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School of Nursing and Health Studies Opens Additional Master’s Programs

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies is opening additional master’s programs to help nurses with bachelor’s degrees earn higher-level degrees, and qualify for advanced nurse practitioner careers, at a faster rate.

There is a high demand among nurses with Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degrees to earn graduate-level degrees allowing them to work as entry-level nurse practitioners. These nurses can then proceed to their doctoral degree of choice.

“By offering these additional programs we decrease the entrance to practice by approximately a year and a half,” said David LaFevers, interim director of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. “Not only is opening these programs satisfying a workforce demand, it’s serving the market needs of students and also increasing access to care more rapidly for consumers and patients.”

With fewer physicians specializing in primary care medicine, there is a need for more nurse practitioners, especially in underserved urban and rural areas, said Susan Kimble, director of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

“This will be a benefit not only to the Kansas City area, but to our entire region,” Kimble said.

The opening of all nurse practitioner programs at the master’s level will also allow currently certified nurse practitioners to seek an addition or change in their specialty to meet health care system demand. For example, they can be currently certified as primary-care nurse practitioners, and in a short period of time, take the course work needed to add the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner competencies to their career and practice. The master’s options starting for fall are:

  • Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator

Now BSN graduates selecting to earn their nurse practitioner education in any specialty will have two options for each specialty: The BSN to DNP or the BSN to MSN whereby they can become certified and work as a nurse practitioner and then progress to the DNP or PhD as they choose.

“We have responded to the market and can produce nurse practitioners who chose this route in a rapid fashion at the master’s level as their first step in their nurse practitioner career,” said Ann Cary, dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies.

UMKC is a leader in graduate nursing education. Each year, U.S. News and World Report has ranked the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies in its Top 25, the highest of any Missouri or Kansas public universities. In 2015, it also was named to U.S. News and World Report’s “10 Cheapest Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Out-of-State Students.” (No. 10). This article rated the affordability of graduate programs for out-of-state students at the Top 10 schools.
UMKC Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications