The University of Saint Francis is joining nurse practitioners (NP) in celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the first NP program, which was established at the University of Colorado in 1965. Nurse Practitioner Week is November 8-14, 2015.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, approximately 17,000 students graduated from NP programs across the country. Today, there are more than 205,000 NPs licensed to practice in the United States. “All across the country, nurse practitioners are serving as a lifeline for patients, many who would otherwise struggle to access care,” said David Hebert, chief executive officer of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. NPs are licensed, expert clinicians with advanced education—most have master’s and many have doctoral degrees—and extensive clinical preparation who provide primary, acute and specialty healthcare services.
In addition to providing a full range of services, NPs work as partners with their patients, guiding them to make educated healthcare decisions and healthy lifestyle choices. The confidence that patients have in NP-delivered healthcare is evidenced by the more than 916 million visits made to NPs every year.
National Nurse Practitioner Week is a time to celebrate these exceptional healthcare providers. It is also a week to remind lawmakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education, giving patients full and direct access to all the services NPs can provide. Nurse practitioners are informed, in touch and involved, making them the healthcare providers of choice for millions and a solution to the primary care crisis in America.
The University of Saint Francis has graduated over 300 family nurse practitioners since the inception of its program in 1995, with the first class graduating in 1997. In May 2016, 28 new nurse practitioners will graduate from USF and be ready to provide primary healthcare services in northeast Indiana. Family nurse practitioners from the University of Saint Francis have a 100 percent employment rate and a 99 percent cumulative five-year board certification pass rate. Dr. Wendy Clark, graduate nursing program director, states, “It is not unusual to find USF graduates in healthcare offices in our region. I am proud to work at an institution dedicated to improving our community by providing high-quality educational programs such as the Master of Science in Nursing–Family Nurse Practitioner track.”
To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, visit npfinder.com.
The University of Saint Francis is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015. Founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, USF offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, the university designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. The university will open a Downtown Fort Wayne Campus in the fall of 2016 that will feature business, entrepreneurship and music technology programs. Approximately 2,300 students from a broad geographic region currently attend USF for its academic excellence.