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Apply for graduate certificate in cardiovascular nursing by Feb. 4

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The deadline to apply for admission to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s new graduate certificate in cardiovascular nursing program is Feb. 4.

UL Lafayette’s College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions launched the program – the first in the state – after it was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents last month. The first group of students will begin March 18.

Cardiovascular Institute of the South has committed over $200,000 in scholarships to award to some students admitted to the program in its initial years. CIS, one of the largest cardiovascular companies in the nation, was instrumental in creation of the program.

Nurse practitioners with expertise in cardiology assist cardiologists in diagnosing and treating heart-related medical conditions such as angina, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and hypertension.

The new program is designed for APRNs, who are nurse practitioners with master’s degrees. APRN stands for advanced practice registered nurse. Prospective students who have graduated from, or are enrolled in, an adult gerontology nurse practitioner program, an acute care nurse practitioner program or a family nurse practitioner program are also eligible to apply for admission.

The program is one of only a handful of similar programs in the nation, said Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. It will help meet a demand for cardiovascular care that is rising as the population ages.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and is responsible for a third of the deaths in the United States. A shortage of nurse practitioners experienced in cardiovascular health care is a limiting factor in providing critical cardiovascular care,” she explained.

Students will work under the direction of faculty and other qualified preceptors, such as cardiologists and nurse practitioners with cardiology experience, in the four-credit-hour clinical component of the program.

Students will use diagnostic equipment and processes, such as telecardiology, which employs robotics to enable remote diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

“Advanced education and training – including an immersive clinical training experience under the direction of qualified medical professionals and faculty – is integral to the care of cardiovascular patients,” Oberleitner said.

Clinical work requirements won’t prevent students from other regions from enrolling, provided they meet University admission requirements.

While the instruction portion of the program will be completed online, the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions will work with medical professionals in other states to provide outlets for clinical experience.

CIS physicians and nurse practitioners will collaborate with UL Lafayette to facilitate clinical experiences. It has also become a sponsor of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions’ Critical Care Simulation Lab.

Learn more about the graduate certificate in cardiovascular nursing

To learn more about scholarships, contact Dr. Jennifer Lemoine, the college’s graduate coordinator, at (337) 482-1029 or jennifer.lemoine@louisiana.edu.