An image of a nurse wearing a mask on the phone.
Beginning in fall 2022, UVA Wise will offer a new family nurse practitioner master's program in Southwest Virginia through its UVA School of Nursing partners.

In fall 2022, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise will begin offering another educational program to advance the health care workforce of Southwest Virginia. Public health in the region will take another step forward as UVA Wise hosts the University of Virginia’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, empowering nurses to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, at its Wise, Va., campus.

The accredited, academically robust program from UVA School of Nursing has already helped hundreds of healthcare practitioners positively impact the lives of patients while enhancing their individual career paths as well.

“We’re excited to call on our partners at UVA to bring their stellar program to Wise,” says Chancellor Donna P. Henry. “This represents another significant step forward in our partnership with the University.”

This three-year, part-time program allows students to continue to be employed while taking didactic and clinical practicum courses required for the degree.

“This program will bring educational opportunities closer to home and support the heath of communities across Southwest Virginia,” says Nancy Haugen, the Kathleen Strunk Chair of Nursing. Haugen has been working with leadership across the College and at the University’s School of Nursing to ensure the program able to be completed by working RNs.

end mark to signify the end of the article INTERESTED? Join us for a Nov. 8 Zoom info session

Thanks to support from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Don R. Pippin and John C. Wyllie Hall, which formerly served as the College’s library, will soon undergo renovation into a nursing education facility. When its renovation is complete, Pippin-Wyllie Hall will feature a technology-enhanced classroom designated for students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Students will have access to a renowned UVA curriculum and also a beautiful space to learn and collaborate as a group.

“This program will bring educational opportunities closer to home and support the heath of communities across Southwest Virginia."

Nancy Haugen, the Kathleen Strunk Chair of Nursing, UVA Wise

While most of the coursework will be offered in Wise and will take advantage of the College’s impressive patient simulators, students of the FNP/MSN program can expect to occasionally travel to Charlottesville to utilize even more specialized facilities. In Charlottesville, they will practice their skills on highly trained standardized patients, which are individuals who allow students to practice procedures on them, giving students real-time feedback in a learning-focused environment.

“We are excited to support the education of nurses from Southwest Virginia because we know the tremendous positive impacts this will have on the region’s communities,” says UVA School of Nursing Dean Pamela Cipriano, a former two-term American Nurses Association president and current first vice president of the International Council of Nurses.

Cipriano and her faculty are known for preparing exceptional graduates who provide compassionate, holistic care to patients, families and communities in their top ranked programs.

“We’re thrilled to be utilizing the considerable knowledge of the University to meet the needs for health care professionals in southwest Virginia,” says Trisha Folds-Bennett, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UVA Wise. “And we’re very excited to partner with healthcare organizations throughout the region to help them enhance patient care.”

Current registered nurses interested in the program can achieve their career goals to become advanced practice nurses close to home. Applicants to the program are required to have one year of full-time experience as an RN and to have earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

The deadline to apply for the fall 2022 start date is January 5, 2022. Applications should be submitted to the University of Virginia School of Nursing at Applicants should indicate under the “personal section” of the application that they are applying for the Wise location.

Individuals interested in the program can request information at and register to attend a Zoom information session October 25 at 6 p.m.

About The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

A member of the prestigious Council for Public Liberal Arts Colleges, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise is an inspiring place to teach, lead, learn and call home. With a student faculty ratio of 13:1 and approximately 2,000 students, UVA Wise is committed to excellence in teaching, personalized attention, and individual growth, as well as to the advancement of our region through economic development.

The only division of the University of Virginia located outside of Charlottesville, UVA Wise has a beautiful campus that is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Here, students learn from faculty who are encouraged to engage in scholarship and service that complements their teaching, and our environment is ideal for the task. In addition to Appalachian arts and culture, on-campus wetlands and impressive geography, and a region full of opportunities for study and outdoor adventure, there are many opportunities to build partnerships with organizations, agencies, and businesses in the area and beyond. Professional staff and a dedicated senior leadership team are driven by the vital mission of ensuring access and affordability to this robust, quality higher education.

The College’s student population is largely first-generation, often rural students, for whom we offer access and affordability along with challenging academic work in the liberal arts tradition. The result is well-rounded graduates who earn fulfilling work at leading organizations and pursue graduate study at prestigious universities, as evidenced recently when U.S. News & World Report ranked UVA Wise as sixth in the nation for promoting social mobility.