OHSU School of Nursing Offers New Program in Bend

09/04/02    BEND, Ore.

The Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing is bringing the Family Nurse Practitioner program to Bend. There will be an informational session on Friday, Sept. 6, 3:30 - 5 p.m., at Central Oregon Community College, Cascades Building, Room 117.

This is welcome news for Tonya Koopman, 32, who has been commuting from her Bend home to Eugene to take classes toward her master's degree. It's been five hours of driving at least once a week for her to access classes at Sacred Heart Medical Center, where OHSU offers a similar program.

"It'll be wonderful to stay in my own community where I live and work, and now can take classes," said Koopman, who received her bachelor of science in nursing from OHSU. She plans to stay in the Bend area and work in underserved communities as a family nurse practitioner.

Increasingly, patients have been choosing family nurse practitioners as their regular health care providers. In Oregon, family nurse practitioners deliver critically important services, especially to rural and medically underserved populations. Nurse practitioners provide health care to all family members while working with youths and their families to prevent child abuse, teen suicide, teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and substance abuse. They also promote nutrition, exercise and immunizations in their communities.

The new program can admit as many as six students this school year. The initial offerings will be online courses in evidence based practice, cultural diversity and policy. There will be face-to-face classes once a month with an FNP faculty member. The second-year classes will be held full time in Bend using a combination of interactive technology and classroom instruction.

Scholarships are available. Fore more information, contact Katherine Crabtree at 503 494-3828 or at crabtree@ohsu.edu. To read more about the Family Nurse Practitioner program visit the OHSU School of Nursing Web site at: www.ohsu.edu/son.