Averett Announces Graduate Nursing Program, Becomes One of Only 13 in Nation to Offer Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification

Posted on July 9th, 2019 by Cassie Jones

Averett University today announced the addition of a new graduate-level nursing program launching in 2020. This addition is part of the university’s largest expansion into health sciences education in its history.

The Master of Science in Nursing degree program will offer two focus areas: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP). Averett is one of only 13 schools in the country, and the only in Virginia and neighboring North Carolina, to offer a focus in ENP education — advanced, specialized training that prepares nurses for some of the most highly-respected and well-paid nursing positions available. Also unique to the program, Averett will secure clinical placements for all nurse practitioner students.

“We are particularly proud of these two new nursing offerings that provide such vital services to the regions we serve,” said Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “It’s also important that these offerings will allow nurses in the surrounding area to train for better-paying jobs without traveling far away. We hope this will encourage these nurses to stay close, serving the people in rural Virginia and North Carolina where the need for qualified and experienced health care professionals is great.”

Nurses who are certified as ENPs are qualified to provide care for acute and critical illnesses and to treat serious trauma and injuries. They are able to work in emergency rooms and other urgent care facilities, including Level One Trauma Centers, the highest level of emergency care accessible in a hospital setting. With the ability to diagnose, prescribe, perform procedures and confer with physicians on complex cases, ENPs are highly valued health care professionals with many job opportunities.

Nurses who hold certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner \are empowered to take on more responsibility and autonomy in the course of their work. FNPs provide generalized, family-focused care and are certified to perform examinations, provide diagnoses and write prescriptions, among other things. Because of the broad scope of their training and duties, many FNPs serve as the primary health care provider for their patients — a skill that is particularly valuable in underserved and rural areas where physicians may be few.

“The addition of the ENP specialty propels Averett University into a higher tier of nursing education,” said Averett School of Nursing Dean Dr. Pamela Giles. “None of the major nursing schools within a 500-mile radius offers it, and only 12 others in the entire United States do. We are extremely proud to be able to offer this program.”

The Averett School of Nursing, which has graduated almost 100 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree students since its first entering class in the fall 2012 semester, will offer the first FNP classes in January 2020, with applications for that first cohort now open. The first group of post-master’s ENP students will begin studies in May 2020. Eligible students must already hold an undergraduate degree in nursing in order to be eligible for the MSN degree program. The FNP courses may be completed in six semesters, and students may continue their studies for two more semesters to complete the ENP courses. Nurses already holding a graduate-level nursing degree are also eligible to apply directly for the FNP and ENP post-master’s certificates.

This program was made possible with the help of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and other anonymous donors. In addition, the Stratford House Center generously gave $1 million for an endowed scholarship fund for students from this region pursuing their BSN or MSN degrees at Averett.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process, visit averett.edu/nursegreatly.