Page 1

1  WINTER 2015

Frontier Facts

The Frontier Facts Degree Programs zz Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) zz Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with companion DNP with three specialty tracks: Nurse-Midwifery Family Nurse Practitioner Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner zz Alternate entry option – the ADN-MSN Bridge zz Post-master’s Certficate zz Non-Matriculating

Enrollment: A Frontier Education is in Demand zz New admissions of over 800 students each calendar year zz Quarterly admissions through 8 Frontier Bounds, 4 Bridge Bounds, and 4 DNP Bounds offered each year on the campus in Hyden, Kentucky zz Required intensives bring an additional 600+ students back to campus for Crossing the Bridge (offered 4 times a year), Clinical Bound (offered 12 times a year), and DNP Intensive (offered 4 times a year) zz Remaining coursework and the clinical practicum are completed in students’ home communities


Student Body Demographics zz 71% of enrolled students live in rural counties. zz 76% of enrolled students live in Health Professional Shortage Areas. zz Students and alumni represent all 50 states, 3 territories and 9 foreign countries. ENROLLMENT AT FRONTIER NURSING UNIVERSITY (AS OF FALL TERM 2014) Program Total MSN Nurse-Midwifery 704 MSN Family Nurse Practitioner 697 MSN Women’s Health Care NP 84 Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice 92 Post-Master’s Certificate 49 Total 1,626

Our Achievements zz FNU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and the American College of Nurse-Midwives Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (more details available at zz FNU operates the largest school in the country for nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner education and is proud to offer the oldest and largest continuously operating nurse-midwifery program in the United States. zz Frontier developed and offered the first nurse practitioner program in the United States zz Frontier also pioneered the first community-based, distance-education program for nurse-midwifery in the country in 1989. zz Nearly 4,000 nurses and midwives have graduated with advancedpractice degrees. zz In 2014, Frontier celebrated 75 years of enriching lives of babies, mothers, and families as pioneers for healthcare. zz Frontier Nursing University ranks in Top 50 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by US News & World Report in 2014. zz Frontier is proud to announce the release of the book, Unbridled Service: Growing Up and Giving Back as a Frontier Nursing Service Courier, 19282010, by Dr. Anne Z. Cockerham.

Letter from the President

A Letter from the President Dear Friends and Alumni, In 2014, we marked the 75th anniversary of Frontier Nursing University. When Mary Breckinridge established the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery in 1939, she was working to meet the immediate need of the Frontier Nursing Service for trained midwives, but she was also fulfilling her original intention to open a midwifery school. The mass exodus of the British nurse-midwives brought on by World War II caused a strain on the Frontier Nursing Service. This pressure prompted FNS to quickly move forward with plans for the midwifery school. The first class of two students began in November 1939 and as they say… “the rest is history.” At Frontier, we are very proud of our history and the legacy of leaders and pioneers who have blazed the trail for our institution, for midwives, for nurse practitioners, and for women and families in rural areas. We were honored to recognize 75 individuals and organizations who have played an important role in the success and growth of Frontier Nursing University. These honorees were recognized on our 75th anniversary website ( and during the 75th weekend events in October 2014. While we pause to reflect and celebrate on our first 75 years, we are continuing to blaze full steam ahead into the next 75 years. We graduated the largest number of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners in our history last fall, we have nearly 100 highly qualified faculty who represent the very best in our fields, and our alumni are representing Frontier as leaders in their communities. Our $10 million endowment campaign will fund scholarships, faculty development and facilities in perpetuity. Endowed funds will serve to support these three main components of our institution for its foreseeable future. With nearly 2,000 enrolled students, just 1% receive scholarships—building the endowment for scholarships is critical for their success. Our Hyden and Wendover campuses are registered on the National Historic Registry, and The Big House at Wendover is a National Historic Landmark. Endowed funds will support the annual maintenance and unexpected needs of these facilities. Finally, endowed funds for faculty will support key positions and resources for our faculty. Please join us in celebration of 75 years as Pioneers for Healthcare. We invite you to join us in Kentucky any time and encourage you to make your own financial investment in the future of Frontier Nursing University.

Susan E. Stone, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, FACNM President, Frontier Nursing University

3  WINTER 2015


Letter from the Dean

A Letter from the Dean Dear Friends and Alumni, Since being named Dean of Frontier Nursing University in September 2013, it has been my honor to lead this institution forward. This was a natural progression of my nearly fifteen years with Frontier and I am excited for the challenge. Frontier Nursing University is a leader in advanced nursing and midwifery education and we will continually strive for excellence in our curriculum, learning outcomes, and performance. We continue to adapt and evolve our programs to meet the increasingly rigorous expectations of advanced practice nurses and midwives. The MSN+DNP curriculum allows all of our students to choose to complete the DNP which is the highest level of clinical nursing and midwifery education seamlessly or exit with a Master of Science Nursing degree. The post-master’s DNP allows our graduates and graduates of other programs to return to graduate education. We review curricula for programs continually and measure our competencies based on the competencies from accrediting agencies, national recommendations, and our own expectations for Frontier graduates. We focus on creating community and connection amongst our faculty, staff, students, preceptors, and alumni in order to foster success for each student and ensure top quality health care provided by our graduates. The FNU Community of Inquiry elevates the social, cognitive, and teaching presence within our institution in order to improve learning outcomes and produce excellent providers. Students consistently report feeling well-connected to Frontier.


Frontier pass rates on certification exams are consistently higher than the national average. The FNU attrition rate is decreasing due to high quality retention programming, enhanced financial supports for students, and focused attention on our students. Finally, our clinical simulations training continues to introduce new, innovative practices which increase students’ confidence as they enter their clinical training. Thank you for supporting FNU as we strive for excellence. Our academic success is reliant on a strong network of faculty, preceptors, staff, students, alumni, and financial supporters. We are grateful for the role each of you play in our achievements. Together we are improving healthcare one graduate at a time.

Sincerely, Julie A Marfell, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP DEAN, Frontier Nursing University

Table of Contents FEATURES


beyond the frontier


A publication of the Frontier Nursing University Alumni Association

Celebrating 75 Years!

Editorial Staff:

17 20

Remebering Our Chicken Coop Roots Annual Commencement Ceremony Held October 24

Graphic Design & Production:

24 28

Denise Barrett Director of Development and Alumni Relations Angela Bailey Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations Michael Claussen Development Coordinator Nancy Reinhart Courier Program Coordinator & Development Officer Gail Spake Writing Support Specialist

Courier Programs: Rural Health Internships Facing the Future with PRIDE

Brandon S. Fields Web Content Administrator / Graphic Designer


Dr. Susan E. Stone President Dr. Michael Carter Chair, FNU Board of Directors Kitty Ernst Mary Breckinridge Chair of Midwifery

Contact Us: Your comments and ideas are welcome. Please contact us at the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, (859) 899-2700 or

Also Inside this Issue: Frontier Preceptors 40 Frontier Endowment 42 Revisiting Historic Wendover 44 Grant Report 46 Connect With Us 48

W W W . F R O N T I E R . E D U

5  WINTER 2015

FNU Programs at a Glance 22 SAGE Peer Mentoring 27 Conference Roundup 30 Class Notes 32 Frontier Nursing Honor Society 38 Alumni Donor Challege 39

Letter from the Chairman

A Letter from the Chairman of the Board Dear Friends, What an exciting time in the history of Frontier Nursing University! In 2014, we celebrated 75 years as a school – living the vision of Mrs. Breckinridge to care for mothers and babies and the families who care for them. Our graduates understand what it means to care for families and communities better than most anyone else. Many things have changed over the years since we began. We now have roads where few existed. We have high-speed electronic communications to move voice and video, which means education can come to the learner rather than the reverse. And, we have health care miracles unfolding every day that can do much to help our graduates improve the quality of life for those in their care. What has remained central to our work and guides much of what we do is that the needs of our families and communities form the context for all we do. This requires nurses to balance science, economics, politics, humor, faith, and many other attributes that form the matrix of life. We believe Frontier Nursing University prepares our graduates to thrive in these environments. I hope that you will take as much delight as do the Board of Directors in the many achievements of our students, faculty and staff. These outstanding accomplishments provide us with the knowledge that we are doing the right things as a University.


Sincerely, Michael Carter, DNsc, DNP, FNP Chair, Board of Directors Frontier Nursing University

Letter from the MB Chair

Message from the Mary Breckinridge Chair of Midwifery


t is one thing to do this in a demonstration in an area of desperate need like that of Mary Breckinridge at the Frontier Nursing Service, another to implement it nationwide in 50 different regulatory jurisdictions with diverse social, cultural and economic circumstances. But the success of Frontier and other nurse driven demonstrations like Hospice and Birth Centers have overcome many of the inevitable hurdles encountered when proposing major changes to a firmly entrenched status quo. The question now remains can we overcome the oft spoken response to embracing midwifery that we “don’t know how to produce enough of them“ to be part of the solution at the most critical juncture of all care - the beginning of life. Mary Breckinridge believed and successfully demonstrated that all of health care must begin with the care of the mother and newborn and extend on a continuum to the family and the environment of the community.

demands for comprehensive care for all by competent and compassionate providers. You are part of the solution! So please help take your professions over the top for only through you and by you is this change achievable!! And like those who have gone before you, “Never, never, never, give up!”

We should all be convinced by now we are at TIPPING POINT FOR MAKING THE CHANGES in our fragmented system for delivering care to childbearing women and families. There is an increasing mountain of evidence supporting a team approach to health care delivery, which includes nurse midwives and nurse practitioners. The landscape of health and medical care delivery is beginning to move more quickly from its hierarchical system of management to a lateral management system where all providers collaborate to contribute their full scope of knowledge and skills to the provider team.

