News Releases

University of Maryland School of Nursing to Expand FNP Specialty to Universities at Shady Grove

July 21, 2016

Specialty will provide Western Maryland and Montgomery County residents with convenient option.

Baltimore, Md.  – Beginning fall 2017, the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) will offer its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Specialty at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG).*  UMSON is launching the specialty at USG in response to the need to progress the education of underrepresented and geographically diverse students to advanced degree programs.

Currently, the specialty is only offered at the Baltimore location. However, the FNP specialty is in high demand, and the Baltimore location cannot accommodate all qualified students. As a result, the specialty is expanding to USG, a move that is expected to enhance the recruitment of students from Western Maryland and Montgomery County and provide a convenient, cost-effective option for a diverse population of nurses to pursue advanced practice degrees.

“Montgomery County and the surrounding areas have a documented need for advanced care providers. We are excited to bring UMSON’s nationally recognized program to the Universities at Shady Grove,” said Rebecca Wiseman, PhD, RN, chair of the UMSON program at USG. “Primary care is essential to improving the health and quality of life for the region's citizens. The graduates of this program will make a substantial contribution to the wellbeing of our communities. We look forward to working with our vast network of partners and future clients.”

UMSON’s expansion of the specialty is a result of a Nurse Support Program II grant awarded to Bridgitte Gourley, DNP ’08, FNP-BC, assistant professor and specialty director, FNP. Gourley, who was awarded a five-year, $1.587 million grant, will lead efforts at both locations. Gina Rowe, PhD, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC, CNE, assistant professor and coordinator, FNP, will manage the program at USG, and other experienced FNP faculty members will be identified to teach didactic and clinical content.

“I am excited to have this specialty launch at USG, which will provide a critical access point for nurses in Western Maryland and the Montgomery County region,” Gourley said. “Prospective students can now take advantage of this new opportunity to pursue their educational goals and become FNPs.”

The FNP curriculum is designed to meet the essential elements of doctoral-level education for advanced practice registered nurses as called for by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. It is 80 credit hours divided between 56 didactic credits and 24 clinical credit degree. The 24 clinical credits require, by national standards, 1,080 clock hours of practicum/clinical instruction.  Students are able to apply now for fall 2017.

*Pending approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.