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King University News :: Nursing Adds Family Nurse Practitioner Trac to Master's Program

With the rekindling of classes this August, King College's School of Nursing officially began offering the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration as part of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program.

We are delighted to add the Family Nurse Practitioner program to King's School of Nursing and Graduate Professional Studies curriculum, said Dr. Paul Percy, provost for King College. King College recognizes the increasing medical need within our community and the surrounding region. We are committed to the development of programs designed to help meet those needs.

The MSN program, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, prepares professional nurses for a specialty role in advanced practice nursing, leadership in the nursing profession as nursing administrators and educators, and for future doctoral studies. Students learn the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to function in increasingly complex health care settings.

The new FNP concentration provides graduates with advanced practice role preparation, knowledge, and diagnostic reasoning skills in the care of children and adults across all ages within a family framework, said Dr. Johanne Quinn, dean for King's School of Nursing. This culturally sensitive care includes health promotion, disease prevention, and management of common acute and chronic long-term health alterations, and occurs in health department clinics, private practice offices, HMO clinics, community-based health centers, hospital clinics and units, and other settings providing health care where our nurses are committed to providing quality, cost-effective care.

In 2006, King College was approved to offer graduate programs leading to the Master of Science in Nursing with concentrations in Nursing Administration, or a combined Nursing Administration/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA), Nursing Education, and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and as of Aug. 2011, Family Nurse Practitioner.

Nationally there is more of an emphasis on primary care,said Lizanne Elliott, assistant professor of nursing. There are not enough providers to fill the need in primary care. We have had a large interest by students in this region to obtain their Nurse Practitioner education, to be part of the healthcare reform that is taking place, and become primary care providers.

Family Nurse Practitioner's help to fill a role between nurse and physician. A Nurse Practitioner is a nurse with advanced practice preparation with clinical skills who can diagnose and treat patients with minor acute illnesses stable chronic illnesses.

The options are limitless as far as what a FNP can do, said Elliott. In this first cohort of 13 for the FNP trac, we are seeing students who come from a wide range of backgrounds including areas such as neonatal, pediatrics, obstetrics, ICU, emergency, many other clinic offices.

The FNP curriculum requires 45 credit hours to be taken over 20 months, one day per week. The curriculum contains a minimum of 600 hours of required clinical practice in pediatrics, women's health and adult care, most of which may be arranged by the student in her or his own community. Graduates of the program and those who complete the FNP post-master's certificate are eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).