TAMU-CC Family Nurse Practitioner Program Ranked No. 1 in Nation by Intelligent.com

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The College of Nursing and Health Sciences Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program has been recognized as the No. 1 FNP Degree Program for 2023 by Intelligent.com, a trusted resource for program rankings and higher education planning. Coming in as the No. 1 “Intelligent Pick” among 21 other FNP programs across the country, the TAMU-CC program was selected based on a variety of factors including academic quality, graduation rate, tuition cost, return on investment, student resources, flexibility, and reputation.

Dr. Elizabeth Loika, TAMU-CC FNP Program Coordinator, says the online/hybrid format of the program provides flexibility and support for student success.

Distance-based education allows FNP students the flexibility to learn without major disruptions to family responsibilities or employment,” Loika said. “Upon completion, our graduates are trained to seamlessly blend the scientific process, current evidence, and national standards of care with a holistic comprehensive approach to manage patients and foster professional practice.”

The online/hybrid program requires 49 graduate credits for completion, with an estimated in-state cost of $407 per credit hour and an out of state cost of $887 per credit hour. Along with the online curriculum, students are required to participate in a two-day on-campus learning session where simulation training, hands-on skills learning, and lecture presentations are delivered by TAMU-CC faculty and community leaders in health care.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports jobs for nurse practitioners are projected to grow at a rate of 46% over the next decade. The report states the increase is due, in part, to an increase in demand for health care services. The TAMU-CC FNP program serves to close the gaps in health care by supplying the industry with new medical professionals equipped with skill, education, and compassion for those in need.

Ashley Dominguez ’14 ’24, BSN, RN, is not only the TAMU-CC Nursing Simulation and Clinical Learning Center Supervisor but also a TAMU-CC FNP student.  

“Family nurse practitioners are an optimal resource in the growing field of medicine,” Dominguez said. “During my time working in an intensive care unit, I have seen firsthand that many patients do not have a primary care provider and wait too long to get help managing their diseases. Family nurse practitioners are filling critical gaps as the focus of health care shifts from disease and illness to prevention and wellness – and that’s where I want to be.”  

While majority of the courseload is online, Dominguez says the program still provides an immersive education experience with room for flexibility – something she appreciates as a full-time educator and mother of two children.   

“The program is immersive because of how involved instructors are with discussion boards, zoom calls, and online lectures,” Dominguez said. “I genuinely appreciate how the courses are mapped out. At the beginning of each semester, the expectations are laid out so that the learner can manage their time and find balance through home, work, and family.”

Family nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings, including in clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, operating rooms, schools, and more. According to Loika, no matter the setting, the most important quality for an effective FNP is understanding your patient and their unique health care needs.

“Understanding current clinical guidelines, regulations, research and evidence-based recommendations is imperative,” Loika said. “Most importantly, incorporating kindness as an integral component to a patient’s health care is what we stand for as Islanders.”

To learn more about Island University’s FNP Program, click here.