Health: A hotbed of innovation
JMU continues to answer the demand for nurses. A master of science program with concentrations in clinical nurse leader, nurse administrator, nurse midwifery, adult/gerontological nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner has joined a burgeoning undergraduate program. A doctor of nursing practice degree is being planned.
The Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services has traveled from vision to fully functioning cross-disciplinary and collaborative JMU clearinghouse. The institute — unlike any other in the nation — promotes excellence in health and human services education by involving professors and students in evidence-based practices through community outreach. The impact has been enormous. During 2010-11 alone, the institute was able to offer 3,039 clinical encounters and 17,417 community services in the region surrounding campus and provide almost $4.4 million in grant-funded services to the citizens of Virginia, reaching every region of the commonwealth with health and human service innovations.
New and expanded programs in disciplines like counseling, exercise science, gerontology, health services administration, occupational therapy and physician assistant studies at JMU are addressing society's growing demand for health and human services professionals. The number of undergraduate students — 2,592 — who have declared their intent to enter the health professions, for instance, has almost doubled since 2004 (1,458) and almost quadrupled since 2000 (745). JMU's Pre-Professional Health Program has grown to meet them, offering customized evaluation, advising, interprofessional courses and programs that foster education across borders to students who major in programs ranging from accounting to writing and rhetoric.
The demand for nurses continues to rise. A master of science program with concentrations in clinical nurse leader, nurse administrator, nurse midwifery, adult/gerontological nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner has joined a burgeoning undergraduate program numbering almost 800 majors at JMU. A doctor of nursing practice degree program is being planned.