Seven Decades of Service to Rural and Medically Underserved Families: New Frontier Nursing University Name Becomes Official

HYDEN, Ky., July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Providing compassionate care for women and families in rural and medically underserved areas for more than 70 years, students and graduates of the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing have garnered national recognition for their dedication to Frontier’s mission. Proudly, the school has now officially become Frontier Nursing University as of July 1, 2011.

This nationally recognized institution traces its humble beginnings and commitment to service to Mary Breckinridge, a visionary and trailblazing woman who, in 1925, established the Frontier Nursing Service, traveling on horseback through the hills of Eastern Kentucky to serve as a nurse-midwife for mothers during childbirth. Established in 1939, the school was an outgrowth of Mrs. Breckinridge’s dedication, offering the country’s first rural-based nurse-midwifery education program. Over the course of the ensuing decades, students and graduates have expanded her legacy of care by providing health services to women and families in rural communities around the world. In 1970, the school created the first family nurse practitioner program in the United States, and in 2005, the women’s health care nurse practitioner program was added.

Today, Frontier’s educational programs are recognized for their excellence not only across America, but also worldwide. Close to 1,100 students from all 50 states and several foreign countries are enrolled in either Frontier’s Doctor of Nursing Practice or Master of Science in Nursing degree programs, which combine superb online course offerings and real-world practicum.

Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, President and Dean

Dr. Susan Stone, Frontier’s visionary President and Dean and a certified nurse-midwife, explained: “This new name represents a milestone in the history of our institution: we are a University recognized for our outstanding graduate degree programs, both domestically and worldwide. We’ve just been honored by US News and World Report as being within the top 15 of nurse-midwifery and family nurse practitioner programs in the USA and ranked within the top 50 on their list of graduate schools of nursing nationwide.

“The evolution of the name of our institution reflects both the amazing ‘chronicle’ of our past, as well as the incredible opportunities that lie in our future. All of these milestones are directly attributable to the vision of Mary Breckinridge, the dedication of our board, faculty and staff, and to the increasing worldwide demand for educated women’s and family healthcare professionals.  Combining the Frontier Nursing heritage with our academic excellence as a University, we will more appropriately define the status of our unique institution. As we continue to educate nurses to become nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, we will fulfill our mission to serve rural and medically underserved communities, while reinforcing our commitment to prepare nurses and midwives for advanced practice both domestically and internationally.”

Click here to learn more about the name change and the mission and purpose of Frontier Nursing University.

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