Frostburg State University to Offer New Graduate Nurse Practitioner Programs

Aug 10, 2017 11:15 AM

Healthcare professionals and undergraduate students can start applying for two new nursing programs at Frostburg State University in the fall.

FSU received approval from the University System of Maryland (USM) and Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with two concentrations, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

FSU is the only USM institution to offer these MSN programs as blended options at the master’s degree level, where courses will be taught partly in-person and partly online. The MSN Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration is the only master’s level program of its kind at USM institutions.

The MSN programs are scheduled to begin in fall 2018, but students may begin applying in the fall.

“FSU’s MSN programs are ideal for the seasoned, experienced registered nurse who already lives and works in a rural, medically underserved area,” said Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Kelly Rock, FSU’s nurse practitioner program director.

The Family Nurse Practitioner graduate will be prepared to sit for a national certification examination to be licensed as an FNP, and educationally and experientially prepared to be a primary care provider. The FNP program helps fill the primary care provider shortage, especially in rural, underserved areas where it’s challenging to recruit primary care physicians.

The Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner will also be prepared to sit for a national certification examination to be licensed to be a psychiatric care provider. PMHNPs are the only other group of health care providers besides psychiatrists who can be credentialed and certified in psychiatry.

The PMHNP program will help provide a pipeline of health care professionals who can treat addictions, helping to do their part in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has hit parts of rural Appalachia particularly hard.

The blended program allows the working professional to complete much of the program online, with about 5 percent of the program spent on campus. The MSN nurse practitioner programs will be offered for full-time and part-time students and are ideal for students living in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia and Western Maryland.

The Department of Nursing is also seeking primary care and psychiatric clinical placement sites to partner with the program. Interested sites can call the FSU Department of Nursing at 301-687-4141.

FSU was also awarded several grants for the implementation and planning of its new nursing programs. The Maryland Department of Health’s Health Services Cost Review Commission awarded FSU a five-year, $3.8 million grant for the implementation of the Nurse Practitioner Program and a two-year, $212,257 grant for the planning of a proposed Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

The proposed DNP program, which must still seek approval from USM and MHEC, is being designed to serve nursing professionals who want to continue academic research and meet anticipated industry demand for entry-level nurse practitioners to hold a doctoral degree.

FSU currently offers an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program and a MSN with tracks in education and administration. Both programs are fully online. For information on FSU’s nursing programs, call 301-687-4141 or visit