Frontier Nursing University Awards Degrees to Nurse-Midwife and Nurse Practitioner Graduates from Across the U.S.


HYDEN, KENTUCKY – Frontier Nursing University (FNU), a graduate school educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, hosted its 2016 commencement ceremony in Hyden, Ky., near the historic FNU campus, on Saturday, Oct. 22nd. Over the past year, nearly 550 nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners from almost every state across the nation completed an FNU distance-education program; 44 of these graduates are from FNU’s home state of Kentucky. More than 1000 attendees joined for the commencement ceremony to honor these graduates.  


Started by nurse-midwifery pioneer Mary Breckinridge, FNU has been educating nurses and midwives for more than 77 years and has grown into one of the country’s leading graduate schools with an enrollment exceeding 1800, and is recognized in the Top 30 online graduate nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report.  FNU offers doctoral and master’s degrees for nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. The university utilizes innovative distance-education methods to reach nurses throughout the country and the world. FNU graduates provide primary care for women and families residing in all areas, with a focus on rural and underserved communities.


FNU President Dr. Susan Stone presided over the commencement ceremony and degrees were conferred on graduates of FNU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. MSN graduates completed the Nurse-Midwifery, Family Nurse Practitioner or Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner specialty tracks.  


Kitty Ernst, FNU’s Mary Breckinridge Chair of Midwifery, delivered the keynote address to the 2016 graduates. Ernst is a pioneer in the field of midwifery and in developing the best care possible for families in pregnancy and birth. She has been a permanent leader in the nurse-midwifery profession since graduating from the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery in 1951. Ernst was also the co-founder of the National Association of Childbearing Centers (known as the American Association of Birth Centers today) and served as a leader in the effort to bring birth centers into the mainstream of health care delivery.


The commencement ceremony recording is available here. For more information, contact Brittney Edwards, Director of Marketing and Communications, at 859-899-2515 or visit the Frontier Nursing University web site at  


Frontier Nursing University would like to extend a special ‘thank you’ to the following individuals and organizations for helping to make our 2016 commencement ceremony a success:

  • Mayor Carol Joseph

  • Chief Bill Baker, City Police

  • Commissioner James E. Bill Napier

  • Leslie Co. Board of Ed

  • Leslie Co. Judges Office

  • Keepsake Flowers & Gifts

  • Ladonna's Catering

  • Bilcoe Signs


About Frontier Nursing University:

Frontier Nursing University's programs are consistently ranked among the top in the nation. FNU's family nurse practitioner program currently ranks in the Top 15 by U.S. News & World Report. Our Master of Science in Nursing ranks in the Top 30 online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News and as the #3 online MSN program in the country by Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is ranked No. 10 in Best Medical Degrees’ “50 Best Value Online DNP Degree Programs." FNU's nurse-midwifery program was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.