Graduate nursing concentration to be offered online
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s graduate nursing program will initiate a family nurse practitioner concentration beginning in the fall 2011 semester.
The program is offered as part of the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing (ICMSN), a partnership involving Southeastern, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and McNeese State University in Lake Charles.
Nurses enrolled in the program access courses online and taught by faculty at all three institutions. The model allows curricula, faculty and other resources to be shared, reducing the overall cost of the program.
With this move, the ICMSN will drop its adult nurse practitioner concentration in 2012. The decision to make the change came after a careful assessment of the workforce needs in south Louisiana, said Barbara Moffett, interim dean of Southeastern’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
“The family nurse practitioner concentration is a nice fit for our program, and the online format is a convenient way that will help meet the graduate educational needs of nurses in our region, most of whom are already working full time.” Moffett said. “Graduates of this program will be able to seek employment as primary health care providers for individuals of all ages, helping to address the need for cost-efficient healthcare in shortage areas or in medical offices and clinics.”
Moffett said nurse practitioners are licensed to help diagnose and manage patients with common medical conditions, including chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. As registered nurses with advanced education and training, nurse practitioners participate in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions and chronic illnesses while maintaining close working relationships with physicians.
“Nurse practitioners have become an increasingly important member of the healthcare team,” she added, “especially as we see more individuals gain access to health care. The changes we are making to this program will have an impact on the healthcare workforce in Louisiana.”
The ICMSN and its member institutions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The consortium also offers master’s degrees with concentrations in adult psychiatric/mental health nurse practice, nursing education, and nurse executive.
Southeastern has one of the largest nursing programs in the state and has been recognized three times in the last several years with the Nightingale Award as the program of the year by Louisiana Nurses Foundation.