Compass Knowledge Group Partners With University of Cincinnati to Launch Six New Online MSN Specialties to Meet Growing Job Market

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The health system's increasing demand for front-line primary care and cost efficiency are driving the need for advanced practice nursing.

The College of Nursing provides students with high-quality online educational opportunities to meet the needs of their busy work and personal schedules.

The University of Cincinnati (UC) partnered with Compass Knowledge Group, the expert provider of distance learning services, to launch six new online Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) specialties. Enrollments exceeded expectations when classes opened in September.

Graduate nursing candidates are provided several paths to choose from within the new online MSN specialties. The Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Educator specialty carries two diverse tracks in Adult Health / Gerontology and Critical Care. The Nursing Service Administration MSN specialty prepares nurses for management and executive-level roles to develop policy and become agents for positive change. The Adult Nurse Practitioner specialty prepares nurses to deliver care to a variety of patients age 12 and up in a variety of settings. The Family Nurse Practitioner designation takes a broader approach to provide services to persons of all ages who are well or have common health problems. In addition, applicants can select from two specialties targeted for psychiatric / mental health nursing: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric / Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Both have tracks in Adult and Child Care.

Overall job opportunities for nurses are projected to be excellent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses are projected to generate about 587,000 new jobs over a ten year period, an increase of 23 percent by 2016 and far ahead of the 15 percent national average occupational growth rate. The health system's increasing demand for front-line primary care and cost efficiency are driving the need for advanced practice nursing. Between 2000 and 2004, the number of nursing jobs fulfilled by Nurse Practitioners increased by 35% according to the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

By launching six additional online MSN specialties, UC continues to play an important role in the education of these new nurses and their leaders. UC's College of Nursing has a strong reputation for innovation and as pioneers in nursing education - they were the first in the country to offer a baccalaureate in nursing in 1916.

"Working nurses need flexibility and convenience in their graduate studies," said Dr. Andrea Lindell, Dean of the College of Nursing at UC. "The College of Nursing provides students with high-quality online educational opportunities to meet the needs of their busy work and personal schedules."

"In this leading-edge distance learning graduate program, students experience a unique and powerful way to earn their degree that leverages the strengths of traditional programs with new online technologies like virtual classrooms and time-tested teaching philosophies, including local professional preceptors to work one-on-one with advanced practice students," said Dr. Gloria Pickar, Compass Knowledge Group President and Chief Academic Officer, herself a nursing educator and nursing textbook author.

Successful graduates of each specialty may sit for either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) national certification exams. The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)/Nurse Educator specialty prepares graduates who, after two years of full-time experience, may take the Certified Nurse Educator examination offered by the National League for Nursing. Successful graduates of the CNS in Adult Health and the CNS in Gerontology specialties may sit for the ANCC and successful graduates of the CNS in Critical Care certification may take the American Association of Critical Care Nurses or in Nursing Professional Development by the ANCC. Clinical rotations are customized to provide a variety of experiences with a preceptor in the student's local community.

Current MSN student, Rhonda Arena, doubted she would be able to attain an advanced education at her age. "Being able to complete my education online has been one of the most fulfilling events of my life. I can go to school, take care of family, work, and not have to worry about constant travel to and from a brick and mortar college. I have recommended this program and way of studying to several of my friends," she said.

These six new specialties are in addition to two MSN specialties UC and Compass Knowledge developed in 2005, Nurse Midwifery and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Nancy Moss, Director Nurse Midwifery and Women's Health at University of Cincinnati said, "We are proud to respond to our national healthcare crisis by educating more highly qualified, advanced practice nurses to respond to the growing healthcare needs in our country."

To learn more about the University of Cincinnati's MSN program, visit http://www.nursingonline.uc.edu.

About Compass Knowledge Group, LLC
Since 1993, Compass Knowledge Group has partnered with prominent, traditional universities to help them plan, implement and operate successful online academic programs. Compass provides the entire complement of online learning support services - including market research, program marketing, student recruitment, instructional design and technology, student retention support, faculty training and support, technical helpdesk, and online bookstore -- enabling their partners to concentrate on delivering high-quality academics. Compass' success is based on a history of predictable performance that far exceeds industry standards.

About University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
The College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The University of Cincinnati's online programs connects working professionals with a dynamic community of dedicated professors, accessible research and a devoted student support team. Our unique programs combine the quality and high standards of UC´s on-campus academic programs with the flexibility of online studies and local clinical experiences in the student's healthcare community. UC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Other factors in UC achieving high rankings include its outstanding faculty, research, updated curriculum, program accreditations and competitive tuition.

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Kimberly Doyle
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