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 SRU-Clarion-Edinboro Nurse Practitioner Program Selected by Nationwide Program 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Students in the Nurse Practitioner Program at Slippery Rock, Clarion and Edinboro universities, as well as nursing students at several other State System of Higher Education universities, will better understand human genetics and the relationship to health following the program’s inclusion in a nationwide genetics training seminar.

          “We are extremely proud to have our program’s team selected for the federally-funded ‘Genetics Interdisciplinary Faculty Training’ program which will be offered at Duke University this summer,” says Dr. Joyce Penrose, SRU nursing professor and coordinator of the joint Nurse Practitioner Program. “By updating our faculty on the latest in the recently completed human genome mapping project they will make sure that graduates of our program bring the latest in genetic science to their patients.” The overall plan calls for training 25 teams over the next three years.

          The human genome mapping is providing the blueprint for life. Researchers believe that by using the map they will be able to eventually eliminate a number of major human health problems.

          In addition to the three state system universities in the nurse practitioner master’s program, the accepted team represents a collaborative effort formally known as the Primary Care Council of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Other universities in the council are Bloomsburg and Millersville, which prepare nurse practitioners, and Lock Haven, which prepares physician assistants.

          Nursing faculty representing the team will participate in the three-phase, GIFT program over the summer. “The program includes a pre-session offered online, followed by an intensive, weeklong series of workshops and lectures on the Duke campus in June,” Penrose explains. Upon returning to their home universities, participating faculty will share information with other nurse practitioner and physician assistant faculty. “After we have all been updated on the latest in genetics and human genome mapping, we will immediately begin revising our curriculums to incorporate the information into nursing classes,” Penrose adds, explaining the updates will affect fall semester classes.

Every Nursing Course Affected

          “The information will have some affect on nearly every nurse practitioner course. I expect we will see the information integrated into ‘Pathophysiology,’ ‘Advanced Health Assessment’ and ‘Clinical Decision Making’ courses among others,” she says.

          The GIFT program will bring together faculty teams for nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery and physician assistant programs from throughout the U.S. for updates on the advances in genetics and methods of incorporating genetics as a recurring theme throughout graduate courses. Penrose says with the recent completion of the human genome map, more and more information related to genetics and health are being linked – and resulting in better and faster diagnosis.

          Like the joint Nurse Practitioner Program, the expanded Primary Care Council, established in 2000, is designed to share resources among member universities, thus offering programs and coursework that would not be possible on an individual-university basis.

          The SRU-Clarion-Edinboro Nurse Practitioner Program entered its first class in 1995. The program is designed to help provide primary care providers for rural and medically underserved communities who are able to aid in the prevention and detection of illnesses in their earliest, most curable stages.




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