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 RN-MSN Program Launched by Clarion, Edinboro and SRU Consortium 



June 2, 2003

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail:



           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Registered nurses with either diploma or associate degree educations can now pursue a master’s degree in nursing through the RN-MSN curriculum offered by Clarion, Edinboro and Slippery Rock universities master of science in nursing.

            The MSN program, accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, prepares students for careers as family nurse practitioners and nurse educators. The RN to MSN program requires fewer credits than would be required if the curricula were completed separately, said Dr. Joyce E. Penrose, who coordinates the MSN consortium.

           Each student receives a baccalaureate degree in nursing from either Clarion or Slippery Rock University at some point in his or her studies, then receives the MSN conferred jointly by the three-university consortium at the completion of the curriculum.

           Both full- and part-time study is available. Students do not have to travel between the three universities, Penrose said. Instead the universities pool resources and offer evening classes at several sites through interactive television.  Some content is also provided on the World Wide Web.  The program, White explained, is tailored to the needs of working RNs, many of whom have families and are committed to achieving their goals of becoming nurse practitioners or nurse educators as efficiently as possible.

Family nurse practitioners

 Family nurse practitioners are most often employed in outpatient settings, but, increasingly, are in demand in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other in-patient facilities. In spite of increases in FNP graduates, recent reports have demonstrated a need for more of these clinicians.  As the population ages, it will be necessary to have enough primary care clinicians to manage the chronic diseases that often accompany aging, Penrose says.


Nurse Educators

Nurse educators are in equally high demand because the national nursing shortage means  nursing schools are trying to educate more students than ever. Without adequate numbers of faculty members schools cannot educate the increased number of nurses that are needed.  Also, as many nursing faculty reach retirement age, there are more jobs than ever in schools of nursing.  Many hospitals are adding to their education staffs, as well, Penrose says.


The Clarion, Edinboro Slippery Rock Universities Nurse Practitioner Program entered its first class in 1995. The program has been successful in preparing nurse practitioners for rural and medically underserved communities.

PN, PR, Hospital News













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