MSN+DNP and PGC+DNP Program Design
Frontier Bound Orientation
All students are required come to Hyden, Kentucky for Frontier Bound, an orientation to the Frontier Nursing University (FNU). During the three day session, students meet members of their faculty and staff, their advisor, and their fellow students. Time is spent learning skills needed for distance learning, making lifelong friends, reviewing courses, asking questions, and beginning to plan how to be a Frontier student after returning home. Frontier Bound is an experience in fun, learning, and friendship. During Frontier Bound, students stay on the historic FNU campus and are pampered with delicious home-cooked meals. Students must attend all Frontier Bound sessions in order to be eligible to enroll in their selected program of study.
Levels I and II: Foundations for Practice and Clinical Management for Specialty Care
Students complete coursework for Levels I and II in their community. The length of the web-based course depends on the program, specialty and whether the student is full-time or part-time. This web-based course of study is built on the Community of Inquiry Model that increases social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence in the courses to create deep learning. Students are in frequent contact with their faculty and fellow students through e-mail, forums and phone. They also receive guidance and support from their Student Advisor and Department Chair.
Level III: Clinical Bound
Clinical Bound is designed to develop and validate clinical skills. Students return to Hyden, Kentucky for this five-day skills-intensive experience. During this period the student is validated as having acquired the skills necessary to begin a community-based clinical practicum. There is also time for informal communication between faculty and students. Clinical Bound sessions are offered 8-12 times each year.
Level IV: Clinical Practicum
After attending Clinical Bound, students begin their PGC clinical practicum with 675 required clinical hours. Students provide nurse practitioner or nurse-midwifery services in their community for four to ten months under the guidance of a master clinician preceptor. The FNU Regional Clinical Faculty (RCF) will provide guidance and support during this time to the student and the preceptor. In addition, the RCF evaluates both the clinical site and preceptor to insure excellence before the student begins the clinical experience. There are required clinical experiences that will assist the student in developing necessary clinical skills. Students may choose, or be required, to use more than one clinical site in order to receive a variety of clinical experiences. Where the volume of clients will not make the experience goals possible, the student will be expected to use more than one clinical site.
Comprehensive Examination, MSN, and Certification
After successfully completing the clinical practicum, the student will take the comprehensive examination for their specialty track and if successful will receive the MSN degree or post graduate certificate. Students are expected to sit for the specialty certification examination and pass to continue in the program. All students are encouraged to complete the DNP program at this time. However, some students may elect to stop out with the MSN or PGC and pursue clinical practice before returning to complete the DNP program.
Level V: Advancing Leadership and Scholarship
After the MSN or PGC is conferred, students who choose to continue on to complete the DNP degree will have additional required clinical experiences. The DNP requires 360 additional hours which may occur in a variety of settings such as private offices, clinics, outpatient settings, hospitals. The setting should be selected based on the student’s clinical and project needs. The student will work with the DNP advisor to select the appropriate site.
The clinical experience will:
- Provide an opportunity for students to evaluate and improve the practice/system.
- Continue to develop expertise in an area of practice.
- Seek experiences to improve skills to practice autonomously.