dermatology, the fellows will have an opportunity to observe and become familiar with common cosmetic procedures, as our department is affiliated with Lahey's Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery. Various diagnostic and surgical procedures will be taught and competency in these areas is essential to the completion of the program.

    A wide range of clinical disease is presented, but continuous self-learning and independent research is an essential component. Experience will be gained in other aspects of dermatology including:

    • Dermoscopy
    • Phototherapy
    • Cryotherapy
    • Wound Care
    • Pharmacology
    • Inpatient consultation

    This fellowship covers the full spectrum of clinical dermatology for the nurse practitioner that is interested in pursuing a career in this specialty. It is an intense and demanding year with unique opportunities for clinical advancement. Networking with other nurse practitioners in the specialty is another facet of this program that has been greatly appreciated by previous fellows. Elective opportunities are available later in the year as special interests develop.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How long has the program been in existence?

    A: The program began in September, 2003.

    Q: How many candidates are accepted each year?

    A: We accept two candidates a year for the program.

    Q: How much experience is required?

    A: One to two years of experience in a nurse practitioner role is preferred. We have found that it is much more difficult to learn the specialty of dermatology while also trying to learn the role of a nurse practitioner. This does not preclude you from applying; however, your chances for admission may be diminished. Dermatology experience is not necessary.

    Q: Which nurse practitioner certification is preferred?

    A: The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certification will give you the greatest flexibility. In Massachusetts, any certification is accepted, but this is not the case in all states. If you are certified as a pediatric, women's health or adult nurse practitioner, you may be restricted to practice dermatology within the guidelines of that certification and in accordance with your state regulations. Please check with your state Board of Registration in Nursing.

    Q: Would you consider a physician assistant for the program?

    A: Presently, the program is designed specifically for nurse practitioners.

    Q: What are some of the responsibilities involved with the program?

    A: The fellows spend eight, four-hour sessions each week in the dermatology clinic with one of our staff physicians or nurse practitioners. Responsibilities and procedures are increased as the fellows progress. One half-day per week is devoted to Grand Rounds, with patient viewing and didactic lectures at Massachusetts General Hospital in collaboration with the Dermatology Residency Program. Each fellow is responsible for a clinical presentation due every other week, which is delivered to the department at a lunchtime meeting. There is also one, four-hour session per week designated for research and preparation of the presentations.

    Q: Where do the program graduates end up working?

    A: One of our graduates is currently employed in our department at Lahey Clinic, and two other graduates spent at least one year in our department before joining other practices. Two fellows went to work for a multi-specialty group practice in New Hampshire, and another moved to a private practice in California. All graduates had employment at the completion of the program.