Oct 24, 2016
Florida Southern College is launching a new program in its School of Nursing and Health Sciences designed to prepare family nurse practitioners, who comprise a fast-growing and critically needed sector of healthcare in America.
The new program is one of four tracks in the master of science in nursing degree and will enroll its first class in January, said Dr. Linda Comer, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Applications are now being accepted for the competitive admissions process. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program and at least one year of experience as a registered nurse.
Nurse practitioners provide all forms of healthcare except surgery, including diagnosing acute and chronic conditions, prescribing medications, and suturing wounds. There are several specialties within the field, and family nurse practitioners are trained as primary care providers to care for patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. It is the largest specialty, with 55 percent of the almost 250,000 nurse practitioners nationwide.
The family nurse practitioner specialty was devised to address an increased need for primary care providers, especially in rural and urban settings where doctors are in short supply.
“It is the most versatile of the nurse practitioner degrees,” Dr. Comer said. “Studies have shown that the care provided by these nurse practitioners is of the same quality as physicians, and the approach to healthcare is a little more holistic and focused on wellness.”
The master of science in nursing at FSC can be completed in six semesters, and graduates are prepared to sit for a national certification exam as a family nurse practitioner. For nurses who already hold a MSN degree, the School of Nursing offers a post-masters certificate program that prepares them to take the family nurse practitioner certification exam.
For more information about the family nurse practitioner program or the master of science in nursing degree, call (863) 680-3090 or visit www.flsouthern.edu/sage/graduate/programs/master-of-science-in-nursing.