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King University and Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Sign MOU; Family Nurse Practitioner Program Available in Abingdon Jan. 2016

King University & Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center sign MOUABINGDON, Va., Jan. 7, 2016 – Southwest Virginia registered nurses have an additional option to further their education and skill set. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between King University and Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center was signed on Jan. 7, 2016. Beginning Jan. 2016, King University will offer the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program as part of its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.

“We are grateful for our growing partnership with Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center,” said Matt Roberts, Ed.D., vice president for Academic Affairs at King University. “This is a tremendous opportunity for nurses in our region to achieve their dreams of not only furthering their education but also continuing to provide excellent health care to our community as a family nurse practitioner.”

“The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center is excited to partner with King University to bring the Nurse Practitioner program to Southwest Virginia,” says David Matlock, executive director at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. “The Higher Education Center has a strong history of contributing to the regional workforce, and this new program will expand our commitment to workforce preparation in healthcare.”

“This is the first King University FNP program in Virginia,” says Dr. Cecelia Lynn Holden, DNP, MEd, MSN, RN, CEN. “The effects of this new offering in Southwest Virginia include improved healthcare and increased job opportunities. The higher education community is excited because students can become an advanced practice nurse through Virginia sites and schools.”

King’s MSN FNP program is part of the University’s Graduate, Professional, and Online Studies programs (GPS), which offers degree programs one day per week in convenient locations. “The FNP program is designed with the working nurse in mind,” said Mona Salyer, assistant vice president of Enrollment Management GPS for the Tri-Cities. “While courses are set at an accelerated pace, students will be able to achieve their goal of advanced practice nursing and balance work, family, and school.”

The MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. The FNP concentration will provide 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. This culturally sensitive care includes health promotion, disease prevention, and management of common acute and chronic long-term health alterations. This care occurs in health department clinics, private practice offices, HMO clinics, community-based health centers, hospital clinics and units, correctional facilities, and other settings providing health care where nurses are committed to providing quality, cost-effective care.

“The MSN FNP program will be conducted both online and in person over five semesters,” says Holden. “The core courses in the MSN program will be offered online while the FNP courses are offered face-to-face on Tuesdays. Through exceptional communication, faculty are able to mirror the online experience with that of the classroom experience.”

The first cohort will include 18 students. “We anticipate increasing the number of students accepted to the program to 24 the following year,” comments Holden.

Upon graduation, students must pass a national certification exam to be licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Students must specify and apply for the state in which they plan to practice. Tennessee and Virginia offer multi-state compact licensure, which states a Family Nurse Practitioner can be licensed in only one of the two states, and it is reciprocal for the other. Additionally, FNP’s must also continue to keep their RN license current.

Prospective students interested in enrolling in King University’s MSN Family Nurse Practitioner cohort in Abingdon, Va., beginning spring 2016 are encouraged to contact King’s Office of Admissions at or 800.362.0014.

For additional information, contact Laura Boggan, associate director of communication for King University, at 423.652.4707 or David Matlock, executive director at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center at


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.