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UT Tyler to Award Nurse Practitioner Degrees

August 13, 2007

Beginning this fall, The University of Texas at Tyler will award new master of science in nursing degrees, Dr. Gayle Varnell, UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences assistant dean for advanced practice, announced.


A collaborative nurse practitioner degree program with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has been operating for 11 years. A total of 24 semester credit hours of core courses and electives are taken at UT Tyler. The remaining 24 hours of clinical courses being provided by Texas Tech at the UT Tyler site. Practicum assignments are done with preceptors throughout the East Texas area.


“The difference will be that instead of the degrees being awarded by Texas Tech in collaboration with UT Tyler, the degrees will be awarded by UT Tyler in collaboration with Texas Tech,” said Varnell. “The change will allow UT Tyler to be the degree-granting institution and take credit for the graduates of this collaborative program. This goes along with our efforts to prepare nurses with the advanced skills needed to meet the health care needs of tomorrow’s populations.”


UT Tyler and Texas Tech will continue to work collaboratively in this new model, and UT Tyler will continue to provide clinical expertise and supervision for the clinical courses, according to Varnell.  


Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages.


They also provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.


“With our current faculty, we are able to take 16 students in a cohort,” Varnell added. “The program is increasing in popularity with nurse practitioners being recruited in the East Texas area to provide primary care particularly in the rural health care arena.”


Program tracks to choose from are family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, acute care nurse practitioner and geriatric nurse practitioner.


For more information, contact Varnell, 903.566.7035.


One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of nearly 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.



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