Alverno College
Press Release

AAlverno College Launches State’s First Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Dual Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs


By - Jan 29th, 2020 09:33 am
Photo courtesy of Alverno College.

Photo courtesy of Alverno College.

Milwaukee (Jan. 29, 2020)Alverno College has launched two new Master of Science in Nursing programs — a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program and a Dual Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program — both designed to educate nurse practitioners who will serve vulnerable populations.

The programs are the first of their kind in Wisconsin and will advance the work of Alverno’s strategic plan, which aims to support workforce development in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond, significantly contributing to the evolution of health care by improving accessibility, increasing care quality and lowering costs.

“The demand for health care professionals, particularly advanced practice nurses, continues to rise, so these new nurse practitioner tracks are a logical step forward for us,” said Patricia Varga, Ph.D., RN, CNE, dean of the Alverno College JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Professions. “Through this work, we are concretely addressing gaps in health care delivery for the people of Wisconsin, especially the most vulnerable among us. This is essential work.”

Both programs, open to women and men, are accepting applications now.

Working in hospital settings, neonatal nurse practitioners provide care, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and develop complex treatment plans designed to maximize the health of their patients and prevent complications. Under the leadership of Program Chair Media Esser, Ph.D., NNP-BC, APNP, CWN, the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program will prepare students to provide acute and critical advanced practice nursing care to preterm (infants born after fewer than 37 weeks of pregnancy) and full-term newborns, infants and children up to 2 years old. The program will be offered online, except for an advanced clinical procedures course and clinical practicum experiences.

Dually certified adult-gerontology primary and acute care nurse practitioners work in primary and specialty care outpatient clinics and acute and critical care hospital settings. Under the leadership of Program Chairs Laurie Kunkel-Jordan, Ph.D., ANP-BC, CCRN, and Sarah Foster, DNP, APNP, AGACNP-BC, FNP-BC, NP-C, the Dual Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care Program will prepare students to promote health, prevent disease, and manage chronic, episodic and complex health conditions across adult populations. Students in the dual track will complete 50 credits in theory, advanced clinical procedures and clinical practicum experiences, including 1,200 supervised practice hours. Graduates of this track will be ready for dual certification as adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners, providing them with an expanded scope of practice and employability.

Students in Alverno’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Professions build crucial inter-professional relationships; provide holistic, patient-focused, evidence-based care; and construct strategies for change in health care environments. For more information, visit or call the Alverno Admissions office at 414-382-6100.

About Alverno College

Founded in 1887 by the School Sisters of St. Francis, Alverno College promotes the academic, personal and professional development of its students in a collaborative and inclusive environment. Undergraduate programs for women are offered in more than 60 areas of study, and graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology, school psychology, music therapy and business are open to women and men.

A leader in higher education innovation, Alverno has earned international accolades for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, which emphasizes hands-on experience and develops in-demand skills. The college, Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution, ranks among the top schools in the Midwest for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and innovation by U.S. News & World Report. For the past two years, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education named Alverno the country’s most inspiring college.

Based in Milwaukee, Wis., Alverno College is a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college.

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