This fall, St. Joseph’s College will welcome its first class of students pursuing master’s degrees under a new program designed to prepare graduates to deliver primary healthcare to adults as nurse practitioners.
Nurse practitioners are qualified to administer treatment for certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor.
The 42-credit program — formally called the Master of Science in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner —comes in response to the recent expansion of previously uninsured adults.
That, coupled with a rising older population and a dip in primary care providers, has prompted concern over the size of the workforce, or lack thereof, capable of handling the demand.
Hence, the new program being offered at St. Joseph’s College’s Patchogue and Brooklyn campuses.
“[The program] responds to the national need for well-prepared nurse practitioners who provide care in a range of specialties,” said Maria Fletcher, an associate professor and the college’s nursing department head. “This role is the most versatile of advanced practice nurse roles and offers the greatest flexibility when it comes to practice.”
“A nurse practitioner can work in an operating or emergency room, critical care and many other practice areas,” she said.