Frontier Nursing University to Establish New Campus


Hyden, KY -- Frontier Nursing University (FNU), with its historic campus based in Hyden, Ky., has reached a pivotal time in its 78-year history. FNU will be moving student activities including all of the on-campus student sessions to a newly purchased property in Versailles, Ky. The move will allow FNU to better serve students and continue its longstanding commitment to the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to provide care to women and families with a focus on those in rural and underserved areas. FNU will maintain operation of the Wendover Bed & Breakfast Inn, the historic log cabin home of FNU founder Mary Breckinridge, in Wendover, Ky., near Hyden.


FNU honors its southeastern Kentucky roots but in order to continue the FNU traditions of learning and excellence in education, an expansion to a larger and more conveniently located campus was needed. The decision was made by FNU administration and Board of Directors as plans were developed for the new Versailles property and it became clear that it was not feasible to operate two campuses. The move to the new campus will allow FNU to continue to expand enrollment -- currently nearly 2,000 students -- and also improve program offerings in order to meet the growing demand for access to quality healthcare nationwide, especially in rural and underserved areas. We will continue to recruit, educate, and graduate nurses to increase access to quality healthcare for rural communities everywhere, including Leslie County. The change to the new Versailles campus will not lead to additional tuition increases or financial burdens passed on to students.  


FNU’s founder Mary Breckinridge established the Frontier Nursing Service and what is Frontier Nursing University today as part of her mission to provide care to women and families with a focus on those in rural and underserved areas. FNU is focused on educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to serve families with an emphasis on rural and underserved to keep Mary Breckinridge’s vision alive. FNU moved to a community-based distance education delivery in 1989 and since has been offering all programs in this format. The goal is to reach nurses in rural and underserved areas allowing access to graduate education to become nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners and in turn better serve their communities. Mary Breckinridge’s vision of increasing access to healthcare and improving lives of families is now accomplished worldwide through the work of FNU graduates.


The new 67-acre campus in that FNU purchased in Versailles will continue to keep the University in a rural county but is also less than ten minutes from the Lexington Bluegrass Airport and accessible from major highways. The new Versailles campus will allow for more cutting edge teaching and learning facilities and an increased amount of lodging for students and faculty. The new space will have approximately 85 offices, dorms accommodating up to 90 people, faculty and staff housing for 18, a dining hall that can accommodate nearly 100 people and expanded education and simulation facilities.  


FNU’s vision is that the opening of the Versailles Campus will permanently establish Frontier Nursing University as the leader in advanced nursing and midwifery education, as a national model of excellence for distance learning for advanced nursing and as the heart of the nurse-midwifery profession for the United States. In addition to hosting students, the new campus can be used for gathering leaders in the nursing and midwifery field for national and regional meetings.


All plans are tentative but FNU expects renovations on the campus to begin in fall 2017 with the Lexington Administrative offices moving to the Versailles campus in early spring of 2018. The target date for students to begin attending orientations and clinical sessions on the Versailles campus is fall 2018.


Our Hyden employees have the opportunity to continue to work with FNU in our new location and some positions will be maintained  at the Wendover Bed & Breakfast Inn. We plan to offer all incoming Frontier students with optional tours to visit Hyden and Wendover in addition to their trip to the Versailles campus. There are no solid plans for use of the Hyden campus, but we will keep the community apprised of developments and we do wish to see it put to good use for the community.


The decision to move FNU to a new location was not made lightly and has been considered for years as our student enrollment continues to grow. While we understand the implications for discontinuing the Hyden campus, it is in the best interests of FNU’s mission and vision for the future.


About Frontier Nursing University:

The mission of FNU is to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical and compassionate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations. FNU offers graduate Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse-Practitioner distance education programs that can be pursued full- or part-time with the student’s home community serving as the classroom.  Degrees and options offered include Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Post-Graduate Certificates. To learn more about FNU and the programs and degrees offered, please visit

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