Frontier Nursing University

Frontier Nursing University (FNU), a private graduate school, is proud to claim the largest and oldest nurse-midwifery program in the U.S. FNU also offers accredited MSN, DNP, and several Nurse Practitioner Programs. Schools Scholarships Student Support

Best ProgramsAccredited Hybrid On-campus Online Private

DNP   MSN   CNM   NP   Post-grad Certificate   Other  

  • Accreditations ACME ACEN
  • Location(s) Kentucky
  • Address 2050 Lexington Road, Versailles, Kentucky, 40383
  • Telephone (859) 251-4700
  • Request Information

About Frontier Nursing University

The mission of FNU is to provide accessible online nursing degrees such as nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner programs to prepare competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate leaders in primary care to serve all individuals with an emphasis on women and families in diverse, rural, and underserved populations. FNU offers graduate Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse-Practitioner distance education programs that can be pursued full- or part-time with the student's home community serving as the classroom. Degrees and options offered include Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Post-Graduate Certificates. In 2021, Frontier was named a "Great College to Work For" by the Great Colleges to Work For® program. To learn more about FNU and the programs and degrees offered, please visit  Frontier.edu.

Frontier Nursing University (FNU)

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) not only has the oldest and largest continually operating flexible and fully online nurse-midwifery programs in the United States, it was the first to offer a family nurse practitioner program in the country. Pioneering the first midwifery community-based distance education program in 1989, the University offers distance education to nurses with an interest in nurse-midwifery, family health, women's health, and psychiatric-mental health specialties.

FNU students complete online didactic courses. Required hands-on clinical experience is obtained by utilizing clinics, hospitals, and preceptors in the student's own community. Two brief on-campus sessions are required for the master's programs, including an orientation prior to beginning studies, and intensive skill workshops prior to beginning the clinical practicum.

Frontier Nursing University Selected to Participate in National Initiative to Foster Inclusive Learning Environments

Versailles, Ky. – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced that Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is one of 50 schools of nursing in the U.S. to have been selected to participate in a national initiative designed to foster inclusive learning environments and build a more diverse nursing workforce.  Nearly 250 schools applied to participate in the initiative. 

In January 2022, AACN commenced a project titled Building a Culture of Belonging in Academic Nursing with funding from Johnson & Johnson. AACN launched this initiative to help schools of nursing create environments where students, faculty, and staff possess a strong sense of belonging and are encouraged to thrive.

"Creating a learning culture where all individuals are able to develop and do their best work is critical to achieving academic nursing's goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. "AACN is pleased to join with 50 member schools to pilot test a new tool that will help to evolve how nurse educators approach teaching, learning, and professional engagement.”

To support this project, AACN developed a digital platform to administer its Leading Across Multidimensional Perspectives (LAMP®) Culture and Climate Survey. This instrument collects data on student, faculty, and staff perceptions of their college classrooms as communities in five thematic areas: fair treatment and observations of discrimination, belongingness, value of diversity and inclusion, campus services, and clinical training.

Using data collected via LAMP, AACN will provide institution-level assessments and action reports to participating schools related to developing inclusive academic environments. This tool provides administrators with a better understanding of how their campus climate influences student experiences and achievement. With assessment data from internal stakeholders, educators are equipped with valuable information needed to initiate change, target areas of growth, and most importantly, improve student outcomes. AACN will also use aggregate data collected from participating schools to identify best practices and success strategies that can be deployed at institutions nationwide.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been an intentional component of Frontier Nursing University's goals, initiatives, and planning since 2010, when the university launched PRIDE (Promoting Recruitment and Retention to Increase Diversity in Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner Education). Now known as the Diversity Impact Program, PRIDE was specifically intended to raise the level of diversity in student enrollment. In 2010, the enrollment of students of color was 9%. Today, that number has risen to over 27%, and FNU's DEI efforts have expanded exponentially to include all members and aspects of the FNU community, including curriculum content and faculty and staff diversity, recruitment, and retention. 

"We are honored to have been selected to participate in this important initiative,” said FNU Interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Paula Alexander-Delpech, Ph.D., PMHNP-BC, APRN. "We hope that the assessment data collected from students, faculty, and staff will give us valuable information that will guide us to initiate changes, identify target areas for growth, and most importantly, help us to improve student outcomes.” 

