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University and Hospital Partner to Train FNPs

Indiana University Kokomo (IUK) School of Nursing has partnered with Community Howard Regional Health to train new family nurse practitioners (FNPs).

"Overall, Indiana has a critical shortage of physicians," said Mary Bourke, RN, BSN, PhD, assistant dean of IUK's master of science degree in nursing program. With the Affordable Care Act, Bourke added that there is a "tremendous need for FNPs, and that's why this partnership with Community Howard is so critical."

Community Howard plans to donate $500,000 to IUK over the next 5 years. The funding will enable IUK to hire an FNP to run the new track's clinical program starting in January 2017. The hired FNP will also teach, develop a curriculum and arrange clinical placement of IUK's FNP students.

"Since the region will be the epicenter of clinical practica for our FNP students," said Linda Wallace, EdD, RN, dean of IUK School of Nursing, "we believe graduates will be more likely to stay and practice here, providing greater access to healthcare for north central Indiana residents.

When the program launches, IUK will be the only public university in the region to offer the FNP track to registered nurses. The program takes seven semesters to complete.

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