The West Virginia University School of Nursing has recently received $264,000 _ the final installment of a major grant that has enabled significant expansion of advanced nursing practice programs. The foundation has been laid for the new baccalaureate to doctor of nursing practice program to welcome its first class in the fall of 2011. In addition, two new tracks of study for nurse practitioner students have been added.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources’ Health Resources and Services Administration. This completes the agency’s three-year award of nearly $800,000 to the School of Nursing. The HRSA grant has made a huge impact, according to Nan Leslie, Ph.D., R.N.C., of the WVU School of Nursing.

“This grant has helped us develop two new tracks of interest _ women’s health and geriatric health _ for our students. These are both nurse practitioner roles. In addition, the grant has sped up the process of developing a post Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice program,” Leslie said.

“The goal of the post-B.S.N. to D.N.P. program is to support direct entry into advanced practice nursing after the basic B.S.N. education, thus increasing the number of nurse practitioners available to provide primary care in our communities. This program also offers doctoral education for nurses in a time-saving, cost-effective manner,” said Dean Georgia Narsavage, Ph.D., of the WVU School of Nursing. She noted that last year, 90 percent of the school’s primary care nurse practitioner graduates remained in West Virginia to treat patients.

“There’s a need in West Virginia, because of the mature population, to have nurses who specialize in care for geriatric groups, because that is a distinct need in terms of care. More and more, women are the ones in the family who arrange health care for the family, but not for themselves. Their needs are distinct,” Leslie said.

With the exception of practicum time spent interacting with patients, all WVU School of Nursing graduate programs are online and reach students not only around the state, but also around the world. Two advanced nursing students have completed classes while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are 148 sites around the state where online students can complete practicum hours. A recruitment video postcard from the WVU School of Nursing is available in DVD format from the school, and can also be viewed on YouTube.

Learn more about the WVU School of Nursing online at To view the video postcard, see



CONTACT: Kim Fetty, HSC News Service

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