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UofL nursing program will prepare graduates to care for critically ill infants

With a positive national job outlook for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) that care for critically ill infants, the University of Louisville School of Nursing has reintroduced the neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) program. This is the school’s seventh major concentration for the master’s in nursing program - others include acute care, adult, family, women’s health/family and psychiatric nurse practitioner concentrations and a master of science in nursing with a certificate in health professions education.

“The School of Nursing is in a pivotal place to offer this type of educational program with so many level II and III nurseries in the metro Louisville area and Owensboro hospitals – important partners to the school,” said Marcia Hern, EdD, CNS, RN, dean, UofL School of Nursing. “We hope to attract students from neighboring states and beyond under the leadership of Sandra Smith, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, who joined our faculty in January 2012 from University of Utah where she also directed a similar program.”

Smith said NNPs provide comprehensive care to high-risk infants, coordinating care among various specialists and team members.

“Neonatal nurse practitioners are on the front line caring for vulnerable, voiceless patients. They manage the care of infants from admission to discharge,” she said. “I want our students to think on their feet – to evaluate, coordinate and determine what will help these infants improve.”

The UofL Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) track will prepare graduates to practice in level I-III neonatal intensive care units. The curriculum meets the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) educational standards and is approved by the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Graduates are eligible for the NCC certification exam for NNPs.

“We know the preparation of these APRNs will contribute significantly to the team of excellent neonatologists in Louisville and other parts of the country,” Hern said.

The School of Nursing is accepting applications for Fall 2013.To learn more about the program, visit http://louisville.edu/nursing/msn/tracks/neonatal

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