Gardner-Webb School of Nursing Celebrates Nurse Practitioners

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Advanced Registered Nurse Profession Services Over 900 Million

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University’s School of Nursing, along with U.S. Congress, the health care industry, and other groups, is bringing awareness to the importance of nurse practitioners in honor of National Nurse Practitioner Week through Nov. 13.  Gardner-Webb enrolled its first cohort of Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students in January.

“The program consists of both face to face and online course offerings with over eight semesters or three years of part time study,” said Dr. Anna Hamrick, assistant professor and director of the FNP program at Gardner-Webb.  “Nurse practitioners emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person in their approach, including helping patients make educated health care decisions and lifestyle choices.”

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the confidence patients have in nurse practitioners has been demonstrated by more than 916 million visits made to see them each year.  The AANP also reports that there are presently over 171,000 of them practicing in America.

Hamrick shared, “Nurse practitioners offer high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care.  They provide a full range of services, such as ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic tests, diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions, and prescribing medications and treatments.”

For consideration into GWU’s Family Nurse Practitioner program, students must be registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of RN experience.  They must complete a masters or doctoral degree program and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation.  Upon completion of the academic program, students apply for national certification.  Nurse practitioners are licensed by individual states and can prescribe medications in all 50 states.

“A key point from the 2010 ‘The Future of Nursing: Leading Change’, an advanced health report from the Institute of Medicine was that nurses should achieve higher levels of education through an improved education system that promotes seamless progression. Gardner-Webb is aligned to meet this recommendation by offering one of the most comprehensive nursing programs in the country,” explained Hamrick.

The GWU School of Nursing provides a full spectrum of nursing degrees allowing students to achieve their career and educational goals.  More information is available at 704-406-4360 or online at

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.