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UHV gets approval for new family nurse practitioner master's program

June 1, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.

Kathryn TartUHV

The University of Houston-Victoria's Master of Science in Nursing family nurse practitioner track was approved last week by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, leading the way for the first classes to start this fall.

The new graduate-level family nurse practitioner program will help address the shortage of health care providers in the state, said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing.

"Our communities, especially the rural and medically underserved areas, are in desperate need of advanced practice nurses," she said. "The new program will fulfill a need for more primary care providers who not only diagnose patients but also educate them on the importance of healthy lifestyles."

Nurse practitioners' scope of practice is to diagnose and prescribe medication for common, well-defined health care needs. They also provide health promotion and illness prevention.

The UHV family nurse practitioner degree is designed to prepare students to practice as nurse practitioners and educators in nursing programs, to translate research into practice and to assume leadership roles in advanced nursing practices.

"This new graduate-level nursing program has received both financial and community support, which indicates that it is responding to a clear need," UHV President Phil Castille said. "The new family nurse practitioners who will be training at UHV can provide health care to patients in Victoria and the surrounding areas."

The UHV School of Nursing recently was awarded an $800,000 grant from Houston Endowment for the program. It is one of the largest grants in the university's history, but it was contingent on the program getting approval from the state coordinating board.

Now that approval has been conferred, the grant will be disbursed. It will support students in the new program.

"I am proud of our faculty and staff's dedication to designing this program and receiving final approval for it from the UH System and the state coordinating board," Tart said.

Interested students should apply before July 15, as space is limited for the fall semester.

Graduate student stipends are available for full-time students.

For more information about UHV nursing programs, visit www.uhv.edu/nursing or call toll free 877-970-4848, ext. 4370.

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