Friday, October 23, 2009

New Family Nurse Practitioner Option

The College of Nursing has received approval for its Graduate Nursing Program’s new Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) option from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The establishment of both a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree and post-master’s certificate option was approved. Students can enroll in the FNP option starting in January 2010.

Why add the FNP option to the existing adult, pediatric and geriatric nurse practitioner (NP) specialties at Villanova? The FNP program was developed to meet the need for increasing numbers of nurse practitioners who can care for patients across the lifespan. “Family nurse practitioners are the most versatile NP population as they can meet the health care needs of a wide range of patients in a variety of practice settings,” explains Elizabeth Blunt, PhD, RN, APN BC, assistant professor, coordinator of the NP programs and an FNP herself, “Our students have been asking for this option so they have flexibility in employment options including sites such as nurse managed health centers, retail clinics and emergency department and urgent care centers.”

The FNP option is 47 credits with 730 clinical hours for the MSN degree, or students may complete an FNP post-master’s certificate of varying credits –up to 36—depending on education background. Students will benefit not only from the partnership with faculty who bring their current clinical experiences and mentorship into the classroom but also the integration of procedures such as suture workshops into the curriculum. The FNP option is structured so that nurse practitioners with a population focus in an area other than family can complete the FNP requirements, usually within one year.

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