7  WINTER 2015

Frontier Nursing University has taken the lead in demonstrating that we can produce the nurse midwives and nurse practitioners by taking the opportunities for graduate education to the home communities of nurses. But our future growth is dependent on YOU, the largest singular alumni in the United States. To take your professions forward YOU must meet the challenges of your generation. We are depending on YOU to actively participate in and support your university, your professional organizations, the political processes for improving care, and the consumers who in ever larger numbers are demanding evidence based choices and the continuity of care that a collaborating team approach provides. Most importantly we are depending on YOU to serve as preceptors for our students for without your help we will fall short of meeting the growing

Celebrating 75 Years


Our Roots: The Frontier Nursing Story 1939 to 2014

ightning cut through the darkened sky and the distant beat of thunder was matched by the tremors deep within his chest as he saddled the horse. His heart raced with excitement and fear for what was about to happen. Placing his foot in the stirrup, he quickly mounted and as another flash of lightning lit the sky he urgently kneed the horse with a silent plea for fleetness. The sound of hooves matched the next rumble in the sky. As the man and his horse made their way through the inky night he knew that if he could get to Hyden, then the nurse-midwife could get to his wife. Steadying his resolve he settled in for the ride. The year was 1941 – his destination was Frontier Nursing Service.

Celebrating 75 Years

Mary Breckinridge, founder of Frontier Nursing Service, was no stranger to life’s challenges. It was her own grief at losing her first husband and both her children that provided the impetus to dedicate her life to improving the health of women and children. FNS offered the services of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who could visit families in their homes, nursing centers, and a hospital that served an area of 700 square miles.

Mary Breckinridge is the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service.

75th Anniversary Milestones FNU proudly claims the following: • Oldest and largest continuously operating nurse-midwifery education program in the United States. • First family nurse practitioner program in the country. • Pioneered the first midwifery communitybased distance education program in the United States in 1989. • Nearly 4,000 nurses and midwives have graduated with advanced practice degrees • Students and alumni represent every state and many foreign countries • Ranked by US News & World Report in the: • Top 50 Graduate Schools of Nursing • Top 15 for Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner programs • Top 50 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs • Named a “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education

9  WINTER 2015

Fortunately for him and his family, 16 years earlier a woman holding a powerful intention and commitment had dedicated her life to the health and wellbeing of the families of the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky, one of America’s poorest and most isolated regions. Waiting for him and ready to respond on a moment’s notice was a Nurse-Midwife who would grab her saddlebag full of supplies, jump on a horse and follow him back to his waiting wife… ensuring a much greater chance for the survival of his family.

Celebrating 75 Years

Mary Breckinridge is seen here with her nurses on horseback.

In the early 1900s, many women in rural areas of the United States had no access to health care. Most women gave birth to their children at home, with only the help of family members or neighbors. At this time, for every 100,000 live births, over 800 resulted in maternal death and 10 percent of children died before their first birthday. Breckinridge believed that the high infant and maternal mortality rates were preventable. She took the steps necessary to diminish inevitable tragedies by focusing her services on the prenatal period, birth, and the first year of a child’s life.

nurse practitioner program, transitioning to a distance-learning format and introducing doctoral level programs. Frontier Nursing University has become one of the premier nursing institutions in the country. Since the inception of Frontier there have been many accomplishments to celebrate, all made possible by the generosity of our donor base: those who hold belief in our mission to make a difference.

Today, our graduates are continuing to improve health care and outcomes for families. Nurse-Midwives and nurse practitioners Her efforts were profound, as she was able to witness the maternal have been shown to provide high quality, cost-effective care and mortality rate in Leslie County, Kentucky move from being the Frontier is able to educate nurses where they are–improving access highest in the country to well below the national average; an to care for millions of people. As we celebrate 75 years, we reflect accomplishment that places Mrs. Breckinridge within the ranks of on the roots of our institution and how they continue to provide some of America’s greatest heroes. the inspiration for today’s students and alumni. Frontier graduates carry the vision of Mary Breckinridge to the “wide neighborhoods In 1939, FNS founded its own school of midwifery in Hyden, KY, of man” and make a difference in the lives of so many every day. the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery. Mrs. Breckinridge stayed at the helm until her death in 1965. Through the years, the The amazing, landmark work started by Mrs. Breckinridge is school has evolved and grown, adding the country’s first family leading Frontier’s Pioneers for Healthcare toward 75 more years. As graduates take Mrs. Breckinridge’s mission, passion and purpose into their own communities, Frontier is changing the face of healthcare in the United States and is validating midwifery as a viable, healthy option for moms and families.


From horses to jeeps to float planes flying over Alaskan terrain, Frontier Nursing and its graduates continue to significantly impact today’s medical landscape. Frontier graduates make healthier paths for the families they serve. FNU is leading the charge to better healthcare in our world. We are...

A FNU Nurse floats down the river with a patient.

To support Frontier Nursing visit us at

Celebrating 75 Years

Seventy-five honorees for 75 years of service.

“When Mary Breckinridge founded Frontier, she understood what it meant to be passionate about the care given to families and the knowledge imparted upon students,” says Frontier Nursing’s President Dr. Susan Stone. “Marking 75 years as a pioneer in graduate nursing and nurse-midwifery education, Frontier is at the forefront of healthcare innovation and technology.”

Marking 75 years as a pioneer in graduate nursing and nursemidwifery education, Frontier is at the forefront of healthcare innovation & technology.

Frontier is both a nationally and regionally accredited University with more than 1,500 students currently enrolled. By utilizing distance-learning methods, Frontier makes graduate-level education accessible to nurses in all areas. Dr. Stone adds, “Frontier is changing the face of healthcare in the United States and is validating family nurse practitioners and nursemidwives as valuable members of the healthcare system. Nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners provide safe, high quality, cost-effective and patient centered care for women and families. With the largest class to date graduating this fall, we are at the forefront of improving access to care for families in rural and medically underserved areas. ” With Frontier graduates working in all 50 states and around the globe, the outlook for jobs in midwifery and advanced nursing is very positive. The U.S. Department of Labor reports the job outlook for nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners is 31% growth from 2012-22, which the department cites as “much faster than average.” The reports also cites that growth will occur primarily because of the effects of healthcare legislation, an increased emphasis on preventative care, and demand from the aging baby-boomer population for healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives than previous generations.

To celebrate the work being done by nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, Frontier is honoring 75 people as part of the 75th anniversary. The 75 honorees may be found on We have selected five amazing stories to share here who represent the unique culture of Frontier represented by alumni, couriers, donors, board and foundation members. • 2011 Frontier Graduate Jan Stalder is a search and rescue nurse who has witnessed the aftermath of devastating tragedies, including the 9/11 attacks, the Columbia Space Shuttle recovery and Hurricane Katrina. Today, in addition to working at the newly opened “Frontier Family Health as a family nurse practitioner in McKinney, Texas, Ms. Stalder serves as a firefighter and paramedic. She is also a founding member of Texas 4 DMAT (a federal disaster medical assistance team), having served as a supervisory nurse manager with that team at Ground Zero. • The late Virginia “Ginny” McAlister began her journey to become a Frontier midwife shortly before the home birth of her second child in 2011. In July 2012, Ms. McAlister was diagnosed with a rare and fastgrowing cervical cancer. Through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, Ms. McAlister continued to take classes at Frontier. She was mere hours from finishing her clinical training and graduating when her health began to decline rapidly. More than 700 Frontier students petitioned the Frontier administration to award Ms. McAlister an honorary degree. She was presented the Master’s of Science in Nursing Degree Honoris Causa on February 7, 2014 and passed away February 8. Thanks to the overwhelming support of Ms. McAlister’s fellow students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends & family, the Virginia McAlister Scholarship has been established at FNU. • Patsy Lawrence - Courier – Patsy Lawrence served as a Courier in 1946. She served as long-time chairperson of the Boston Committee, stepping down in 2013. Ms. Lawrence’s daughter, Fran Lawrence Keene, also served as an FNS Courier. Patsy was a great source of information for the book Unbridled Service. Her father is the source of the

11  WINTER 2015

This group brought Frontier to where it is today and will continue to embrace new leaders for another 75. From Mary Breckinridge, to the first nurse to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, and a leader who made contributions in maternalchild health in Mexico, West Africa and Egypt, the honorees are to be thanked for their dedication to our profession.

Celebrating 75 Years


now famous quote that Patsy “grew up six years in six weeks” after serving as a Frontier Courier. • Nadene Brunk, CNM - Frontier graduate; Executive Director and Founder, Midwives for Haiti – Ms. Brunk is a nurse-midwifery alumnus from Class 8. She founded Midwives for Haiti, a nonprofit that educates Haitian women in prenatal care and skilled birth assistance. Ms. Brunk hopes to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Haiti, deemed the most dangerous place in the Western hemisphere to give birth. • Eunice K. M. Ernst, RN, CNM, MPH, DSc (HON) - For half a century, Ms. Ernst has been a pioneer in both the field of midwifery and in developing the best care possible for families in pregnancy and birth. An early president and active member of the American College of NurseMidwives (ACNM), Ms. Ernst conducted the first wave of accreditation for nurse-midwifery education programs and developed the first “What is a Nurse-Midwife?” brochure. Ms. Ernst occupies the first endowed chair in the profession, the Mary Breckinridge Chair of Midwifery. Annually, ACNM gives the Kitty Ernst Award to honor an exceptional, relatively new CNM/CM who has demonstrated innovative, creative endeavors in midwifery and/or women’s health clinical practice, education, administration, or research.

• Shirley Pollard-Ramsey, DNP, FNP-BC, CRNFA - Frontier graduate, post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Class 2; Clinical Director, Surgery on Sunday. Ms. Pollard-Ramsey’s doctoral studies at Frontier focused on delivery of healthcare to the underserved, specifically rural Americans. The Lexington, KYbased, non-profit organization, Surgery on Sunday, provides essential outpatient surgical services for free to income-eligible individuals and families who do not have health insurance and are not eligible for federal or state assistance. • The Thompson Charitable Foundation - This Knoxville, TN-based organization serves specific counties within Eastern Kentucky including Leslie County, home to Frontier. Established by B. Ray Thompson, the Thompson Charitable Foundation has funded annual capital needs to carry out the work of Frontier. The needs included critical maintenance projects for the historic properties, expansions and renovations on the Hyden and Wendover campuses, and various equipment needs. The support of the Thompson Charitable Foundation for more than 20 years has made it possible to continue hosting 1,000+ students annually on campus.

