FSC announces new master's degree in nursing
LAKELAND, Fla. (May 20, 2004) - Florida Southern College is pleased to announce the commencement of a master's program in nursing beginning August 25. This program is supported in part by a generous grant from Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The college received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to launch a graduate program for a Master of Science in Adult Health Nursing, offering an advanced degree as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
The CNS is traditionally an expert in nursing, according to Dr. Sheila Marks, the department chair. In addition to providing direct patient care, clinical nurse specialists influence care outcomes by providing expert consultation for nursing staffs and by implementing improvements in health care delivery systems. Florida Southern chose the CNS program, Marks said, "because we thought it was the type of advanced practice that was most needed in this area." Other advanced practice roles include practitioner, midwife and anesthetist.
"I believe the two biggest contributions that clinical nurse specialists can make to our area is in providing faculty to schools of nursing and to provide nursing expertise in settings that will be benefiting from the current initiatives to solve the nursing shortage," Marks said. "The influx of new nurses will greatly benefit from the expertise of a clinical nurse specialist and improve patient care in our area."
The CNS program will be the only advanced degree program in nursing offered in Polk County and one of only a few clinical specialist programs in the state. The nearest clinical specialist
programs outside Polk County are at the University of South Florida in Tampa and the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
"The Board of Trustees was very impressed with the program," said Dr. Susan Conner, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "Not only has the faculty put together an excellent and needed graduate degree, the M.S. in nursing will continue to support the college mission in a very tangible way. Florida Southern believes in preparing students for meaningful and contributing lives. What could be more appropriate than this degree?"
The focus of this program is medical surgical nursing and covers specific patient populations such as surgical, diabetic, pulmonary and others. The CNS focuses on a specialty and may work in a variety of health care settings from hospitals and clinics to health care agencies and private practice. These specialists manage cases, organizing and coordinating services and resources. As educators, they work with patients, other nursing staff, schools, and the community. Graduates will be prepared to become medical-surgical certified clinical nurse specialists.
The FSC program will start with full-time and part-time tracks. Innovative tracks include the RN to MS and an accelerated program for registered nurses with bachelor's degrees in non-nursing area disciplines. Marks anticipates scheduling all classes on the same day once a week to accommodate working students.
Applications for the program are currently being accepted. The deadline for admission to fall semester 2004 is July 25. For more information on the MSN program, contact Marks at
About Florida Southern College
Florida Southern is a four-year, private, co-educational liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The college offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and a master of business administration degree accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Located in Lakeland, Fla., the college is home to the largest, single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.