The Carr College of Nursing is welcoming the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) graduate program with courses due to start in the fall of 2015.
The university has worked several years to expand its already renowned nursing program. This new online program will offer participants a chance to pursue qualifications needed to become an FNP.
“We are at the next level, so nurse practitioners have additional education and practicum experiences that prepare them to be able to diagnose and treat and prescribe patients to help them either promote health or prevent disease,” program director Dona Clarin said.
The application process for the fall 2015 semester opened on Oct. 15. In order to provide an intimate yet competitive program, only a few openings will remain.
“I’m in the development process, and we will start class next fall,” Clarin said.
“I’ve talked to undergrad students here and at the state Arkansas Nursing Students Convention a couple of weeks ago and everybody seemed interested in wanting to know more about the program. We’re an online program where students only have to come three times a year five days at a time, so that is appealing.”
Dean of Nursing Susan Kehl said that a point of interest from Harding alumni has been from nursing graduates who have been waiting for a program like this to begin at Harding.
There is a requirement of one year of full-time experience as a registered nurse to complete practicum courses. Graduate students will complete the majority of their coursework online, but they will come to campus to participate in practicum activities and professional development.
“We want to see our students, we don’t want them to just be at computers,” Clarin said.
Nurse practitioners in the state of Arkansas can practice without the collaboration of a physician onsite. This program’s additional education and practicum provides nurses with the ability to diagnose and prescribe medicine to patients. Students will learn to read X-rays, suture and diagnosis procedures, duties not typical to general nursing.
“This degree provides flexibility in job placement,” Kehl said. “There are additional options in advanced practice nursing that provide opportunities in specific areas. Nurses can focus on nursing education or leadership and administration.”
Clarin said that Harding is helping fulfill a need for more primary healthcare providers.
“Nurse practitioners are definitely one of the sought after primary care providers since the Affordable Healthcare Act,” Clarin said.
Clarin also hopes to have a Harding University Tahkodah (HUT) experience that will incorporate lifelong mission and “camaraderie” within the program and beyond.
“Dr. Clarin and I are planning andworking toinitiate a high quality graduate program in nursing,” Kehl said. “We are also at Harding because we want to educate Christian nurse leaders who strive for excellence and serve with the compassion of the Lord.”
For more information or to access the admission platform, visit https://www.harding.edu/nursing/msn_program/information.