The Historic Hyden Hospital which was established by Mary Breckinridge and the Frontier Nursing Service opened in 1928 and continued to serve the people of the Eastern Kentucky Region until 1975 when the more modern Mary Breckinridge Hospital was opened.

A special section of is dedicated to the Faces of Frontier. We would love to hear your story! You are invited to share a few details at and someone from the Frontier team will get in touch with you for the complete story.

Celebrating 75 Years

The weekend kicked off with a Friday evening reception at the Bodley-Bullock House in downtown Lexington. Nearly 80 guests enjoyed barbeque dinner, catered by Bluegrass Committee member, Selma Owens, and traditional bluegrass music provided by Dean Osborne and band.


n honor of our 75th Anniversary, Frontier hosted a weekend full of events for friends near and far! Frontier alumni, students, faculty, staff, preceptors, couriers, friends and supporters from across the country enjoyed coming “home” to Kentucky!

On Saturday morning, more than thirty guests gathered at Shakespeare & Co. to enjoy a brunch with guest speaker, Silas House. Silas is a nationally bestselling author, an educator, the winner of numerous writing awards and the son of a Frontier baby. He moved the audience with his personal connection to FNU and his deep love of the community where we have our roots. Meanwhile, others were escorted to Hyden to take a tour of the FNU Campus and Wendover. While in Hyden, guests were also treated to the Mary Breckinridge Festival Parade, which happened to coincide with our celebratory weekend.



1 3

1. Guest enjoyed a traditional Kentucky breakfast with homemade gravy!


2. Silas House visits with Erma

1. Dean Osborne, Kentucky School of

Stacy-Kemble while signing books.

Bluegrass & Traditional Music (far right) Rob and Dedria Morgan (center) and Ronnie Merrill (far left) provide traditional bluegrass music as entertainment.

3. Silas House enthralling the

2. Attendees enjoy a fabulous Kentucky BBQ dinner

3. Leadership Council Member and Bluegrass

Committee Chair, Linda Roach and Tonya Nicholson, Program Director of Midwifery and Women’s Health share a special moment with young attendee, Josephina Aldridge.


13  WINTER 2015

audience with his reflections on FNU and the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

Celebrating 75 Years

The Saturday festivities concluded with an elegant Gala hosted at the Lexington Convention Center in the beautiful downtown area. Guests were greeted with displays of memorabilia, foliage, and other decorations to elicit an atmosphere reminiscent of Hyden. Once inside the ballroom, guests enjoyed beautiful centerpieces donated by the Bluegrass Committee and the Cottage Garden Club. A sumptuous dinner, a cake designed as a replica of Wendover, and music by the Torques topped off the experience.










Celebrating 75 Years


To wrap up the weekend on Sunday, guests were given the opportunity to visit with couriers and later to experience the excitement of Keeneland racing! Former couriers were invited to a beautiful downtown art space for brunch provided by Alfalfa’s to reminisce about their experiences Sunday morning. Later that afternoon, a traditional Kentucky lunch and horse races provided the perfect close to a whirlwind weekend. A great time was had by all and it was the perfect ending to a weekend of non-stop Frontier celebration! 1-4. Guests were greeted with displays of historic memorabilia as they walked through the reception area. The natural accents and historic pieces gave the downtown Lexington venue a very special feeling of our home in Hyden, KY.

5. Leadership Council Member and Honoree,

Peter Coffin dances the night away with his lovely wife Abby.

6. Our band for the evening, The Tourqes keep

the dance floor packed and everyone smiling!

7. Desert for the Anniversary Gala featured this beautiful cake replica of Mary Breckinridge’s home at Wendover, KY donated by Bluegrass Committee Member, Martha Copeland.

8. Program Director of Midwifery and Women’s Health, Tonya Nicholson, took to the stage to help out the band with some Frontier favorites, including our school song.

9. Honorees present at the Gala join together for a photograph.

as a Frontier Nursing Service Courier, 19282010, by Dr. Anne Z. Cockerham which tells the colorful story of the Frontier Nursing Service Courier program was featured at the Courier breakfast.

11. Helen Rentch, Leadership Council and 10


Bluegrass Committee member shares her memories of the Courier program.

15  WINTER 2015

10. Unbridled Service: Growing Up and Giving Back

Celebrating 75 Years










1. Honoree Lisa Uncles visits with a guest 2. Guests mingle among Frontier artifacts prior to dinner and dancing 3. Honoree Shirley Pollard Ramsey enjoyed the celebration with alumna 4. 5. 6. 7.

Karen McCrea

Guests dance to the Torques Mary Clay Stites, right, invited a full table of guests from Louisville President Susan Stone with her granddaughter Alumni Nicole May, Alice Herman, and Filomena Vagueiro enjoyed the day trip to Hyden

8. Susan Stone drives the Mary Breckinridge Parade Grand Marshal, Kitty Ernst, in a Frontier Nursing Service Jeep


9. Nearly 40 guests traveled to Hyden to tour Wendover and the Hyden campus

Remembering our Chicken Coop

17  WINTER 2015


very great adventure begins with a small step. In the case of Frontier Nursing University, the first steps towards distance education where in 1988 four dedicated organizations, the Maternity Center Association, the American Association of Birth Centers, the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing decided as a group to design an experimental pilot program for the distance education of nurse-midwives. Though the idea was not sparked by Frontier, the pilot of the Community Based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program, or CNEP as it came to be known, through a series of challenges to its implementation ended up at the headquarters of the American Association of Birth Centers in Perkiomenville. There, under the direction of a 1950 Frontier graduate and leader in development of nurse-midwifery services and education, the foundation was laid for the distance education program FNU is famous for today. One announcement in the January 1989 Childbirth Graphics Catalogue mailed to 36,000 nurses and childbirth educators brought telephone inquiries from over 2,000 nurses the first year, confirming the often doubted belief that there were nurses who wanted to be midwives, especially those from rural and underserved areas unable to relocate to the urban universities for education.

Remembering the Chicken Coop

The orientation for these students was held at Camp Unami, which was only a few miles from the “school.” Experts in building a community within groups came from Outward Bound in Minnesota to help plan and direct the unique orientation period called “Midwifery Bound.” Accommodations at Camp Unami were not quite five star, but the company was first class. The students slept in a large open room filled with two rows of bunk beds. Classes were held in the great room where the students circled up each night to share reactions to the experiences of the day. Everyone helped with the daily chores. Teams were assigned for setting up before and cleaning up after meals, including dishwashing. Evenings were spent in the great room singing, networking around a roaring fire, and fostering a supportive community among students and their faculty.


Students returned to Perkiomenville, after a year or more of academic study, for a two week development and evaluation of their hands-on skills in preparation for their clinical rotation at a nurse-midwifery practice site. This was called Level Three and would later be came known as Clinical Bound. Level Three required exam room space for students to practice clinical skills. Birth Centers would have been an ideal location for the students and instructors to work on skills in a realistic setting, but the centers could not suspend operations for two weeks to accommodate the students and instructors. So, in true pioneer style, an innovative renovation of a chicken coop provided a versatile and workable interactive learning facility that successfully met the needs for Level Three. The “coop” was separated into two sections, one-third was used as a workspace and library, the other twothirds were utilized as a classroom and five exam rooms. The dividers between the exam rooms were designed to be easily disassembled so that the space could be used for large group instruction. Ordinary bed sheets were hung on pipe dividers to provide privacy for “patients” during physical examinations. The patients, in those first classes, were fellow students.

Remembering the Chiceknn Coop

A farmhouse connected to a local Nonprofit Conference Center provided inexpensive housing and for further community building for ten students. There the Level Three “Chicken Coop Midwives” did their own shopping, cooking, and cleanup. This was reminiscent of their experience at Midwifery Bound where students helped out in a myriad of ways. The farmhouse was also an excellent setting for practice of skills, additional study, and fellowship for students and faculty.

19  WINTER 2015

These hardy “Chicken Coop Midwives” and their instructors took the first steps on the journey to the renowned program the Frontier Nursing University provides to students in all fifty states, three territories, and nine foreign countries today. After two and a half years of implementing the first fully distance midwifery education program and a full financial audit, the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing made the decision to adopt the CNEP program and the AABC staff packed up all the records, equipment, supplies and financials in a U-Haul truck. Kitty Ernst, with return car in tow and her loyal Westie, “Jock” serving as copilot, delivered them to Hyden, Kentucky. As we celebrate our 75th Anniversary, we remember fondly the dedicated birth center nurse-midwifery faculty and brave women who put aside fear and doubt to become the first students to embrace a new way of training nurse-midwives. Many of the nurses who attended in those first years are now leading the way for the next generation of nursemidwives. We thank the Chicken Coop students, faculty and AABC staff for their bravery, hard work, vision, and service. You are truly our pioneers.

Annual Commencement


Annual Commencement Ceremony Held October 25 Frontier Nursing University (FNU) hosted its 2014 commencement ceremony in Hyden, KY on Saturday, Oct. 25. Over the past year, more than 500 nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners from almost every state across the nation completed an FNU distance-education program. Nearly 200 graduates attended the commencement ceremony – with a total of more than 1000 guests at the event. FNU President Susan Stone presided over the commencement ceremony. Dr. Beverly Malone, chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing (NLN), delivered the commencement address. Dr. Malone’s tenure at the NLN has been marked by a retooling of the League’s mission to reflect the core values of caring, diversity, integrity, and excellence and an ongoing focus on advancing the nation’s health. It is our privilege and honor to welcome our newest Alumni! Congratulations!

A very special moment of this years graduation ceremony was the awarding of Virginia “Ginny” McAlister’s hood to her husband Geoff McAlister. Ginny was also honored by her classmates, who donated a beautiful piece of art to be placed in the Haggin Dorm in her honor.

