Healthcare continues to be an important economic sector in Montana, even as other sectors of the economy slow down. Primary care providers are an integral component of care, and with such a widespread rural population in Montana, it is crucial that residents have access to care. Nurse practitioners can help fill in any gaps that may exist within primary care, and often do so with a degree of compassion and holistic attention that patients enjoy.
Across the nation, nurse practitioners practice in rural areas, so it's possible that NPs can help provide primary care coverage to the medically underserved areas, including remote areas of Montana. Many of Montana's 350 (BLS, 2012) nurse practitioners already live and work in rural areas, however, there is no reason not to add more to the fold.
With a mean annual salary of $87,880, as reported by the (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012), NPs in Montana earn more than traditional RNs. As you look into schools, keep in mind that our featured schools offer online options, which often make earning a degree from a rural area easier and more efficient. Feel free to request information from as many schools on the list as you'd like, in order to make a solid decision about which program is right for you.
Nurse practitioner programs for Montana nurses include:
- Montana State University. The master's-level family nurse practitioner program at Montana State includes a special emphasis on rural nursing, issues of rurality and rural healthcare systems. The program can be completed in two or four years.
- Georgetown University. Though located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University offers two online NP programs that are accessible to nurses in Idaho. Students can select either a Family Nurse Practitioner program or the Nurse Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program. Classes are web-based, and Georgetown faculty work with students to arrange clinical experiences close to home.
- Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing. The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing is physically located in Kentucky, but the school, a leader in distance education, has long helped graduates become nursing leaders within their home communities. Frontier offers a master-level, community-based Family Nurse Practitioner program that provides a strong emphasis on the business of primary care. The school also offers DNP-level Family Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner programs.