Regina Bentley recognized as a leading nurse practitioner educator

Award shines light on excellence of College of Nursing’s Family Nurse Practitioner program
June 6, 2018

Regina Bentley, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, interim dean and clinical associate professor at Texas A&M College of Nursing, was recently named as one of the 50 Top Nurse Practitioner Professors by nursepractitionerschools.com. The professors were chosen based on their scholarship, teaching, institutional and peer recognitions and professional commitment.

According to Bentley, this recognition reflects well on all of the faculty who teach in the College of Nursing’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program.

“My inclusion on this list reflects the excellence achieved by our FNP faculty and students,” Bentley said. “This is such an exciting program, and it is helping to address the critical need for more primary care providers across the state.”

The inaugural class of FNP students were admitted to the college’s program in 2015. To date, all of the college’s FNP cohorts have a perfect record of a 100 percent first-time pass rate on a national certification exam.

“It is a rigorous program, designed to graduate the best-prepared advanced practice nurses possible,” said Kara Jones-Schubart, DNP, FNP-BC, APRN, RN, a clinical assistant professor and MSN-FNP Program coordinator at the college. “Our graduates are leaders in their health care organizations, communities and the nursing profession.”

At Texas A&M, students in the FNP program are required to complete 635 clinical hours before graduation, pass a national certification exam and become licensed and credentialed before entering practice.

With advanced education and training, FNPs perform advanced assessments, diagnose and treat common health problems, order and interpret diagnostic tests and prescribe medications in a collaborative relationship with a licensed physician. As advanced practice nurses, FNPs excel in health education and health promotion and work in interprofessional teams to improve patient outcomes.

Nurses tend to enter the family nurse practitioner program because they want to improve health outcomes and wellness in their communities. “Many of our graduates work in medically underserved areas,” Jones-Schubart said. “They provide high-quality, cost-effective health care to individuals who may otherwise not have access to the care they need.”

The FNP program combines online and on-campus experiences to deliver graduate education, with full- and part-time options, allowing students to balance career, family and other responsibilities while advancing their education. FNP students gain direct patient care experiences under the supervision of qualified faculty preceptors at or near their home locations.

Those interested in applying must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an institution of higher education accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency and either National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). A current, unencumbered registered nurse license to practice in Texas or in the state where practicums will occur is also required.

Applications for the FNP program open November 1, and prospective students can visit nursing.tamhsc.edu for more information and to connect with an advisor.

— Diane L. Oswald

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