Admission applications are due May 29 for a new family nurse practitioner track in the master of science in nursing program starting this fall at The University of Texas-Pan American.
"Admission will be competitive. We will be accepting only 10 to 12 students," said Dr. Barbara Tucker, professor of nursing and graduate program coordinator of the MSN. "Applicants will need to have at least a year of experience in nursing at the post-baccalaureate level."
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced education and clinical training in a health care specialty. Nurse practitioners can serve as primary health care providers for children and adults during health and illness. They work in collaboration with a physician and can greatly extend the number of patients being seen in both rural and urban areas.
Approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in January, the curriculum for the new family nurse practitioner track builds on UT Pan American's existing master of science in nursing program, which already had an adult health nursing track.
The new track requires 48 hours of coursework and 750 hours of "hands-on" clinical experience in providing direct patient care through preceptorships with nurse practitioners and physicians in the Valley. Students admitted to the program will be required to have a minimum of one year of experience as a practicing registered nurse prior to admission.
"I am thrilled with the program's approval...because of the great need we have here for health care providers," said Tucker, who is a nurse practitioner herself. "I feel we will be able to extend health care significantly with graduates of this program, and our graduates will have numerous employment opportunities."
For more information on the program, call Tucker at 381-3493 or the Department of Nursing at 381-3491.