Brittney Edwards, Marketing Coordinator
Brittney.Edwards@frontier.edu • (859) 899-2515
The Frontier Nursing Story: 1939 to 2014
Celebrating 75 Years of Blazing New Frontiers as Pioneers for Healthcare
LEXINGTON, KY – As health care reform increases the demand for medical professionals across the country, the work that Mary Breckinridge started in 1939 is becoming increasingly mainstream. Mrs. Breckinridge founded Frontier Nursing University 75 years ago in Eastern Kentucky. Today, Frontier has the longest continually-operating and largest nurse-midwifery program in the nation.
Based in Hyden, Frontier is both a nationally and regionally accredited University with more than 1,500 students currently enrolled and 4,000 graduates working around the world. “Families are becoming more aware of the benefits of working with certified nurse-midwives, which is apparent by the growth on Frontier’s campus. Our largest class to date will graduate in October,” says Frontier Nursing’s President Dr. Susan Stone. “Graduates take their education into communities worldwide, putting Frontier at the forefront of consumer interest in midwifery.”
At the time Frontier was founded, many women in rural areas of the United States had no access to health care. For every 100,000 live births, over 800 resulted in maternal death and 10 percent of children died before their first birthday. Mrs. Breckinridge took the steps necessary to diminish the deaths by focusing her services on the prenatal period, birth, and the first year of a child’s life. “Mary Breckinridge’s efforts were profound. Her work led to the maternal mortality rate in Leslie County, Ky., where Frontier’s campus is based, going from being the highest in the country to well below the national average. That accomplishment places Mrs. Breckinridge within the ranks of some of America’s greatest heroes,” adds Dr. Stone.
Seventy-five years later, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the job outlook for nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners is 31% growth from 2012-22. Dr. Stone states, “Marking 75 years as a pioneer in graduate nursing and nurse-midwifery education, Frontier is at the forefront of healthcare innovation and technology. Frontier is changing the face of healthcare in the United States.”
Here’s a look at what’s going on in the New Frontier:
- “Unbridled Service: Growing Up and Giving Back as a Frontier Nursing Service Courier, 1928-2010,” is a new book by Dr. Anne Z. Cockerham. This book tells the colorful stories of young people doing service on horseback through the Frontier Nursing Service Courier program. This program continues today and provides a service learning internship program for college students with a public health interest.
- The eighth episode of the kNOwMORE Nonprofits educational television series features FNU as one of four nonprofits that are keeping Kentucky and our nation healthy. The episode, “Nonprofits Keeping Kentucky Healthy,” premiered in February 2014 on Kentucky Educational Television (the statewide PBS network).
Dr. Marfell on the left, Dr. Stone on the right
Dr. Julie Marfell, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP is the new Dean of Nursing. As the Dean of Nursing, Dr. Marfell works closely with Dr. Susan Stone, who has led the University for 12 years.
- US News & World Report ranks Frontier in the: Top 50 Graduate Schools of Nursing, Top 15 for Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner programs, and Top 50 Best Online Graduate Nursing programs.
- This year heralds the 25th anniversary of FNU’s community based nurse-midwifery education program. FNU pioneered the first nurse-midwifery distance program in the U.S. in 1989.
- The continued focus on the PRIDE program is leading to growth in FNU’s underrepresented student population and increased cultural awareness among students. PRIDE is designed to promote diversity in nursing and midwifery education by recruiting and retaining underrepresented students with the goal of becoming nurse-midwives or nurse practitioners.
To celebrate Frontier’s rich tradition, numerous events are set for the 75th anniversary. Frontier alumni, students, faculty, staff, preceptors, Couriers, friends and supporters are invited to attend a full weekend of events on October 3-5. Complete details, as well as registration links and accommodations, are available on www.PioneersForHealthcare.org.
About Frontier Nursing University
For 75 years, Frontier Nursing University, with its heart in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, has educated nursing and midwifery leaders who have touched the lives of children and families across the nation and around the globe. Our master’s and doctoral programs educate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on rural and underserved populations. By utilizing distance-learning methods, Frontier makes graduate-level education accessible to nurses in all areas, and ultimately fosters accessibility to quality healthcare by graduating advanced-practice providers to work in underserved communities. Learn more: www.Frontier.edu and www.PioneersForHealthcare.org
A very special thank you to our 75th anniversary supporters:
Underwriter: Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Bronze: Neace Lukens and Merrill Lynch
American Association of Birth Centers
Howard Heating & Air
Women's Care of the Bluegrass