21  WINTER 2015

Annual Commencement


Pr ogra ms at a Gl ance

In January 2014, Frontier Nursing University implemented the new MSN + Companion DNP curriculum for all incoming students. This new curriculum allows students to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus in nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner, or women’s health care nurse practitioner studies and have the opportunity to seamlessly progress to a companion Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The MSN + Companion DNP program is a new approach that will offer more options for students, and provide the opportunity for many more nurses to achieve the highest level of nursing and midwifery clinical education available by completing the DNP degree. FNU’s new MSN + Companion DNP curriculum is designed to prepare nurse-midwives

and nurse practitioners to be excellent clinicians as well as leaders in the healthcare system. FNU graduates will be change agents who improve the health care system while providing high-quality primary health care with a focus on women and families in rural and underserved areas. The mission of Frontier Nursing University remains

the same: to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate nursemidwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families, with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations. The MSN + Companion DNP follows the same format that the MSN program has for many years. All students begin

the program by attending Frontier Bound in Hyden, complete didactic coursework online, and then return to Hyden for Clinical Bound before beginning the clinical practicum. The FNU distance learning format is familiar to most alumni who graduated from the distance program.

For more information on FNU’s nurse-midwifery program contact Anne Cockerham, PhD, CNM, WHNP, Associate Dean for Midwifery and Women’s Health at

For more information contact Lisa Chappell, PhD, FNPBC, Associate Dean for Family Nursing at

For more information on FNU’s women’s healthcare nurse practitioner program contact Anne Cockerham, PhD, CNM, WHNP, Associate Dean for Midwifery and Women’s Health at

For more information about the ADN Bridge Entry Option, contact the Trish Voss, DNP, CNM, Director of ADN Bridge, at

For more information contact the admissions counselor at

On this page are snapshots of current programs offered at FNU. We appreciate alumni referrals, which are consistently the number one source for new students. FNU admits eight classes to the MSN + Companion DNP each year (up to 480 new students), four classes to the ADN Bridge entry (up to 150 students), and four classes to the post-master’s DNP program (up to 100 students). We encourage graduates considering a return to school for a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to choose Frontier’s post-Master’s DNP program!

23  WINTER 2015

Pr ogra ms at a Gl ance

Courier Program


n 1928, Mary Breckinridge, founder of Frontier Nursing University established the Courier Program, recruiting young people to come work in the Kentucky Mountains and learn about service to humanity. Couriers escorted guests safely through remote terrain, delivered medical supplies to remote outpost clinics, and helped nurse-midwives during home visits and births. Frontier has benefited tremendously from the 1,500 Couriers who have served since 1928. Rising from its familiar roots, the program has been evolving and expanding in recent years.


Modern Couriers, usually undergraduate students, are assigned to do service at rural health clinics and birth centers in the Appalachian region under the mentorship of FNU nurse practitioners and midwives. At their sites, Couriers meet critical

needs that would otherwise go unmet, accompany nurses on home health visits, and engage in community projects. The program’s eight-week internships last from June to August each year. Our 2014 Couriers joined us at Wendover to start their experience together in early June, traveling from destinations and universities across the

Courier Program goals are to: 1. Introduce Couriers to the value of public health and primary healthcare services to people living in rural and underserved communities 2. Support clinical and other community sites by meeting critical needs that would otherwise go unmet 3. Foster cultural humility through Courier engagement with diverse communities and fellow Couriers 4. Facilitate Couriers’ experience of FNU’s mission in action and encourage them to embody the Frontier legacy in their later vocations and personal lives

Courier Program

she had changed her original treatment plan because of all the other details that had come forward during the visit.”

country. They are tremendously of them will go on to become bright, caring, mature and practitioners, it was inspiring driven. to witness their personal growth and reflection through Sites where Couriers served the summer. were Little Flower Clinic in Hazard, KY; The Hazard Here are some reflections Clinic in Hazard, KY; Couriers shared about their Lisa Ross Birth Center in experience: Knoxville, TN; Women’s Wellness and Maternity Birth “When I arrived in Wendover Center in Madisonville, TN; I was amazed by the seemingly Mountain Comprehensive idyllic first impression that Healthcare Corporation in Leslie County gave. The rolling Whiteburg, KY and the White mountains, dense forests, and House Clinic in McKee, KY. shaded creeks were a welcome relief from the type of poverty I (A special THANK YOU to had expected and seen in drier FNU alumni at these sites who and more urban areas. The make this program possible by Wendover campus was further mentoring our Couriers!) reassurance of comfort, security, and history.” The group spent their summer doing critical tasks, such as “Friday I spent with a nurse filing and answering phones. practitioner, at the clinic in They also created brochures the hospital. Her schedule was and educational materials on full for the day and she went many subjects, depending on straight from one patient to the the needs and requests of the next. Despite her full schedule, clinic. she never seemed concerned about the amount of time she Through their Courier service spent with each patient. One and community involvement, patient we talked to for almost participants learned a lot about 45 minutes. The longer she the role of advance practice stayed in the room, the more nursing and public health details she seemed to get from in rural and underserved the patient not just about the communities. Given that original concern that brought they are the future of our her in but other aspects of her healthcare system, since many health. By the end of the time,

Please invite young people you know to apply for the Courier Program! Interested individuals can learn more and apply online at If you (or someone you know) has questions, please encourage them to contact us by email at

25  WINTER 2015

The road to Wendover...where our 2014 Couriers hail from.

appreciative for the patients and families that have allowed me to be present during some of their most intimate moments whether that means the “I have continually found....that beginning of life or the end of this common ground is people. life. I have been able to see a Usually after only several side of the community that I minutes of speaking with wouldn’t have seen otherwise. someone, that person will have A community is so much identified much of their local more than facts and statistics family, and more often than and I have learned so much not, I have already met at least more through the personal one of those family members…. interactions I’ve had with And once you have established patients and families.” that mutual connection of a person you both know, it sort These passages demonstrate of “grounds” the interaction the power of the experience, as in something real…. I think well as the ways in which its that this lesson is a particularly structure facilitates participants valuable, because it helps to meeting the program’s goals. establish patient trust—for a It’s also a good reminder patient to put their faith in you, to all of us just how much it is meaningful to them if they these future leaders can learn can associate you with someone from the Frontier model of else whom they already trust.” healthcare and why we at FNU continue to invest in this “I am definitely seeing the program. full circle of life. This entire internship has made me so

Courier Program

Dr. Anne Cockerham, FNU Associate Dean of Midwifery and Women’s Health and Professor of Nursing History



Delight in a fresh perspective on Frontier Nursing history as told through pages of colorful and rich stories and photos about Mrs. Breckinridge’s famous Courier Service. Unbridled Service: Growing Up and Giving Back as a Frontier Nursing Service Courier, 1928 - 2010 is a full-size coffee table book that takes us through each era of the 85-year service learning program, detailing Couriers’ support of FNS functions as their service evolved throughout the years.

The book is a perfect companion to Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World, which is also available through our website. Receive a discount when you order the books as a set.

Visit to order your copy today!

SAGE Peer Mentoring

By Students...For Students!

To me, the support from one another in a distance program makes ALL the difference. The connections really matter, just like the connections with our patients.

students as they adjust academically and emotionally to graduate distance learning. SAGE combines one-onone peer mentoring, group activities, and recognition of student activities and performance. In addition to contributing to the sense of community FNU works hard to create, SAGE also works to increase student retention at FNU. We know that if students make connections to the university beyond the relationships with their faculty members, they are more likely to persist if or when trouble presents itself.

Did you know that as an alumnus, you have the ability to give back to other students as a SAGE Mentor? The experience is truly what you make of it! Our alumni mentors Did you know the SAGE check in with students on a mentor program was created regular basis through phone by students for students? contact, email, or snail mail. SAGE is designed to provide Your responsibility is to a supportive network to provide encouragement and

motivation from the “been there, done that” perspective, which students certainly appreciate. We are always on the lookout for more mentors, and you CAN make a difference in the lives and experiences of the students who come behind you. If you are always wondering how you might be able to give back to FNU as a

graduate, search no further. Please contact me or any Student Services Staff member for more details on how you can provide support to a FNU student. In gratitude, Stephanie Boyd FNU Chief Enrollment Management Officer

27  WINTER 2015

As Frontier Nursing University’s Chief Enrollment Management Officer, I always enjoy talking to FNU alumni about their individual student experiences at Frontier Nursing University. Graduates always enjoy reminiscing about special moments on campus, courses they enjoyed, or faculty who made their learning experiences unique. Perhaps the most common theme I hear graduates talk about is support they received from their peers. Invariably, graduates admit that without other FNU students, their journey would have been much more difficult. Because of this, I truly feel that the SAGE Peer Mentoring Program is an invaluable resource for current students.

~Barb, Graduate, CFNP Class 69

PRIDE Program

Facing the future with

PRIDE Innovative Program Aims to Increase Diversity in Nursing



rontier Nursing University’s PRIDE Program (Promoting Recruitment and Retention to Increase Diversity in Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner Education) hosted its 4th annual Diversity Impact Event on Hyden’s historic campus June 6-8th. During this event, over 60 students, alumni, faculty and staff united for fellowship, networking, team building exercises, cultural awareness activities and discussions related to increasing diversity in nursing and midwifery. Diversity Impact provides workshops for FNU students to explore issues related to diversity in healthcare and to empower students to create positive change within their local communities.

This year’s PRIDE Diversity Impact Event was led by FNU President Susan Stone and Dean of Nursing Julie Marfell. Attendees also enjoyed a special guest appearance by Christy Turlington-Burns, an American model best known for representing Calvin Klein and working with brands including Maybelline Cosmetics and Versace. She is also the founder of Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Visit www.everymothercounts. org to learn more about the organization.

Attendance at this year’s event was the largest, along with Diversity Impact’s first male PRIDE student participant. Education sessions were led by FNU faculty members and invited guests, and included a range of diversity topics that addressed obesity, health disparities, ageism, gender, family wellness, nutrition, and physical fitness. The keynote session was led by Dr. Debra J. Barksdale, Associate Professor and Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Barksdale is a certified family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner,

nurse educator, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nursing. Learn more about Dr. Barksdale at form/41117802017140. FNU Faculty presenters included Dr. Tonya Nicholson, Program Director of Midwifery & Women’s Health; faculty member Barbara Hignite, DNP, APRN; Associate Dean of Family Nursing Lisa Chappell; and faculty member Dr. Sharon Hunsucker. Students also took part in the activities by leading the Alumni Panel discussion. Here FNU

students gained insights into student success and career readiness from fellow alumni of the university. Frontier Nursing University’s PRIDE Program was established to address the need to increase diversity within the nursing and midwifery workforce. The goal of the PRIDE Program is to recruit and retain qualified underrepresented students in FNU’s Graduate School of Nursing, who will meet the healthcare demands of a rapidly growing culturally, diverse population. To learn more about FNU’s Pride Program visit: www.

PRIDE Program


Finding Your Voice for Social Change 1.

FNU students, faculty & staff gather together for the traditional “Circle-Up”, followed by a group picture.

2. Students enjoy a special appearance by global maternal health advocate & model, Christy Turlington-Burns. Students learned about health disparities affecting women worldwide.

3. Students listen attentively to the Keynote speaker, Dr. Debra Barksdale, as she shares her personal story on diversity, culture, and leadership.

4. Dr. Tonya Nicholson, Program Director of Midwifery


& Women’s Health, speaks on the topic of obesity in healthcare.



5. Conference attendees with Keynote speaker, enjoying a warm summer day outside.

29  WINTER 2015


Conference Roundup


Frontier makes a strong showing at annual nursing conferences

ach year, Frontier is well-represented at the major nursing conferences in the country, including annual meetings sponsored by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). Check out the highlights of these conferences and photos below! We invite you to join us for our reception at the AABC, ACNM or AANP conferences in 2015! For details, email

ACNM 2014 The American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Meeting took place May 13th through 17th in Denver, Colorado. Frontier Nursing University faculty, staff, alumni, students, and preceptors attended the conference and well represented the University in everything from posters, to education sessions, to awards.


The FNU booth was, as always, busy! Everyone was excited to get their 75th Anniversary swag and there was a strong interest in the post-master’s DNP program. The new Unbridled Service: Growing up and Giving Back as a Frontier Nursing Service Courier book was a big hit and author Dr. Anne Cockerham was onsite to sign the books.



The FNU annual reception was well attended with more than 180 guests – the highest attendance yet! FNU President Dr. Susan Stone gave updates on current happenings at FNU while Director of Development Denise Barrett spoke to the crowd about upcoming events and campaigns for the University’s 75th anniversary. FNU Mary Breckinridge Chair, Kitty Ernst, also gave a motivational speech to attendees.

1. FNU PRIDE Student Essay Winners, Sarah

Monson and Ebony Simpson, were awarded all expense paid trips to the ACNM Conference as Ambassadors. They helped staff the FNU exhibit booth and sign-in table at the FNU reception. They also enjoyed many educational sessions and the Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC) reception.

2. Mary Breckinridge Chair, Kitty Ernst, and

Dawn Thompson, founder of ImprovingBirth. org, enjoy the FNU Reception.


3. Dr. Anne Cockerham signing books at the FNU Reception.

Conference Roundup

AANP 2014 Frontier Nursing University faculty, alumni, students, staff, and preceptors – along with over 5,000 other nurse practitioners – traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 29th National Conference, held June 17-22 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

As always the FNU booth was very well attended as thousands of nurse practitioners visited the exhibit hall. FNU PRIDE Student Essay Winners, Melissa Wiesenhahn and Fawn Workmen were awarded all expense paid trips to the AANP conference as student Ambassadors. They helped staff the FNU exhibit booth and at the FNU reception as well as attending many educational sessions.



1. Jeanie Doom, CFNP Class 109, is AANP’s 50,000th member and was recognized during the conference. She is pictured here with Dean of Nursing, Julie Marfell, at the FNU Reception.

2. FNU PRIDE Student Essay Winners, Fawn Workmen and Melissa 3


3. Class 1 Graduate, Charlotte Wittekind, and Dr. Julie Marfell.

31  WINTER 2015

FNU hosts a reception each year during AANP conference. This year’s reception hosted nearly 70 faculty, students, alumni, staff, preceptors, and friends. Dr. Julie Marfell, Dean of Nursing, and Dr. Lisa Chappell, Associate Dean of Family Nursing, welcomed the attendees, shared information regarding our 75th Anniversary celebration, and honored our preceptors with a special gift.

Class Notes

Class NOTES Updates on Frontier alumni


Hawa Al-Hassan, Class 101, CNEP, is a current student who lives in Pullman, Washington. After graduation, Hawa hopes to work and get some experience. One day she plans to go back to Ghana to help with maternal, fetal health. She heard about Frontier a few years ago when some of her coworkers attended Frontier. When she attended Frontier Bound, she “got really hooked.” She really enjoys attending events with other Frontier students because she gets to meet people that she’s only known in class and never met face-to-face. She says that it feels like they’ve known each other for ages, and she loves that about Frontier. Tracey Arwood, Class 79, CNEP, graduated in 2012 and is living in Garden City, Kansas, which is western Kansas. Soon she plans to move to Houston, Missouri. She was the first midwife in Garden City, and now her employers are looking for someone to replace her. She is also going to be the first midwife in Houston, Missouri at the Texas County Memorial Hospital. She pursued

the position at the hospital by emailing all employers who were hiring OBGYNs in the area and asking them if they would consider hiring a nurse-midwife. She got responses telling her “no,” until about a month later when the HR person emailed her back and said that “because they couldn’t find a delivering doctor, they will now consider a nurse-midwife.”The hospital was so impressed by her that she is now helping recreate the By-Laws and assisting the hospital with credentialing. Simona Asiatico, Class 80, CNEP, lives in Elizabethtown, KY and just joined the army. She is going to Ft. Benning in Georgia to work as a nurse-midwife on the base, in a hospital. She loved her experience at Frontier and expresses appreciation for Kitty, the faculty, and Anne Cockerham. Vicki Bennet, Class 62, CNEP, is working at Breath of Life Birth Center in Argo, Florida. The practice is going very well and is experiencing tremendous growth!

Chantielle Blackwell, Class 103, CNEP, says that she chose Frontier for its history, its famous name, and its ability to turn out fantastic midwives. She is from Aurora, Colorado. When she graduates, she hopes to work in a facility that works specifically with teen moms. Julie Buelte, Class 38, CNEP, lives in New Hampshire and works in a full-scope midwifery practice with 2 other midwives and 6 OBGYN’s, in a collaborative practice. The practice is located in the capital of New Hampshire, Concord, which is a mix of suburban families, urban families, and rural families. Because of their location, they draw clients from various communities across the whole region. Susan Bush, Class 23, CNEP, graduated in 2000 and currently lives in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She has been practicing in a private practice for 14 years now, working in full-scope midwifery at the Lovelands Hospital. Her clinic has offices in both Ft. Collins and at Lovelands with a staff of four certified nurse-midwives in Ft. Collins, and three in Loveland. Reflecting on her Frontier educational experience, Susan said: “I think my Frontier education was awesome. I really do think it was the best that I could have done. I made a good choice!” Jaime Cuff, Class 79, CFNP, lives in Buford, SC and is currently specializing in Orthopedics. She assists in surgery, completes rounds, takes phone calls, and often sees patients in the office. The community she works in is large and includes Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Buford. Robyn Churchill, Class 22, CNEP, works for the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and also travels to India to work with nurses who deliver babies. She and her partners are working on developing an approach to health issues and aim to be problem solvers

Class Notes

Marcia Hanks, CNM, WHNP, APRN, CNEP Class 1 Women’s Care, St. Patrick Hospital/Providence Health and Services

One of 3 partners working in rural Oregon in a hospital-based midwifery practice 1991-2002. Supported the ongoing development of CNEP/FNS as a Regional Clinical Coordinator in the “early years.” Those times in Hyden and visiting students/preceptors continue to be some of my most special memories as a nurse-midwife.

University of Phoenix. Attending Frontier broadened his perspectives and opened a lot of doors, such as allowing him to implement the mentorship at the University of Phoenix. The community he serves is a suburb of Phoenix with a population of about 300,000.

2004: Started Women’s Care, a hospital-based women’s clinic serving women of all ages, which now supports four providers. In process: Involved in the development of an in-hospital birth center in Missoula, MT at the Saint Patrick Hospital, expected to open in 2015. In gratitude to all the instructors and leaders affiliated with FNS (FNU)!! THANKS!!!

Shaundra Fontaine, Class 99, CNEP, lives in McCall, Idaho. She completed her clinical experience at a reservation in the Navajo Nation. Currently she is studying for the Boards and would like to work in Guam or Puerto Rico. Her passion to be a midwife stems from working in rural Tanzania for a year as a lay midwife. Prior to that she was also a nurse in Africa for 6 years where she also delivered babies. She discovered Frontier in a magazine and decided to become a midwife. Nancy Green, Class 02, CNEP, lives in a tiny rural community in Maine. She is the only nurse-midwife in all of Washington County and has been doing rural midwifery for 22 years

now, thanks to Kitty Ernst. The whole reason why she became a midwife is because of Kitty. Kitty found Nancy and encouraged her to complete the exams to get into Frontier Nursing. Kitty told Nancy that “we need you here.” So she completed the necessary entrance requirements and came to Frontier. Nancy closed with the following statement: “I’m just in awe of how many nurse-midwives there are in this country now, and it’s because of that vision and it’s because of Frontier.” Randy Hamilton, Class 08, DNP, graduated in October of 2014. He lives in Mesa, Arizona where he works in interventional pain management. He is also an associate professor at the

Beki Hassler, Class 51, CNEP, graduated in 2008 and currently lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. She is a clinical faculty member for St. Louis University and works with the residents and the medical students on low risk normal labor. Beki is getting ready to precept two Frontier students and hopes to hire more Frontier folks in the future. She loved her Frontier experience. She says that Frontier met her values and hopes perfectly. Thank you, Frontier! Diane Johnson, Class 84, CFNP, graduated in 2012 and lives in Mt Vernon, Illinois. She works at a Walk-In Clinic in Benton, IL and serves an underserved community. Diane feels that Frontier prepared her to take her boards and pass them. She is very

Patty (Jansson) Kaiser, CNM, CNEP Class 1 Susquehanna Health Medical Group OB/ GYN

I am privileged to be a part of an amazingly cohesive group of physicians and midwives who have provided care to generations of women in Williamsport, PA. I am most proud of having raised four children, who are kind and responsible adults, while performing in this demanding profession. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Group #1 of Class #1!

33  WINTER 2015

on the front lines so that they can improve care. The Gates Foundation is sponsoring her research on the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist safety program in reducing deaths and improving the outcomes of mothers and infants in Northern India. Robyn usually travels to India for approximately two weeks although at times she stays for up to 6 months. Her efforts are partnered with the Harvard School of Public Health.


Class Notes

Class NOTES proud of her Frontier education and recommends Frontier to anybody who plans to be a nurse practitioner. Tiffany Jorgenson, Class 104, CNEP, is a current student at Frontier Nursing University. Her plan, after she graduates, is to start a home birth practice in Colorado Springs. Tiffany always wanted to be a nurse-midwife. In high school she met someone who was doing home deliveries with a nurse-midwife, who encouraged her to meet the midwife. She loved that experience and began pursuing nursing. She volunteered at the hospital and felt like the midwifery unit was where she belonged. Finally, she met a true nurse-midwife, a Frontier alum, and then decided that she would go to Frontier Nursing University to make it happen.

Teresa Kinney, Class 62, CFNP, lives in Danville, Illinois where she was born and raised and works there in the Family Medicine Clinic. She was the very first nurse practitioner in that clinic, and the doctors that she worked with didn’t have a lot of knowledge of nurse practitioners. She educated them on what a nurse practitioner does, what the role entails, and how she could help them and their practice. They gave her a chance and she has been there for four years. Now there are three nurse practitioners in the practice. Teresa recently precepted a Frontier student who just graduated and is now working in a clinic not too far from hers.

Kailua Hawaii. She has several Frontier Nursing connections there, including an FNP she met at Frontier Bound, and the midwife who is vacating the position Luisa will take is also an FNU alum. Luisa thought that her experience at Frontier was excellent. She had been attracted to the philosophy and ideas behind the educational model at Frontier well before she actually made the decision to attend. As she researched various schools, she felt that her heart kept bringing her back to Frontier. While attending Frontier Bound, she felt her decision was validated and solidified. She had a wonderful experience throughout the whole program.


Sue Martin, Class 09, CNEP, lives in York, Pennsylvania and has been practicing there since 1996 doing hospital births. The city of York is a medium sized town Janice Locke, Class located outside of Harrisburg, the capital 88, CNEP, lives in of Pennsylvania. Sue said that she was Portland, Maine and awe inspired when she came to Frontier recently started a Nursing University for her education. new job at Central She especially mentioned Kitty and the Maine Medical Center, wonderful time she had just getting to which is a hospital in know people from other parts of the Lewiston, Maine. She country and how they practiced and had a great time at Frontier and says that what their plans were. staying connected as graduates is the best part of her educational experience. Mary Kay Miller, Class 25, lives in Orlando, Florida. She graduated in 2000 and had Luisa Lucero, Class 40 people in her class when she started. 79, CNEP, currently Now she is the only nurse-midwife in a Monica Joyce, Class 10, CNEP, graduated lives in Oregon and is practice with six OBGYNs. She also works in 1998. She just joined the birth center relocating to Hawaii at the Wendy Palmer Hospital, which has in Beverly, Massachusetts, the North for her first position in about 2500-3000 births a month. While Shore Birth Center. She also works for full-scope midwifery. practicing, she says she tries to provide Harvard Vangarden as a laborist. The practice is private a more home birth practice style. She and hospital based in expressed her love for Frontier Nursing,

Manya P. Schmidt, CNM, MSN, CNEP Class 1 I am currently working at St Francis Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Topeka KS and also serve as adjunct faculty at Washburn University of Topeka teaching in the DNP program in Family Health Course. I was the first CNM in Topeka to be awarded hospital delivery privileges at both Topeka hospitals in 1994 – and CNMs have been practicing at both facilities since then. I was also the first CNM in the state of Kansas to attend hospital births. I retired from attending births in April 2013 to care for women in the other half of life and to pursue my passion/involvement with a non-profit organization, Imana Kids, supporting a small orphanage in Rwanda.

Class Notes

I work and have worked at Family & Internal Medicine in Lebanon, KY for about 10 yrs. We are a rural health clinic with six MDs and five nurse practitioners. I am truly thankful for the education I received at Frontier Family Nursing and Case Western Reserve University. Without this program it would have been very hard to obtain my Masters in Nursing. It is a truly wonderful program! with a dedicated staff.

stating that the university is hugely supportive and the rich history is amazing. To her, Kitty was a big draw, and being involved with Frontier made her feel like a bigger part of a bigger thing. She stated that it felt like she had “a lot of ladies arms wrapped around [her].” She liked the philosophy, the rich history, and the major support system at Frontier. She loved her program! Erica (Rubenstein) Murdock, Class 56, CNEP, graduated in 2010. She currently works at a full-scope practice at St. Joe’s Exempla Nurse Midwives in Denver. One day she hopes to open another birth center in Denver because there is a great need for additional midwifery services. The current free-standing birth center is bursting at the seams. Teresa Newberry, Class 04, CNEP, works in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Borgess Medical Center and has been there since 1995. The practice has eight nurse-midwives, who do between 750 and 1,000 deliveries a year. When Teresa first started, the practice did approximately 150 deliveries a year. Christy Overstreet, Class 99, CFNP, lives outside of Paducah, KY. She just completed her degree in March, 2014 and is currently working in primary


Pam Parsons, Class 53, CNEP, graduated in 2011, is a midwife in Whitefish, Montana at a Planetree Hospital. The Planetree philosophy is focused on patient centered care and is very evidenced-based. Pam has had wonderful experiences in this hospital where they allow the midwives to “do what we need to do to get our babies out.” The midwives supervise water births, natural births, epidurals, or whatever the patient wants to do. The hospital just hired a third Frontier midwife! The town where Pam lives is a resort town where the population often doubles in the summer. She describes it as a healthy town with very active population. Patients travel from out of state to have their babies in the North Valley Hospital in Whitefish Montana.

primarily Medicaid patients with a wide range of ages from adolescence to postmenopause.

Brenna Reimer, Class 76, CNEP, graduated in 2012 and lives in Neenah, Wisconsin. She is working full time as a full-scope midwife at a hospital based practice. The community she serves is

Sarah Scott, Class 70, CNEP, is a certified nurse-midwife. She lives in Denver and works at Rose Midwifery. She has been living in Denver for a year and a half now and is the happiest she has ever been.

Ramona Scott, Class 09, DNP, lives in Knoxville, TN. She is continuing to work for the same practice she was in when she started at Frontier Nursing. She works with the Women’s Care Group in Knoxville and has been there for 26.5 years. She was the first nurse practitioner that they hired. She says that they supported her financially in her educational pursuit, so she just signed a 5 year contract with them starting in January of this year. She is also precepting students and is in the process of becoming an ambassador.

Susan Stapleton, CNM, DNP, FACNM

The American Association of Birth Centers Recipient of JMWH Best Research Article of 2013 award, and ACNM Distinguished Service Award, 2013 Serving as Data Coordinator for the AABC Strong Start for Mothers & Babies Initiative, a study of enhanced prenatal care models.

35  WINTER 2015

Karen Orberson, CFNP Class 1

care in a walk-in clinic in Paducah. Christy says that her Frontier education has greatly prepared her. Although it was a very challenging program, she feels it well prepared her for what is ahead of her.

Class Notes

Class NOTES Heather Swanson, Class 07, DNP, is originally from Nebraska but currently lives in Southern Texas where she is the Director at Holy Family Services, a clinic and freestanding birth center that was originally founded by Catholic sisters. The land is owned by the Catholic diocese but the buildings are owned by Holy Family. The patients served are primarily underserved. Last year approximately 77% were low income. Because fees are based on a sliding scale, typically clients pay around $1,400 for all their care and home visits. The rest of the clientele

are largely on CHIPS or Medicaid. Only about 15% of those served are using a third party insurance company. Natalie Taylor, CNEP, graduated in 2010 and is working as a midwife in Idaho Falls, at a private practice where she does hospital births. There are only two midwives in the practice with six physicians. When asked about her Frontier experience, Natalie said: “It was just a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be a midwife or nurse practitioner.” Rhonda Thorpe, Class 106, CNEP, lives in Colorado. She was a labor and delivery nurse for 10 years and is studying to be a nursemidwife. She said she chose this profession because she wanted to be able to provide better, more natural care to mothers. She is very happy with her education from Frontier Nursing University.

Lauren Ulrich, Class 50, CNEP, graduated in 2010 and now lives in St. Louis, Missouri. She completed her clinicals at Mountain Midwifery in Denver. She said that it was her “Wizard of Oz Technicolor experience.” She also worked briefly at a birth center in St. Louis (founded by Jessica Handman, a Frontier graduate) that had just opened, and is now getting ready to go back as a volunteer. She took a hiatus after having a baby. When asked about why she wanted to be a midwife, Lauren told the following story: “Ever since I was about three, I found my mom’s maternity nursing textbook. She didn’t really think it was appropriate reading for a 3-year-old so she would hide it. And then I’d find it and go hide and look at all the pictures. I was fascinated by it and I always always from the time I was little bitty thought that pregnancy and childbirth was the most amazing and miraculous thing ever…. I mean I had to be involved in it someway, somehow. I was pre-med for a little bit and then I realized I didn’t want the life of a physician because I

Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, CNEP Class 1


Frontier Nursing University President

After completing certification as a nurse-midwife with Frontier’s first distance learning class, Susan Stone began a nine-year career as a nurse-midwife with Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, New York. During that time, Susan also joined the faculty of Frontier as a Regional Clinical Coordinator. In 1988, Susan was appointed Program Director of CNEP and relocated to Berea, KY. In 2001, Susan was appointed President and Dean of Frontier Nursing University (then named Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing). From 2001-2014, Susan was the instrumental force in the institution receiving accreditation to offer the Master’s and Doctoral degrees. She also led the growth of enrollment from just over 200 students to a current enrollment of nearly 2,000. In 2014, the Board of Directors made the decision to separate the positions of President and Dean in order to better serve the large student body and growing faculty and staff. Stone continues to serve as the President of Frontier Nursing University.

Class Notes

wanted to have my own family and I wanted to be able to spend time with them. Then I discovered that I actually don’t agree with their philosophy as much as with that of nurse-midwives, so I became a labor and delivery nurse and then progressed on so that I could help manage the care of patients who were low risk and wanted to do things differently than some of their physicians wanted them to.” Gina Wilding, Class 87, CNEP, lives in Phoenix Arizona and works at Bethany Women’s Health Care. She serves an underserved community with a group of five midwives and three fulltime and one part-time physicians. They have a clinic and also provide birthing services at the hospital.

Alisha Wilkes, Class 103, CNEP, lives in Renton, Washington and was fortunate to get a clinical site close to her hometown. She says that she chose Frontier for the history and the community. She loves the way the program is set up. After graduation, she hopes to be able to work for the hospital where she is completing her clinicals. Calista Yates, Class 61, CNEP, lives and works in West Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia as a nurse-midwife at the Bethesda Hospital. And since June 2013, she has been teaching at the Bethesda Nursing Academy.

Please send us your updates

We want to hear from you! Do you have new about your practice? General updates? Getting married? Having a baby? Let us know! We would love to expand our class notes to include information from all of our alumni.

Class NOTES Monica E. Newby, CNM, MSN, CNEP Class 1

Assistant Clinical Professor East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine OB/GYN Department ACNM Exellence in Teaching Award 2014 Precepts OB/GYN residents and third year medical students, to whom she teaches the midwifery model of care at every opportunity!

Barb Winningham, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNEP Class 1 Coordinator, Nurse-Midwifery Track and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Track & Assistant Professor, University of Indianapolis, St. Francis Family Practice Residency Program and Centering Healthcare Institute

My Frontier education prepared me well to initially be a full scope CNM, a service director for a large inner-city midwifery service, and to start and direct the first and only midwifery program in Indiana. My passion includes leading women’s health medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic with students, alumni and community partners.

37  WINTER 2015

Recipient of the ACNM Regional Award for Excellence, ACNM Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty Teaching Award-University of Indianapolis, Spotlight on Nursing Scholarship, and Indiana League of Nurses Scholarship

Honor Society

Frontier Nursing HONOR SOCIETY


The birthing of the Honor Society at Frontier Nursing University began in 2007 by a small ad hoc committee composed of faculty and graduates. The committee’s mission was to steer efforts to meet all the requirements of Sigma Theta Tau in order to become a chapter of this very prestigious organization. We owe quite a bit to those early planners, who we would like to now formally recognize: Tia Andrighetti, Francie Likis, Tyke Hanisch, Mary Nichols, Jan Stalder, and Joanne Bigness. Like many new ideas, progress was slow but sure because there was a group of dedicated professionals pursuing this goal; it was not until April 2010 that serious discussion ensued on developing the honor society for chapter status. Once again let us recognize the efforts of Suzan Ulrich, Tia Andrighetti, and Jan Stalder in pushing it forward. In May of 2011 we were well underway with officers and committees formed who started the Frontier Nursing Honor Society. The initial induction ceremony took place on June 27, 2011 followed by the second induction ceremony on December 11, 2011. Since that time, the Honor Society has offered one or two induction ceremonies annually with a current membership totaling over 300 members. Changes on the Board of Directors took place during 2013 and 2014 as former members relinquished their seats to allow for new members to participate in the honor society. The current Board of Directors are:


PRESIDENT  ...................Susan Yount, PhD, CNM, WHNP-BC, FACNM VICE PRESIDENT ...................Mary K. Jones, DNP, CNM, FNP-BC, ENP-BC SECRETARY ....................................................... Judi Daniels, PhD, APRN TREASURER ........................................................Denise Orrill, DNP, FNP

COUNSELOR ................................................................. Beki Asti, FNP-BC GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR ...........................Sarah Ann Derrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION COMMITTEE ............................................... Penny Seufferlein, DNP, CNM FINANCE COMMITTEE ..........................................Grace Ellen Urquhart, DNP, FNP PUBLICITY COMMITTEE .................................. Karla Reinhart, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC PROGRAM COMMITTEE .......................... Kathy Iorillo, DNP, ARNP, CNM, FNP-BC The board has been instrumental in submitting the application to STTI for chapter status at Frontier Nursing University. At the time of this publication, we are awaiting an answer to our application. We are hoping for an induction ceremony as a new STTI chapter in June, 2015. In addition to the excitement surrounding STTI chapter status, the board schedules CEU events for current members. The Honor Society web site is new for many alumni. Mary K. Jones and Brandon Fields created it in July 2013. It is accessed via the Banyan Tree website portal page and by selecting the Honor Society icon on the left side of the portal. All of our upcoming events will be displayed on this site, in addition to a list of current members, membership renewal forms, and application information for the Honor Society. We invite all alumni who meet criteria for membership in the Honor Society to complete an application during our upcoming membership drive and submit it according to the instructions on the FNHS web site.

Visit the Honor Society website at

Alumni Donor Challenge

Alumni Donor

CHALLENGE raduating students are being offered a new opportunity to not only support Frontier Nursing University, but also to add to their graduation regalia and become the proud owners of our very first Alumni T-shirt. To participate in the Alumni Donor Challenge, graduates are asked to make a $20.00 donation to the university. As a representation of their support of FNU they will be given blue and white cords to wear as part of their regalia during graduation ceremonies. For a donation of $35.00 or more, they will not only receive the beautiful cords, but also a Frontier Alumni T-shirt. This “Challenge” is an opportunity for alumni to continue the FNU tradition of excellence by helping raise money to support the continuation of distance education from the birthplace of Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nursing in America. It is a chance for all alumni to leave their mark on FNU and show their appreciation for the many opportunities a Frontier education provides.

To make your donation to FNU please visit our website at For questions or more information about the Alumni Donor Challenge, please email

39  WINTER 2015

FNU would not be able to provide the wide variety of programs and services available without the support of donors and caring Alumni. If you are interested in helping to support the continuation of Mary Breckinridge’s dream of providing care and services to “wide-neighborhoods” please contact the Alumni office! Alumni T-shirts will also be available for purchase at the AANP, ANCM and AABC Conferences.

Frontier Preceptors

Frontier Preceptors: I

Touching More Lives Through the Hands of Students

t goes without question that Frontier Nursing University could not operate successfully without the nationwide network of preceptors who mentor students in the clinical practicum. In 2013, FNU had 5,000 credentialed preceptors working in 2,589 clinical sites located in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Germany. The faculty and students are grateful for preceptors’ willingness to share critical knowledge and wisdom with future nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners.

Frontier Preceptors: Going Above and Beyond by Giving Back!

Becoming a Frontier Nursing University Preceptor


Frontier’s preceptors are not only serving as excellent mentors to the next generation of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, but they are also giving back to Frontier through donations. FNU pays preceptors for their service, and many preceptors choose to donate all or a portion of their fees back to FNU! In the last five years, 325 preceptors have donated more than $110,000 back to Frontier Nursing University! We are pleased to report that because of this generosity the Board of Directors has approved the creation of an endowed Preceptor Scholarship for FNU Midwifery student Amy Bogert-Kuebler Frontier students. celebrates her 40th birth with preceptor Karen The Preceptor Scholarship is an endowed scholarship fund. The original amount will be retained in perpetuity and cannot be spent; and the revenue from the endowed scholarship fund will provide annual awards to students on a continual basis. As preceptors continue to donate back their preceptor fees, donations will continue to build the corpus of the fund. This means that the scholarship amounts and the number of scholarships we can award will continue to grow. On behalf of all the future recipients of the Preceptor Scholarship, we thank you for your invaluable service as a preceptor and generosity as a donor!

Crouse, FNU Alumnus Class 48

In 2014, FNU had

6,406 active preceptors working in

6.231 clinical training sites.

Frontier is fortunate to have many alumni answer the call to precept students. The variety of sites in which students learn is impressive. FNP students spend the majority of their time with family nurse practitioners in family practice clinics. Additionally, many FNP students choose to enhance their experiences by spending some time in internal medicine, emergency rooms, minute clinics, pediatric offices, OB GYN practices, military bases, and correctional facilities. Many FNP students precept with certified nurse-midwives and physicians to round out their clinical experience. Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHCNP) students gain their clinical experience in outpatient settings with WHCNPs, CNMs, MDs, and FNPs. Nurse-midwifery students learn in free standing birth centers, hospitals, and clinic settings. Some CNM students broaden their experience by working with CNM’s in homebirth settings. Frontier Nursing University recruits preceptors from the following three specialties. • Certified Nurse-Midwife • Certified Family Nurse Practitioner • Certified Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner

Frontier Preceptors

FNU Preceptor Benefits: • Receive free preceptor training course and honorarium for precepting students • Receive certificate for additional CEUs for hours spent precepting students • 10% off non-matriculating courses • Access the latest clinical guidelines in order to stay current in practice • Provide service to the profession, to the school, and to your home community • Help mold and guide the education of our future peers • Become part of the rich Frontier history and legacy

FNU Preceptor Qualifications: • National certification in specialty area • One year of relevant experience in advanced practice role • Master’s Degree or higher in nursing related field (FNPs only)

Linda Eaton, FNP, and Gary Koller II, FNP Class 64

In the last five years,


preceptors have donated more than

$110,000 back to Frontier Nursing University!

Rebecca Harris, CFNP Class 64, and Dr. Judi Daniels, PhD, APRN


• Certified Nurse-Midwives, contact • Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioners, contact • Family Nurse Practitioners, contact

41  WINTER 2015

If you are interested in discussing how to become a FNU Clinical Faculty Preceptor, send your CV to the appropriate Program Director listed below and set up a phone appointment to discuss options.





n late 2011, Frontier Nursing University began recruiting a Leadership Council to lead efforts to raise $10 million for the permanent endowment funds. The Leadership Council consists of 24 volunteers who have provided guidance and their own personal contributions to kick-off the campaign effort. The growth in the endowment will ensure the long-term stability to support vital functions within the university. The priorities of the endowment include:


• Support that will help keep tuition costs low and provide scholarship support for our students to offset the costs of pursuing an advanced degree. • Retention of the top-notch educators who serve on our faculty and recruitment of nursing leaders and scholars who will maintain Frontier’s standard of educational excellence. • Maintenance and upkeep of our beautiful historic facilities and campuses in Leslie County, Kentucky, including our cultural gem, Wendover. We are grateful for the alumni, Couriers, students, employees, foundations, and friends who have joined us in supporting this effort. Several new scholarships have been established as part of the endowment campaign. A gift of $25,000 can permanently endow a named scholarship that can be awarded annually to students. Named scholarships will continue to grow in value and new donations can be added to the principle at any time.

The Kentucky Mountain Club Scholarship Members of Kentucky’s Mountain Club established an endowed scholarship with an $85,000 gift in December 2013. The Mountain Club was formed in 1929 to maintain social and employment-related connections between mountain people staying in the area and those moving to Lexington, KY. Mary Breckinridge was named a lifetime member of the club. At its height, the club had as many as 1500 members. The December 2013 meeting was a historic one as it represented the last official gathering of the club. President and

Treasurer, Elizabeth Kramer, supported by thirteen other club members present, awarded FNU a portion of the remainder of the club’s funding—a sum totaling $85,000. The money will be used to offer an annual scholarship to a student from one of 52 named Kentucky mountain counties. This scholarship is given in memory of former Mountain Club members and in honor of the current Mountain Club members. Frontier Nursing University is honored to invest this funding and provide annual scholarships to deserving students.


The Virginia “Ginny” McAlister Scholarship Virginia “Ginny” McAlister passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at Agrace Hospice Care in Madison after a year and a half struggle with cervical cancer. Ginny was a Frontier Nursing University student studying to become a nursemidwife. On February 6, 2014 she was awarded an Honorary Masters in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University. The student body, many alumni, faculty and staff have collectively donated funds to endow a scholarship in Ginny’s name. This

scholarship will be awarded annually in her memory. Ginny was an inspiration to so many in the Frontier community during her life as a student. Now she will remain an inspiration to future students who will receive her scholarship in order to pursue their own dreams to become nursemidwives. To make a donation to the Virginia “Ginny” McAlister Scholarship please contact or donate online at

HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE FRONTIER LEGACY? You can start by contacting our Development Office to begin a discussion about ways to support the FNU Endowment Campaign.


The Office of Development and Alumni Relations Denise Barrett, Director • (859) 899-2828 Angela Bailey, Associate Director • (859) 899-2533 Michael Claussen, Development Coordinator • (859) 899-2707 Nancy Reinhart, Development Officer / Courier Program Coordinator • (502) 836-8100 Or send an email to

Join the Banyan Tree Legacy Society - Planned Giving A planned gift is created now for a future benefit that can occur during or after the lifetime of the donor or another beneficiary, such as a spouse or child. A planned gift can maximize your giving potential and can even ensure future financial security for you or a loved one. A variety of planned giving opportunities exist. If you would like more information, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations for a brochure.

43  WINTER 2015

Setting up a bequest or a planned gift is often an important option for those who would like to make a major gift.





n 1925, Mary Breckinridge built Wendover as her home and the location of one of the many district nursing centers in Leslie County, Kentucky. Today, all Frontier students come to the home of Mary Breckinridge, called the Big House, for special dinners with their Class. During graduation weekend in October, many graduates will show the grounds of Wendover to their families. All FNU Couriers will come here during Courier Bound and some will even stay at Wendover through the duration of their time with the FNU Courier Program. Looking at pictures of Wendover through the years, one might come to the conclusion that not much has changed, but let’s explore what Mrs. Breckinridge called the “Incarnation of her Dream” and discover what is new at this special place in Frontier history.

WENDOVER BED AND BREAKFAST INN Reviews-Wendover_Bed_BreakfastWendover_Kentucky.html and Yelp, wendover-bed-and-breakfast-innwendover

Visit our webpage to get additional information about Wendover lodging, home-cooked meals and Frontier Tours:


The entire Wendover campus now has free wireless internet service.

The Wendover Historical Photo Gallery Many framed black and white pictures from Frontier history and artifacts, like Mrs. Breckinridge’s monogrammed suitcase and original FNS saddles and saddlebags, are kept in this exhibit in the Wendover Barn.

The Livery

The Livery was created from a former maintenance shop building at Wendover in 2004. It is now used as a state-of-theart meeting center. The 2013 Picture Kentucky Photography workshop was held at this facility. This site is perfect for retreats and conferences.

Become a Facebook Fan of Wendover at

45  WINTER 2015

Established in 2001 as a bed and breakfast inn with 8 rooms (four in the Big House and four in the Wendover Barn), Wendover now is able to accommodate guests in sixteen rooms. So how did this change occur; did we build more buildings? No. The newest building that provides guest rooms was built in 1942 (the Garden House), Thanks to a recent Kentucky law, we were able to add additional rooms to our bed and breakfast and surpass the old limit of nine guest rooms for a bed and breakfast inn. We added the 7 rooms on the second floor of the Garden House and in the Wendover Barn Apartment in 2013 to provide lodging to large groups, and to offer two rooms with a private bathroom. In fact, the Wendover Barn apartment is the only guest room available on the ground floor. Check out our reviews on popular travel sites: Trip Advisor, http://www.tripadvisor. com/Hotel_Review-g39969-d2355350-

Grant Report

Grant Report Funding supports diversity and technology initiatives, pays for dorm renovations


NU continually seeks federal and private funding to support programs, new technologies, special initiatives, scholarships, facilities and other needs. To keep tuition affordable, it is critical that we seek and secure outside funding to offset the costs of operations, particularly for new projects or technologies that have high upfront costs. FNU has been fortunate to have the support of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Through HRSA’s Nurse Faculty Loan Program, FNU was able to continue offering loans to students in the DNP programs who plan to work as faculty after graduation. Graduates can borrow funding from this revolving loan account managed by FNU and have up to 85 percent of the loan forgiven in return for working as faculty at an accredited school of nursing.


FNU is also administering a grant from HRSA’s Scholarship for Disadvantaged

Students (SDS) program. This four-year grant (2012-2016) totals $1,350,000 and will continue to provide scholarships to 90 students over the grant period. The purpose of the SDS program is to increase diversity in the health professions and nursing workforce by providing scholarships to students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and who demonstrate financial need. FNU will award 90 scholarships, valued at $15,000 each, over the four-year grant period. Additionally, FNU was awarded a grant from HRSA’s Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) program. This two-year grant of $700,000 will provide direct support to 280 students over the grant period. The purpose of this program is to increase the number of advanced education nurses trained to practice as primary care providers and/ or nursing faculty to address the nurse faculty shortage that inhibits nursing schools from educating the number of nurses needed to meet demand. This

purpose is met by providing grant funding for traineeships that will pay all or part of the costs of the tuition, books, and fees of the program of advanced nurse education. Priority is given to students who plan to practice in rural and/or medically underserved communities. Scholarship support for our students is very important as our enrollment continues to grow. The Elsa Heisel Sule Trust awarded a $10,000 scholarship for hardworking students who demonstrate financial need. FNU also was one of the prestigious institutions chosen to host Jonas Scholars. Two scholars admitted to the DNP 9 cohort received full tuition support from a partnership between FNU and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence in New York. The first two Jonas Scholars graduated in December 2013. In 2013 we also learned FNU will receive funding to support four additional Jonas Scholars for the 2014-2016 time period. FNU received several grants from private foundations. The Cralle Foundation of Louisville once again funded resources for the FNU Library collection. In addition, the library received a grant from Mr. Alan Howard for the creation of an online repository system that will increase information sharing and maximize the output from our faculty. The National Network Libraries of Medicine provided a grant to fund the purchase of a Mac laptop that will enable staff to better serve students during clinical bound. The Virginia Clark Hagan Charitable Foundation of Lexington continues to provide funding for our clinical tracking system which streamlines the management of students’ clinical experiences. The Berea College

Grant Report

Finally, campus improvements are always a high priority for our historical properties. We were grateful for support from the Thompson Charitable Foundation of Knoxville, Tennessee. Funding from Thompson allowed FNU to begin plans for expansion of our dining facilities at the Haggin Dormitory and to complete renovations and upgrades to the Morton-Gill classroom. And we were once again fortunate to receive annual support from the Margaret Voorhies Haggin Trust of New York. This trust, which funded the original construction of Haggin Dormitory in the 1940s, has continued to support Frontier annually since. The Haggin trust gave a generous $50,000 gift.

47  WINTER 2015

Appalachian Fund and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky awarded funding to support Diversity Impact weekend, which occurred in spring, 2014.

PO Box 528 | 195 School Street | Hyden, KY 41749 Phone: (606) 672-2312 | Fax: (606) 672-3776


CONNECT WITH US... The Frontier Nursing University Office of Alumni Relations is here to support YOU! Our purpose is to find new and meaningful ways to engage and support Alumni, from graduation throughout your career. Alumni are an integral part of FNU’s development because you demonstrate the excellence of FNU in everyday practice and because you are our #1 recruiters and most loyal donors. We appreciate your commitment to FNU and we will continue to offer rewarding programs, with your support. Services are open to all graduates of FNU. We currently have over 3,000 alumni in all fifty states and in many countries around the world. We encourage you to explore the services, programs, and activities offered and become involved. There are several wonderful ways to stay in touch with friends and connected to FNU including reunions, conference receptions, case days, eNews, and our very active Facebook Group. In order to take advantage of all member services, please contact to receive the e-newsletter or update your current contact information!


Director of Development and Alumni Relations


Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations

2015 Beyond the Frontier Alumni Magazine  

Alumni Magazine, Beyond the Frontier, Winter 2015 Edition