Across the United States, communities are facing a shortage of primary care providers. That’s due, in part, to the changing healthcare needs of the Baby Boomer generation. In fact, the number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to double by 2060.
Too many patients, not enough nurses
As the population ages, healthcare needs increase and so does the need for qualified, caring healthcare professionals. Among the positions facing a shortage over the next several years is family nurse practitioners. Family nurse practitioners improve quality of life for patients and their families by treating a variety of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and routine illnesses.
While there are many individuals who aspire to fill these gaps in care, more often than not, they are balancing families and jobs, which makes getting the education needed to fill these roles challenging to say the least.
Bridging the gap
In 2013, recognizing the need for flexible education options, the EKU nursing department transitioned the on-campus family nurse practitioner (FNP) program to a fully online program. By offering the program online, working nurses are provided the flexibility and convenience needed to balance their personal, professional and school lives.
EKU now offers two online FNP program options:
- Family Nurse Practitioner MSN
- Family Nurse Practitioner Post-MSN Certificate
This accredited program allows working professional to take classes according to their own schedule and requires no campus visits.
Students learn through video content, applied assignments and synchronous technologies that allow them to communicate with faculty in real time. The EKU Online program maintains the same high standards of the face-to-face program. In fact, the EKU Online graduate degree programs in nursing are repeatedly recognized by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s very best.
The department has received numerous other awards. The family nurse practitioner program received top honors for value among Kentucky schools from Graduate Nursing Education. The online MSN degrees have been ranked in the top 30 nationwide among accredited online MSN programs by the Guide to Online Schools, Graduate School Hub and Master’s Programs Guide.