CSU School of Nursing to Celebrate Nurse Practitioner Week

Columbus State University’s School of Nursing will celebrate National Nurse Practitioner week on Monday with a reception at CSU’s RiverPark campus. Local nurse practitioners, alumni, students, and prospective students are welcome to attend the open house for networking and desserts from 12-2 p.m. in the foyer of Frank Brown Hall.

“We invite everyone who is interested in learning more about the amazing work and careers of nurse practitioners,” says Dr. Tammy Condrey, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs at CSU’s School of Nursing. “These professionals are a vital part of our community, and we are excited to honor their role in patient care.”

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who are qualified to diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems. According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, there are 12,786 licensed nurse practitioners in the state of Georgia. NPs may specialize in various areas of expertise, such as adult, family or geriatric health. They also can help fill the gap with physician shortages, particularly in rural areas.

“Maintaining the role of a clinician is important to me because it provides me with the opportunity to take care of a population where regular healthcare is scarce or requires travel outside of town to obtain care,” says Dr. Sarah Gravel, a family nurse practitioner who works part time in a rural health department in Greenville, Georgia. “It takes me about an hour to drive to clinic but the moment I arrive, I know it’s where I need to be. I hope to be making a difference.”

In addition to her work in the rural health department, Gravel also is a full-time faculty member for CSU’s family nurse practitioner program. The program, which can be completed fully online, boasts a 100% pass rate on the family nurse practitioner certification exam.

“If you are looking for a small campus where the professors really want to help you, CSU is a great choice,” says Samone Ighofose, a 2018 alumni of CSU’s FNP program. Ighofose earned her FNP online while serving as an ICU nurse in Augusta. She has since moved to Hartford Connecticut to gain experience at a federally qualified health center. She ultimately hopes to earn her doctorate, teach, and become a medical director at a federally qualified health center.

“Earning my master’s at CSU was a step towards fulfilling all of those goals,” says Ighofose.

Cierra Rose, an incoming student to CSU’s FNP program, agrees that gaining the ability to teach was one of the reasons she decided to pursue the degree.

“I would like to teach clinicals and maybe one day be a professor of nursing,” says Rose. “I also would like to work in a family medicine physician’s office.”

Rose is currently a labor, delivery, and postpartum nurse at Piedmont Rockdale in Conyers. She graduated from Jacksonville State University in August with her bachelors of science in nursing. She will begin CSU’s program in January.

“I’m from Columbus, so the reputation of CSU has always been positive. It is like my hometown school and my family, so it was my first choice for the FNP program. I know CSU will be able to provide me with a great education and foundation for my career.”

In addition to celebrating FNP week with a reception, faculty from CSU’s FNP program were recently presented a proclamation by Columbus City Council recognizing November 10 – 16 as Nurse Practitioner Week. Attending faculty were Dr. Aimee Vael, FNP Program Director, Dr. Gwen Miller, Dr. Sarah Gravel and Dr. Marguerite Lawrence, along with Chandler Padgett, FNP program alumna and CSU faculty.

For more information on CSU’s family nurse practitioner program, visit https://nursing.columbusstate.edu/fnp.php.