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Implementing an MSN Nursing Program at a Distance Through an Urban-Rural Partnership

Zukowsky, Ksenia PhD, APRN, NNP-BC; Ann Swan, Beth PhD, CRNP, FAAN; Powell, Mary PhD, CRNP; Frisby, Tony PhD; Lauver, Lori PhD, RN; West, Margaret Mary PhD, CNE, RN; Marsella, Alexis BA

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e318210d075
Professional Growth and Development

Recruiting, retaining, and educating advanced practice nurses is essential to meet the growing need for advanced practice nurses in rural and urban communities. Through the support of Health Resources and Services Administration funding, the urban school of nursing expanded its MSN program and implemented the graduate curriculum on its rural campus by utilizing emerging online and distance education technologies. The purpose of this manuscript is to provide an overview of expanding an existing MSN program offered in an urban, traditional classroom setting to rural graduate nursing students via an online synchronous format. In addition, the article will describe the rural growth of the existing neonatal nurse practitioner program as an exemplar and the different methodologies that are being used in each program to engage the rural nurse practitioner students in clinical courses. In addition, strategies to address barriers related to rural nurse practitioner student recruitment and retention will be discussed.

Jefferson School of Nursing (Drs Zukowsky, Swan, Lauver, and West and Mr Marsella), Thomas Jefferson University (Dr Frisby), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Neumann University, Aston, Pennsylvania (Dr Powell).

Correspondence: Ksenia Zukowsky, PhD, 1540 Sycamore St, Haddon Heights, NJ 08035 (

© 2011 National Association of Neonatal Nurses