Roberts announces nurse practitioner graduate degree

COURTESY OF ROBERTS WESLEYAN COLLEGE
Stock photo.

Roberts Wesleyan College announced a new graduate degree offering that will address a growing need for nurse practitioners in the health field.  

The M.S. Family Nurse Practitioner program is designed for working registered nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and are seeking licensure and certification to provide primary care as a family nurse practitioner for infants through older adulthood.  

All coursework will be delivered online, except for a one-week, on-site diagnostics and skills laboratory course. The 54-credit hour program, registered by New York state and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, will be available to prospective students starting in January and can be completed on a part-time basis within three years. 

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that overall employment of nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives is projected to grow 45% from 2019 to 2029. According to the bureau’s estimates, increased demand for health care services and greater emphasis on preventive care within the field has led to the growth in demand for skilled nurse practitioners. 

“For many years, people have asked if we had a nurse practitioner program,” said Cheryl Crotser, dean and graduate program director of the school of nursing. “We made every effort to meet that growing demand through the development of this new offering to help address the need for nurse practitioners, and to meet the health care needs of our community and beyond.” 

Grounded in nursing science, the research and evidence-based curriculum will develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage the health care of individuals and their families by providing preventive and primary care, promoting health and managing chronic conditions. The program is designed to build knowledge and skill in nursing science, leadership, quality, technology, policy, health delivery systems and independent clinical practice. 

“The curriculum takes a holistic and patient-centered approach that will develop skills in pharmacology, health assessment, informatics, health care policy and more,” Crotser said. “Regionally, we are very fortunate to have an incredible network of health care organizations and providers that are delivering cutting-edge care to patients. There is so much potential for graduates of this program to tap into this vast community network beyond their studies to support and improve equitable care and positive health outcomes locally, regionally and globally.” 

Assistant professor Amy Rama will lead the program. Rama specializes as a family nurse practitioner and held positions in older adult care and home health settings.  

“Nurse practitioners are established nurses first,” Rama said. “This program will build on those nursing skills to prepare students to comprehensively treat, diagnose, prescribe and educate a wide range of patients.” 

Coursework will prepare RNs to care for all age groups, spanning topics such as women’s health, care of the adult and older adult, pediatric care and related subjects taught by expert faculty. Additional program requirements include 600 hours of clinical practice experience outside of the classroom and a final capstone project where students will identify and present evidence-based change to address a current health care concern.  

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to take a national certification exam and enter professional health settings such as hospitals, urgent and immediate care, in-home care, and primary care or family medicine.