Harnessing the momentum

AMNP plans to increasing student, graduate numbers to answer growing global health care demands
Since its inception, the UAB School of Nursing’s Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway (AMNP) program — one of the few in the Southeast that offers the advanced Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree instead of an accelerated

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) — has proven to be extremely successful, putting hundreds of highly educated nurses into the workforce, producing faculty to educate new generations of nurse leaders, and developing nurse researchers who are discovering knowledge that is impacting patient care worldwide.

Building on this momentum Associate Professor and AMNP Director Jennan Phillips, PhD, RN, and Assistant Professor and AMNP Assistant Director Candace Knight, PhD, RN, are now looking to the future and the next evolution of the AMNP Program.

The top two priorities in the program’s advancement are a revision of its prelicensure curriculum to more closely align it with leadership roles for the changing context of health care and a significant expansion of student numbers, focusing on recruiting from rural and underserved areas.

“There is a national need to increase the number of highly educated nurses ready for professional nursing positions that lead to advanced practice roles to care for patients with increasing rates of chronic diseases,” Phillips said. “In particular, we want to increase the number of students from rural areas and diverse backgrounds. We know that our rural and underserved populations have higher rates of chronic diseases. We need professional and advanced practice nurses from those areas who want to return home to practice in order to improve access to health care for all.”

Night Candace AMNP class RT effectThe curriculum revision is being led by Associate Professor and Interim Assistant Dean for Undergraduate and Pre-Licensure Programs Lynn Stover Nichols, PhD, RN, BC, SANE, and a task force that includes Phillips, Knight and a number of School faculty from inside and outside the AMNP program.

“The task force is comparing the differences and similarities between the AMNP and BSN programs equipping nurses for leadership roles by elevating the level of objectives, even the assignments,” Knight said. “We’re making sure that we have graduates who are well prepared to be the next generation of nurse leaders, answering the demand for a highly educated nursing workforce that is ready to tackle head on the intensifying challenges in health care today and in the future.”

Phillips said recruiting trips to other schools in the Southeast, particularly those without nursing programs, have proven successful, as have efforts to connect with UAB students from programs with science backgrounds and their advisers.

“We are going out and helping high-quality potential students understand this is a viable way to enter into a health care profession that will allow them to function in professional nursing and advanced practice roles,” Phillips said. “We want to increase the size of our program while helping talented students reach their career goals.”

It is yet another example of the UAB School of Nursing adapting to a quickly changing health care landscape. “We have been nimble and responsive to the educational and health care needs of the community with a program that has moved highly qualified individuals into nursing careers in a relatively short amount of time, while providing superior patient-centered care that patients and families demand and deserve,” Knight said. “Now we’re ready to grow this program even further to respond to the growing global health care demands, and I am confident we will be even more successful in the future.”

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