The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program was conducted by the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), Asheville, N. C., in affiliation with the University of North Carolina, from 1975 - 1990. The program was a twelve (12) month, full-time, certificate program, for Registered Nurses (RNs).  Requirements for admission included:


            1.          Registered Nurse (RN), who maintained a current, active, and unencumbered



            2.          Minimum of one year of full-time clinical experience, in which the nurse

had demonstrated excellence;


            3.          Application with a physician, who agreed to assume primary responsibility for clinical supervision, to adhere to the requirements for clinical evaluation, and to provide or consider providing employment of the nurse practitioner upon completion of the program.


Class size was limited to twelve (12) students.  An exception was made in 1978-79 on request of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to enroll a nurse midwife and educator from St. Vincent, West  ndies.  This student returned to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines to establish and administer an FNP Program for professional nurses within the geographic boundaries of 8-10 islands.   


The program was divided into didactic and preceptorship phases.  Satisfactory achievement of written and clinical performance requirements had to be met, before students progressed from the didactic to the preceptorship phase or graduated from the program.


Content was organized into course modules for the following:


            Data Collection

            Adult Primary Care

            Child Primary Care

            Primary Health Care for Women

            Common Health Problems



Each course module contained purpose, objectives, content outline, and evaluation methodologies.  Specific learning objectives, content, required and suggested readings were provided for each content section within the modules.  Behavioral science and pharmacology content were integrated throughout course content. Nursing diagnosis was also integrated into content in the latter years of the program

A copy of learning objectives and content outline can be provided on request.


During didactic phase, clinical rotations into approved settings in Asheville and the surrounding area were coordinated by program faculty. Preceptors included nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, physicians, and program faculty. Evaluations were completed by preceptor(s) and/or program faculty at the end of each rotation. Clinical experiences included a community teaching rotation and limited and/or observational experiences in home health and/or hospice.


During preceptorship phase, clinical experiences were coordinated in the student's primary practice setting, identified in the application process, and additional experiences requested and/or required by program faculty. Preceptors included nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, physician assistants, and physicians.  Program faculty made regular site visits for direct evaluation of clinical progress and to discuss other issues with the student and/or the primary physician



As part of program requirements, each student completed a community assessment during preceptorship phase.  This assessment focused on the student's place of residence and/or practice setting and included demographic data, comprehensive identification of services directed to social, economic, preventative, and illness needs of the population served by the community.  The assessment was concluded with a summary of community health needs and services available, as well as recommendations by the student to approach unmet community health needs.


Letter grades were not awarded. Satisfactory achievement levels were established for didactic, clinical, and evaluative performance.


Official transcripts are provided in an individual letter for each graduate plus a copy of the certificate awarded upon graduation from the program.


The official seal is the corporate seal for the Mountain Area Health Education Foundation,  nc.  The seal can be provided when required; the seal is not provided unless requested as a requirement for documents.  Notarized documents, including the letter of transcript, can be provided at any time.




Length :

Didactic - 651 hours

Laboratory Content:                      25 hours in didactic and clinical laboratory in addition to appropriate integration into other didactic content

Pharmacology Content:                  25 hours in addition to appropriate integration into other didactic content


Clinical: 424 Hours




Didactic - 48 hours

Clinical - 592 hours


Didactic: 749 hours

Clinical: 1016 hours


Total: 1765 Hours



Hettie Lou Garland, MPH, RN

Director of Nursing Education and FNP Program

Data Collection

Advanced Practice

Health Care Delivery Systems

Legal and Professional Scopes of Practice

Linda Tull, MPH, FNP Program Director

Comprehensive content expertise

Clinical preceptor and performance appraisal

Mimi Donohue, MPH, FNP Comprehensive content expertise Specific coordination of gerontology

Clinical preceptor and performance appraisal

Margaret Johnson-Saylor, PhD, ANP Comprehensive content expertise-adult Specific coordination of behavioral science Clinical preceptor and performance appraisal