Friday, December 10, 2010
Rigorous nurse practitioner program prepares alum for new opportunityBy Dan Bodene, contributing writer
Carol Freeman is looking forward to a vacation – someday.
Freeman is juggling the demands of a new job at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and studies at Oakland University for a postgraduate certificate as a family nurse practitioner. It’s a busy time, and there’s a lot of work yet to do.
But hard work isn’t new to Freeman.
In 2007, she earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in a nursing education track at Oakland, and took a job as a floor-based educator for an inpatient unit at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
“During graduate school, the one thing that stood out was the support and friendship of the other graduate students,” Freeman said. “I continue to network with the nurses I met the first day of class. After graduation, I was hired as a nurse educator for Nursing Development and Research at Henry Ford Hospital. I was very well-prepared to enter into this position.”
But eventually, she wanted to branch out, and coming back to OU after two years made sense.
“The completion of my family nurse practitioner certificate will allow me to pursue a clinical as well as an academic career,” Freeman said. “I hope to practice in neuroscience and teach nursing at some level.”
Her studies are rigorous. Oakland’s family nurse practitioner curriculum in the School of Nursing focuses on culturally sensitive care, incorporating health promotion and management of acute and chronic health problems. The coursework is 47 credits, with 630 clinical practice hours. Eventually, graduates apply nursing theory, principles of advanced-practice nursing and research as they deliver primary care.
The demands of her studies at OU meant Freeman needed to adjust her work schedule. That resulted in the recent move to a part-time job in diagnostic radiology.
Freeman admits it’s a lot of work, but she’s taking it one day at a time. “My immediate plans are to pass my current class and complete my family nurse practitioner certification. After I have completed this program, I want to pass boards.”
And then? “Take a vacation.”
To learn more about the family nurse practitioner program, visit the School of Nursing