The department of nursing at Lubbock Christian University (LCU) is pleased to announce the addition of a new study track in the existing master’s degree in nursing program. The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track is a 46 credit hour program designed to prepare graduates to assume a primary care role in the outpatient clinic setting. LCU department of nursing hosted an event announcing the new addition to the graduate program on Thursday, August 1st, in the Cardwell Welcome Center Rotunda. The FNP Program Coordinator, Dr. Daniel Hatch, addressed the audience to describe the program in more detail, explain the role of the FNP in primary care, and further discuss the vital need for FNPs in our community.
Currently, 90% of rural Texas communities are medically underserved creating a need for nurse practitioners in those communities. While LCU currently has a Master of Science in Nursing Education and Leadership program, the nurse practitioner track provides a more clinical focus of study preparing students for the advanced practice role. Although Texas has the 2nd largest population in the nation, we rank 45th when it comes to primary care physicians per capita. Adding the LCU Family Nurse Practitioner Program is a step forward in improving access to more primary care providers throughout the state.
“Family Nurse Practitioners are highly educated and trained to promote health within the community, and to prevent and treat numerous common diseases," explains Dr. Hatch. “The demand for nurse practitioners is increasing as our aging population continues to grow in the United States. By responding to this community need, the addition of the FNP track at LCU reinforces our commitment to continuous growth, improvement, and service to others.”
The addition of this FNP program was frequently requested by the LCU nursing students and a natural fit within LCU academia, considering LCU’s partnership with Covenant Hospital. Admission into this new program is anticipated to be highly competitive as only a limited number of students will be accepted annually. The program will consist of a hybrid of online and traditional lectures with over 720 hours of hands-on clinical experiences. A substantial amount of time will be physically spent attending lectures, labs, and clinical rotations.
The MSN/FNP track are now accepting applications for admission. December 31st, 2013 will be the last day to submit applications for admission for students to start the program in Summer 2014. Email Dr. Hatch at Daniel.Hatch@lcu.edu for more information on this new program, or visit the Family Nurse Practitioner page.
Dr. Daniel Hatch joined LCU as the Family Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator in March 2013. He earned his Doctor of Nursing Practice at Texas Christian University. Dr. Hatch has over ten years of experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner and currently serves as the Vice-President of the South Plains Nurse Practitioner Association. In addition to Dr. Hatch, the FNP program is supported by numerous instructors and clinical preceptors who are experts in their various fields.