Schools selected to participate in this pilot study are geographically diverse and represent a range of institutional types (public and private institutions; small and large schools; rural and urban-serving programs, etc.) Having a broad range of participating schools is important to securing results that can be generalizable across all types of nursing schools.  

Pilot testing of the LAMP survey will be completed in Spring 2023. AACN will disseminate aggregate findings to all schools of nursing next year. 

About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. For more information, visit the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.


Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine

Versailles, Ky. – Frontier Nursing University (FNU) received the 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — FNU will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the fourth consecutive year FNU has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.

"We are incredibly honored to be selected for the prestigious HEED Award for the fourth year in a row,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. "We recognized the need for more diversity in our nation's healthcare system over a decade ago. Culturally concordant care improves health outcomes, which is in direct alignment with our mission to provide accessible nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner education to prepare competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate leaders in primary care to serve all individuals with an emphasis on women and families in diverse, rural, and underserved populations. While we know that we have much work to do, this award recognizes our progress and reaffirms our commitment to be a leader for change and to continue towards our goal of becoming an antiracist university.”

Earlier this year, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded FNU two grants totaling $4,140,000. The HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) grant totals $1,920,000 and the Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) grant totals $2,220,000. HRSA, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will award the funding for both grants in annual installments over the next four years. The goal of the BHWET program is to increase the number of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners who are diverse in race, ethnicity, and other underrepresented populations serving in rural and medically underserved communities. The goal of the NWD program is to increase the number and diversity of certified nurse-midwives who serve in rural and underserved areas of the country in an effort to prevent and reduce maternal mortality. 

To help direct the university's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and incorporate perspectives from all corners of the university, FNU has created several task forces and committees composed of faculty, staff, students, and volunteers. Created in 2015, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee develops, promotes, and provides programs and resources to enhance diversity throughout the university and healthcare workforce. The President's DEI Task Force was formed in January 2021 to further FNU's mission to become an antiracist university. The recently formed Antiracism and Bias Advisory Council (ABAC), derived by the FNU's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is a diverse group of Frontier employees who will serve as an advisory board for any employee and student bias reporting.

In January 2021, the FNU Board of Directors (BOD) created a BOD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that is responsible for working with the Board of Directors and the administration to ensure that Frontier strives to be an antiracist university. In April 2021, the Board of Directors approved the endowment of a new scholarship to support African American, Black, Native American, and Alaskan Native students. The scholarship will support 10 students per year. 

"At Frontier, we challenge our students, faculty, and staff to be the agents of change we need to dismantle racism and discrimination in healthcare,” said FNU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Geraldine Young.  "Collectively, we have the power to reduce health disparities and inequities and improve health outcomes. Receiving the HEED Award is not only a great honor, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for us to continue to have important conversations and to advance both the internal and external diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of our university.” 

FNU's commitment to emphasizing and valuing diversity and inclusion was formally instituted with the creation of the Diversity Impact Program in 2010, with particular emphasis on increasing the enrollment of students of color. Since then, the focus has expanded to include all facets of the university, including increasing diversity within the faculty and staff, emphasis on student retention, and diversity and inclusion training for all members of the FNU community. Led by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, mentoring, tutoring, coaching, counseling, writing programs, and scholarships have been implemented to support students. The office also offers community-wide education including the Diversity Impact Conference held in 2021, "Dismantling Systemic Racism and Discrimination in Healthcare:  Our Roles and Responsibilities.”

 "The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. "We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.


FNU Receives HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Grant and Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant

Versailles, KY, June 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded Frontier Nursing University (FNU) two grants totaling $4,140,000. The HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant totals $1,920,000 and the Nursing Workforce Diversity grant totals $2,220,000. HRSA, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will award the funding for both grants in annual installments over the next four years.

"We are so thrilled and thankful to have been awarded these grants by the Health Resources and Services Administration,” FNU President Dr. Susan Stone said. "These funds will enable us to expand on the important work we are already doing to address two glaring needs in our nation's healthcare system: a shortage of psychiatric-mental health nurse providers and a lack of diversity among healthcare providers. We have been dedicated and intentional in our efforts to prepare our students to fill these needs, and the HRSA grants are verification of our leadership in these areas of focus and of our potential to make substantially more progress in the years ahead.”

The Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) grant project will be led by Dr. Jess Calohan, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Chair of FNU's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Department. The project period extends from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2025, with the award for the first year totaling $480,000.

The Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) grant will be led by FNU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Geraldine Young, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CDCES, FAANP. The project period extends from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2025, with the award for the first year totaling $555,000.

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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Registered Nurses with a bachelor's degree in any field and one year of RN experience can pursue careers as a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner through FNU's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. When you receive your MSN, you have the option to continue on to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) through a direct admission process.

Program Overview:

  • Complete your coursework online with only 2 brief on-campus visits.
  • Clinical experience with practitioners in your own community.
  • Full- or part-time options available and new classes starting throughout the year.
  • Entry as a registered nurse with either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Bachelor's degree in any field.
  • Earn your MSN to become a nurse-midwife with the option to progress to the DNP degree.
  • MSN degree can be completed in approximately two-three years full-time.
  • 675 clinical hours for MSN; additional 360 clinical hours for those choosing to complete the DNP degree.

Specialty Tracks:

  • Nurse-Midwife: 55 credits
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 52 credits
  • Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHCNP): 49 credits
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 48 credits

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Candidates for the Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice DNP (PM-DNP) program and Post-Graduate Certificates at FNU must hold a master's degree and national certification as a Nurse-Midwife or Nurse Practitioner.

Program Overview:

  • Complete your coursework online
  • 30 credit hours
  • Option to complete the program in 15 or 18 months
  • In collaboration with your practice site, lead a rapid cycle quality improvement project.
  • One three-day on-campus experience
  • Small cohort of students

Specialty Tracks:

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Geriatric-Adult Nurse Practitioner (GANP)
  • Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Clinical Site Selection

FNU students have a long tradition of identifying their own clinical sites, which allows you to find the best sites in your area that meet your program needs. FNU offers clinical outreach and placement services and resources to assist students in locating clinical sites. Our clinical outreach and placement team provides support to help you troubleshoot challenging situations and works with you one-on-one to navigate the overall clinical site search process. Not only do we offer a vast network of sites and preceptors nationwide, we also continually secure new ones. As an FNU student, you will have exclusive access to the university's network of nearly 13,000 sites and 16,000 preceptors.

National Board Certification Exam Pass Rates 

2022

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANP)

  • FNU 1st time takers pass rate: PGC at 100% and MSN at 93%

American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC)

  • 1st time test takers for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Graduates: MSN at 96% and PGC at 91%

National Certification Council (NCC)

  • 1st time test takers for Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Graduates:  PGC at 94% and MSN at 100%

2020

FNU Midwifery graduates' 2020 exam scores, released by the American Midwifery Certification Board (ACMB), were 82% pass rate.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) National Certification Board also released the results for the 2020 FNP MSN examinations. The pass rate for FNU graduates on the MSN board exam was 100%.

The American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) released the results for the 2020 PMHNP MSN and Post-Graduate Certificate examinations which were 91% and 94% respectively.

FNU Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner graduates had a national certificate exam pass rate of 100% with the National Certification Council's (NCC).

Rankings

US News & World Report (2023-2024)

  • #82 Best in Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #83 Best in Nursing Schools: DNP

US News & World Report (2021)

  • #3 Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs
  • Top 30 Best Health Schools - Nurse-Midwifery
  • Top 40 Best Graduate Nursing Schools - DNP
  • Top 60 Best Online Master's in Nursing
  • Top 60 Best Nursing Schools; Master's

Awards

FNU is a national leader in DEI and a three-time winner of the INSIGHT Into Diversity "Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, recognized in 2018, 2019 and 2020. FNU is also a recipient of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Grant.

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) was honored with the 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a prominent publication focusing on diversity in higher education. FNU Earns the HEED Award for the Fifth Consecutive Year in 2022.

Accreditation

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award master's degrees and doctoral degrees.

The nurse-midwifery post-graduate certificate, master's programs and doctor of nursing practice degree are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). 

The Doctor of Nursing Practice, the Master of Science in Nursing and the post-graduate certificate programs, including the nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and women's health care nurse practitioner tracks, are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

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