Demand for advanced practice nurses continues to grow

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences will launch another master’s degree in fall 2017 in the area of Family Nurse Practitioner with an emphasis in mental health. 

Most experts agree that demand for advanced practice registered nurses will only continue to grow into the near future. In their most recent report, “Missouri’s Nursing Workforce – 2015,” the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services concludes that these nurses will “play a critical role in filling the gap in access to primary care services in most, if not all areas of Missouri.”

Their report explains that advanced practice nurses are needed in at least six practice areas: family or individual across lifespan, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal, women’s health, and psych/mental health. The Saint Luke’s College Family Nurse Practitioner degree bridges two of these areas with its emphasis on mental health. 

“We believe that introducing FNPs to mental health so that they are equipped to recognize when to make referrals will be critical educational preparation for their practice,” says Dr. Victoria Grando, dean of the College nursing department.

“Our emphasis on mental health will be especially important because our graduates will not only find employment in hospitals,” says Grando. 

“They will work throughout the community in a variety of settings including long-term care, public health, home health, medical offices, mental health facilities, clinics and other community-based locations.” 

College President Hubert Benitez, PhD, DDS points out that sometimes there are misconceptions about where nurse practitioners will find employment. 

“Sometimes students assume they will find employment in a hospital and don’t consider the many other locations in the Kansas City area that also employ nurse practitioners. For example, the Veteran’s Administration, public health department, or long-term care settings. We also hire nurse practitioners to teach and that is one area students don’t always consider when exploring employment options.” 

Indeed, the need for nursing faculty in our region is estimated to grow. It is projected that by 2018 the Missouri/Kansas region will require 120 more nursing instructors (Projection Central, 2017b). 

Saint Luke’s College also offers master’s degrees in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. To learn more or to apply click here.

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