For a batch of about 25 soon-to-be enrolled graduate students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program, getting a master’s degree will be cyber-friendly.

 

Later this spring, these students will start taking three classes in a high-tech, face-to-face environment as part of the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ new graduate program; the new online master’s degree track becomes the university’s first.

 

 

 

After receiving approval from Middle States – the academic accreditation authority of the area – for the program this week, the program will now begin to process inquiries about enrollment, according to Jeanne Matthews, interim chair of the department of nursing. Applicants for this spring’s class will graduate in August 2012.

 

 

 

atthews stressed that although the program will now be offered to a broader geographical audience, the scholars will be carefully vetted. She added that the current Family Nurse Practitioner program would continue to operate as usual on campus.

 

 

 

“Our vision is to expand our reach in terms of national impact,” Matthews said. “We believe our nursing program’s values give students a professional grounding that benefit them and the people they ultimately serve.”

 

 

 

atthews said that she is excited about the variety of students who will be able to participate in the Georgetown educational tradition – students once constrained by travel issues, families or other commitments.

 

 

 

“We are particularly excited by the opportunity to extend over time our educational mission to rural and underserved areas of our country,” interim NHS Dean Julie DeLoia said in an email.

 

 

 

atthews also said that NHS administrators expect the program to impact students across the nation.

 

 

 

“Our hope is that the values our program embodies will be provided to more students in this online platform, allowing our graduates to have a broader impact on the nation’s health,” Matthews said.

 

 

 

While DeLoia said that this was not the first online nursing program of its kind, she said it adds something special to the Georgetown academic experience.

 

 

 

“What truly excites us – related to our contribution to this type of learning modality – is that we are combining Georgetown’s academically solid, values-based nursing curriculum with a dynamic learning management system that will result in a unique educational experience for our advanced practice nursing students,” she said.”

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