Dr. James Hurley announces major achievement for nursing program at Tusculum

The first class to graduate from Tusculum’s Master of Science in nursing, family nurse practitioner program has achieved a 100 percent certification pass rate on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Qualifying Exam, according to Dr. James Hurley, president of Tusculum.

“This is the pathway Tusculum has set to pioneer,” said Dr. Hurley. “Healthcare for rural America defined by excellence in health care education and in the selection of outstanding quality learners for our programs.”

The first class of Master of Science in nursing, family nurse practitioner concentration graduated in December of 2017.

According to Dr. Hurley, these newly-certified nurse practitioners “worked hard as students in an intense accelerated program to be successful. As students, they were trained to assess, to diagnose, to develop a comprehensive treatment plan and to evaluate outcomes for patients from birth to death.”

He added that for many patients, the nurse practitioner serves as their primary care provider and is a key player in assisting patients to traverse the complex healthcare system.

According to Dr. Andrew Buzzelli, executive vice president of the College of Health Sciences, “Dr. Linda Garrett, assistant dean of the Graduate Nursing Program in Tusculum’s College of Health Sciences, and her superb faculty have set the highest benchmark a school can have in achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the very challenging American Association of Colleges of Nursing qualifying exam.

“Certification is a significant milestone for graduate nurse practitioners. These new practitioners will contribute to answering the escalating problem of provider shortages, especially in primary care, which is a growing concern in the healthcare field. Tusculum’s first class of certified nurse practitioners are rising to the challenge of answering the provider shortage problem.”

Dr. Buzzelli added that all of the 2017 graduates have secured practice positions, and many will be serving in rural areas of need.

“Tusculum prepares nurse practitioners to thrive in culturally diverse practices and to improve the health and safety of the region’s communities,” he said.

The Tusculum Master of Science in nursing, family nurse practitioner program’s second cohort began in August 2017, with 33 students admitted into the program. The Graduate Nursing Program has state of the art facilities with excellent professors, who are experienced family nurse practitioners. Tusculum plans to expand the program and add other nurse practitioner specialties in the near future, said Dr. Buzzelli.