INDIANAPOLIS – WGU Indiana today announced the launch of a Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner program (MSN FNP) in response to students and graduates who recognized the need for FNPs statewide. The graduate program – which is offered in 24 states nationwide – provides students the specialized education and clinical training required for the FNP national certification exam and is designed for licensed registered nurses (RNs) who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), WGU’s online MSN FNP program consists of 16 courses and 48 competency units (CUs), the equivalent to the traditional credit hour. While the degree completion trajectory was designed in five six-month terms, it is possible for students to graduate earlier by advancing through coursework at a faster pace through close collaboration with their Program Mentors.
The demand for qualified Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) is increasing in Indiana and nationwide for a variety of reasons, including a shortage of primary care physicians, which transfers additional work to the nursing staff. Thus, FNPs play a critical role in todayʼs evolving healthcare system serving as primary and specialty care providers to millions of patients. FNPs assess patients, diagnose illness, create treatment plans, write prescriptions, and bring a holistic perspective to healthcare. FNPs often specialize in areas like family care, adult and geriatric care, womenʼs health and pediatrics.
“My goal is to continue at my current employer and work as a Family Nurse Practitioner in some form and continue to learn from some of the amazing FNPs and Family Practice Physicians that we have at our facility,” said Kayla Kellams, WGU Indiana graduate, nurse at Sullivan County Community Hospital and the first WGU FNP student nationwide. “Eventually, I plan to specialize in geriatrics and potentially see patients in local long-term care facilities. My hope is to always be able to provide care to those in my local community.”
The MSN FNP program was developed for nurses ready to transition into advanced clinical practice, delivering care to individuals, families and communities. By mastering competencies consistent with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), graduates of WGU Indiana’s MSN FNP program can go on to work in primary care and community clinics, hospitals, nursing care facilities, long-term care facilities and more. Additionally, in 2020 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a growth of around 19% in this field of work, well above the national average.
“Our goal at WGU Indiana is to provide our students with the mastered skills necessary to meaningfully contribute to Indiana’s evolving workforce,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Alison Bell. “The increasing need for specialized nurses combined with the fact that our students have been asking for a Family Nurse Practitioner program for years, makes this a necessary and exciting opportunity for healthcare professionals in communities across Indiana.”
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About WGU Indiana
WGU Indiana is an online, competency-based university established to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of WGU, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), College of Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). WGU Indiana has helped over 9,000 Hoosiers achieve their dream of completing a college degree. Another 5,600 students are currently enrolled. Learn more at www.wgu.edu/indiana.