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Frontier School's President and Dean, Dr. Susan E. Stone,
Named NRHA's Distinguished Educator of the Year
HYDEN, KY – With great pride, the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing announces that Dr. Susan Stone, the school’s President and Dean, has been named the National Rural Health Association’s Distinguished Educator of the Year for 2011. Dr. Stone was honored on May 5 during the 34th Annual Rural Health Conference in Austin, Texas. Dr. Stone's devotion to a career of advancing the education of rural health care providers throughout the United States made her a deserving recipient of this prestigious national award.
Dr. Stone, who has led Frontier as its President and Dean since 2001, has been instrumental in the growth and success of the Frontier School, a distance-learning graduate school of nursing with a historic campus in Hyden, Kentucky. Today, the school offers nationally rated doctoral and master’s degree programs and educates nurses to become nurse-midwives, family nurse practitioners and women’s health care nurse practitioners. Enrollment at Frontier has grown from just 200 students in 2006 to a current enrollment of over 1,000 students representing all fifty states and many countries. Dr. Stone has maintained a focus on educating nurses who will serve rural and underserved populations which is evidenced by the fact that 75% of students enrolled in 2010 resided in rural counties and/or health professional shortage areas. Thanks to Dr. Stone’s commitment and leadership, Frontier graduates are most certainly increasing access to quality healthcare for those that need it most.
The school was founded in 1939 by the visionary Mary Breckinridge, who years earlier founded the Frontier Nursing Service in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky to provide healthcare to women, children and families. Frontier is considered the birthplace of nurse-midwifery and family nursing in America. Dr. Stone’s passion for the vision of Mary Breckinridge, who with her nurses traveled on horseback to deliver care and attend births in Appalachia, is evidenced by the school’s continued commitment to educate advanced practice nurses to serve in rural and underserved areas. Mary Breckinridge wanted to see her work replicated throughout the nation and world, and Dr. Stone has embraced that vision by educating students from all 50 states and several countries, taking Frontier’s philosophy of care across the globe.
Like Frontier’s founder, Dr. Stone has devoted her career to improving healthcare for women and families. Dr. Stone received her first nursing degree in 1974, later followed by a bachelor’s of science in nursing from the State University of New York. Dr. Stone worked as a nurse, certified childbirth educator and later as a certified nurse-midwife in New York, after receiving her post-master’s certificate in nurse-midwifery from the Frontier School in 1991. During the ‘90s, while still practicing, she served on the distance-learning faculty of the Frontier School. Dr. Stone, who earned her Doctorate of Nursing Science degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been instrumental in expanding the Frontier School's outreach worldwide, through a unique melding of online learning and real-world clinical experiences.
The school recently received three high-profile rankings from US News and World Report: Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing is ranked #13 in Nurse-Midwifery programs, #14 in Nurse Practitioner education programs and #50 in Nursing – among all accredited schools in the country. The work and commitment of Frontier graduates toward meeting rural health care needs could fill an entire book. With Dr. Stone’s expert guidance, determination, passion and leadership, Frontier school is poised to become the No. 1 education provider of advanced practice nurses to serve rural areas, both domestically and internationally.
The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing is a private, non-profit, non-residential graduate school of nursing offering community-based, distance education programs leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the Master of Science in Nursing Degree and/or post-master's certificates in advanced practice nursing specialties. Our mission is to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical and compassionate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations.