Frontier Nursing University was founded in 1939 by Mary Breckinridge and was originally established as the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery. She had a vision of educating nurse-midwives to improve the healthcare of women and families in rural America. FNU has since grown to become one of the largest not for profit universities in the United States for advanced nursing and midwifery education.
As a pioneer in graduate nursing and nurse-midwifery education, FNU remains at the forefront of innovation and technology with top-ranked, accredited programs delivered via community-based distance education. Our graduate programs lead to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Post-Graduate Certificate or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). FNU also offers a Post-Master's DNP for certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who already hold a national certification and want to pursue a DNP.
FNU seeks to meet the needs of prospective nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who do not want to leave their home communities to obtain a graduate education to fulfill their professional goals. Students complete web-based didactic coursework with the encouragement and support of academic advisers, classmates, a strong curriculum, and active and engaged faculty. FNU’s distance education model is taught by more than 100 faculty members who are national leaders in advanced practice nursing and midwifery education. Working with clinics, hospitals and preceptors in their own communities, students gain the hands-on clinical experience required for these exciting health care professions.
- 80 years of experience in graduate nursing and nurse-midwifery education
- Oldest and largest continually operating nurse-midwifery education program in the United States
- First family nurse practitioner program in the country
- Pioneered the first midwifery community based distance education program in the United States in 1989
- More than 8,000 alumni and a current enrollment of more than 2,000 students
- Students and alumni represent every U.S. state and many foreign countries
- Top 10 (#5) Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs, US News & World Report
- Top 10 Best DNP Family Nurse Practitioner Programs, US News & World Report
- Top 30 Best Health Schools - Nurse-Midwifery, US News & World Report
- Top 50 Best Graduate Nursing Schools - DNP, US News & World Report
FNU’s efforts to increase and emphasize diversity have been recognized by several news outlets and organizations focused on diversity in nursing and healthcare. One of its greatest honors is being awarded the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
CULTURE OF CARING
At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. We are inspired by a culture of caring and focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations. Learn more about our:
FRONTIER NURSING SERVICE
Frontier Nursing University started as the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS). Founded in 1925 by Mary Breckinridge in Leslie County, Kentucky, FNS introduced the first nurse-midwives to the U.S. Riding horses up mountains, through fog, flood or snow, the FNS nurses brought modern healthcare to one of the poorest and most inaccessible areas in the U.S.
Mary Breckinridge demonstrated that care provided by nurse-midwives acting as nurses to the family would drastically cut infant and maternal mortality, as well as morbidity and mortality in the community. This work continues today through the work of the FNU faculty, students and graduates across the nation. Learn more here
Frontier Nursing University evaluates student achievement through an ongoing evaluation of degree attainment, certification examination results and job placement in rural and underserved areas. Learn more here.
FNU Campus Update
FNU’s Kentucky campus will be moving from Hyden, Ky., to Versailles, Ky., in late 2020. Due to COVID-19, we have experienced delays in our transition of student events to the Versailles campus. All Frontier Bound orientation sessions and Clinical Bound sessions will be held virtually. Students affected by this change will be updated as soon as possible. Current projections are that student events may be held on the Versailles Campus in late spring/early summer 2021. Click here to learn more about our new campus and this exciting time at FNU.
"All health care begins with the care of the mother."
Founder, Frontier Nursing Service