Expanded nursing partnership; accolades for UIndy’s website

Nursing, St. Francis build on partnership

As U.S. demand for primary healthcare services exceeds capacity, the University of Indianapolis and Franciscan St. Francis Health are expanding their educational partnership to help nurses advance their careers and become family nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners can counteract the growing shortage of primary care physicians by providing such services as the initial evaluation of patients, ongoing care for chronic diseases, and preventive screenings and immunizations. In August 2013, under the new agreement, UIndy’s School of Nursing will begin offering Master of Science courses with the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at a Franciscan St. Francis education facility near its Indianapolis hospital at 8111 South Emerson Avenue.

Nurses with bachelor’s degrees will enter the program in cohorts of 12 to 15, meet for evening classes and clinical experiences designed to fit their work schedules, and emerge three years later with an advanced degree. Franciscan St. Francis will provide tuition reimbursement for nurses from its Indianapolis, Mooresville, and Carmel hospitals and from its physician practices in the area. According to projections, Franciscan St. Francis needs to add more than 100 nurse practitioners to its system by 2016 to meet the demand for primary care.

“We are so happy to be partnering once again with the University of Indianapolis to provide our nurses the educational opportunity to continue their Franciscan ministry in an advance practice role,” said Susan McRoberts, regional vice president and chief nursing officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health. The new program is the third master’s degree partnership between the two organizations, joining two ongoing programs that focus on nursing education and health systems leadership.

Anne Thomas, dean of UIndy’s School of Nursing, praised Franciscan St. Francis for its progressive approach to the issue. “The graduates of this new partnership will provide high-quality primary care services in a system that is a team-based, interdisciplinary, and patient-centered,” Thomas said. “This is another example of St. Francis moving forward in a rapidly changing healthcare environment and creatively meeting patient needs through academic partnerships.”

UIndy also provides bachelor’s degree programs in nursing for Franciscan St. Francis and Hendricks Regional Health, as well as associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees for IU Health.

UIndy website wins international notice

The University of Indianapolis website,, has won another major award for the new look and structure unveiled last year. Local marketing and design firm Rare Bird, which created the site in collaboration with UIndy’s departments of Communications & Marketing and Information Systems, has received an Outstanding Website designation in the international Web Marketing Association’s 2012 WebAward competition. Now in its 16th year, the program is the world’s longest-running annual website competition, evaluating thousands of entries in 96 industries and setting standards of excellence in website development. This is not the first recognition for the site, which claimed Best Overall Website and Best Home Page in the 2011 EduStyle Higher-Ed web awards. To read more about the honors, visit

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