ATLANTA — All members of the first graduating class of Mercer University's Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program passed the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification examination on their first attempt and are now practicing nurse practitioners.
“We were thrilled when we heard the news,” said Cathy Provins-Churbock, Ph.D., assistant professor, who serves as a faculty member in many of the courses for this specialty within the graduate program. “The inaugural AGACNP class entered into a brand new curriculum plan, and these certification results provided an external evaluation measure of our program. It's very reaffirming that the program meets standards established by an external certifying body.”
Freida Payne, Ph.D., RN, CFNP, serves as coordinator of both nurse practitioner specialties in the College of Nursing, and is also a site visit team leader for the nursing school accrediting body, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
“Both the AGACNP and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs are a combination of online and in-classroom instruction with field experiences at clinical sites throughout Georgia,” said Dr. Payne. “Both programs are vital to meeting the healthcare needs of our population.”
Mercer's inaugural AGACNP class began coursework in August 2016 and completed it in December 2017, earning a Master of Science in Nursing from the College of Nursing, which is the state's longest-standing educator of nurses.
The AGACNP specialty is the newest track offered in the College's master's program. Nurses may also obtain nurse practitioner specialties post-baccalaureate through the College's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) option.
The graduates, who will formally walk at the University's Atlanta commencement in May, have been complimentary of the program, said Linda Streit, Ph.D., RN, dean of the College of Nursing.
“We have worked very hard to support the program with area experts in acute care, extensive clinical practice and supplementation of clinical learning with special diagnostics, such as the SonoSim® Ultrasound,” added Dr. Streit. “What stands out about our AGACNP program is that the faculty genuinely care about each student and want each one to succeed. Students who meet rigorous entry criteria are able to work with the best providers in the area, and they are poised to be successful providers and leaders in the profession.”
About the American Nurses Credentialing Center
The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. It recognizes healthcare organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes, while providing safe, positive work environments.
About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the longest established nursing program in Georgia. Over its 115-year history, the College has graduated more than 7,800 nurses. The College remains dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in nursing. The College of Nursing is one of four academic units within the Mercer Health Sciences Center. nursing.mercer.edu