KEEPING PULSE Judy LeFlore, Ph.D., RN, NNP-BC, CPNP, AC & PC, ANEF, FAAN, a professor in the UTA College of Nursing, where she also serves as the associate dean and chair for graduate nursing programs and simulation technology, expresses the importance of dedicated nurses. “The online and accelerated programs make us really stand out.” The experience provides students with the supportive environment of fellow classmates as well as mentorship from faculty members. MSU Flower Mound enrolled 44 nurses in the spring semester alone. “As nurses, we come in with a four-year degree of education, plus years of experience, which makes us unique. And, as nurses, we land in a population or setting that makes us happy,” she said. “Some of our students choose to enter this field simply because of an experience they had with a nurse or a nurse practitioner. They want to give back. The nurse practitioner increases access to care and gives the population more individuals to turn to. This is the way we hope to meet the demands of our community.” The field of nursing makes up the single largest sector of the healthcare workforce and MSU is working to fill that need. “With the expansion of DFW and our people here, we thought we would expand our BSN program here to ensure that reach,” said Canivel. Midwestern State University Flower Mound Closing Gap in Supply and Demand Proving you can never have too many nurses because there’s never enough, Midwestern State University (MSU), a public liberal arts university seen as a leader in the field of nursing education for many years, has shortened the commute time by opening a new campus in the North Texas town of Flower Mound, and made advanced nursing degrees possible by offering the program online. The new program provides registered nurses the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree online, eliminating the distance barrier that made it difficult for working nurses to earn an advanced degree. Students in the RN transition program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, can complete the courses leading to a BSN in as few as nine months, even while continuing to work full-time. “We’ve already had some great success,” stated Randy Canivel, director of MSU’s new campus in Flower Mound. 42 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 MSU Flower Mound offers other distance learning opportunities in other applied healthcare careers, as well, including a bachelor of science in respiratory care (BSRC) and a bachelor of science in radiologic science (BSRS) degree. Abilene Christian University Dallas Joins Pursuit of Healthcare Excellence Another university going the distance to provide healthcare students the online opportunity to further their careers is Abilene Christian University (ACU). Opening its Dallas campus enabled students the flexibility of the online learning format, making it possible to work while pursuing an advanced degree. ACU’s online graduate programs encompass multiple industries, one of which is healthcare. The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree was designed to enhance clinical and leadership skills of the medical professional through a combination of online learning and practical application in the workplace. Another rapidly growing area of interest is in mental health, and the profession of marriage and family therapy is another specialization now available online from ACU. The marriage and family therapy program provides practical training in the treatment of mental illness, substance abuse and addiction, couple, family and child therapy, and assessment and diagnosis.