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  • Home / News / Ursuline’s top ranked MSN now online to meet the demand for more nurse practitioners | Ursuline - Liberal Arts College in OH

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    Ursuline’s top ranked MSN now online to meet the demand for more nurse practitioners

    July 9, 2024

    Between aging baby boomers and post-pandemic burnout, nurse retirements and workforce exits are on the rise. Our nation’s healthcare system also relies increasingly on nurses, especially Advanced Practice Nurses (APRNs), to provide primary and specialty care to more patients with more complex ailments.

    “My friends, family, and colleagues often talk about nursing staffing issues when they are admitted to a hospital or just in for urgent care,” states Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, dean of Ursuline College’s Breen School of Nursing and Health Professions. “They’re not imagining it.”

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the need for Registered Nurses (RNs) is increasing by 6% or 177,440 nurses to total 3.3 million in 2032. The demand for APRNs, including Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, and Nurse Midwives, is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations--38% from 2022 through 2032. APRNs are nurses prepared in master’s and doctoral programs with additional licensure to deliver the same quality care as physicians in certain specialties. Approximately 29,200 new APRNs will be needed each year through 2032 to meet America’s healthcare needs.

    To meet this need, the Breen School is adding five new online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program options, bringing the total to six. In addition, the school houses the Ursuline College with SNAP (Somnia Nurse Anesthesia) program—an integrated online doctorate degree that welcomed its inaugural class of 25 future Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in January. Its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) has been online since 2020 and its RN-to-BSN program for more than a decade.

    Dr. Sharpnack explains, “Many RNs would love to become nurse practitioners, but the demands of their current work schedules coupled with obligations at home often get in the way. They need alternatives to sitting in a classroom after a 10-hour shift, especially if they want a quality graduate education like you find at Ursuline.”

    Ursuline College’s master’s level nursing programs are currently ranked 3rd in Ohio and 41st nationwide by US News and World Report Best Graduate Schools.

    “We’re not just adding online MSN programs,” adds Professor Janet Baker, DNP, associate dean of Graduate Nursing. “We’re adding work and family-friendly flexibility. Our graduate students can take classes in-person, online or a blend of both.”

    She continues, “Students don’t have to commit to one style of learning or one schedule for their entire degree. They may prefer to be in a classroom setting depending on the material being taught or their work schedules. They can earn their degrees in their own way.”

    Ursuline College offers the following MSN programs:

    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Leadership

    The Psychiatric Mental Health NPs, who are Ohio residents, may be eligible for special scholarships through the College’s Great Minds Fellowship program. The program, funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, awards eligible students interested in a career in behavioral health up to $10,000 in grants.

    Additionally, nurses interested in pursuing leadership positions can choose to enroll in the College’s MSN/MBA dual degree, also available fully online.

    “Including an online format to our extensive learning offerings ensures that more nurses have access to the almost eight decades of great healthcare education at Ursuline,” Dr. Sharpnack concludes.