Featured Nurse Leader

The Academy's Featured Nurse Leader section showcases the transformative work of our fellows. If you have or know a fellow that has published work or has made a difference in their community please let us know.

Susan E. Stone, DNSc, APRN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN

Dr__Stone_headshot-cropped.jpgSusan Stone is president of Frontier Nursing University (FNU), a private, non-profit, non-residential graduate school of nursing. Headquartered in Kentucky, FNU offers community-based, and distance education programs leading to the DNP and MSN degrees and/or post-graduate certificates in advanced practice nursing specialties. In 1989, FNU leadership recognized the national shortage of nurse-midwives and the fact that nurses living in rural and underserved areas would pursue graduate education if they did not have to leave their home communities. In response, FNU launched an innovative hybrid model of distance learning for midwifery education. 

Dr. Stone graduated from that first FNU distance learning class in 1991, returned as faculty in 1993, and eventually became president in 2001. Inducted into the Academny in 2012, Stone has transformed FNU from a small certificate program to a graduate school of nursing. Five advanced practice nursing programs were added, certificate granting programs transitioned to degree granting, the curriculum transitioned to a web-based design, and the student body grew from 200 to over 2,000. Dr. Stone led FNU to achieve accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2004.

Today the programs are delivered through a combination of distance learning, on-campus sessions, and experience in clinical sites around the country. Through this hybrid model, students learn in their home communities, and the majority of graduates live and practice in rural and underserved areas. Ninety percent of FNU’s 639 graduates in 2017 reside in rural or Health Professional Shortage Areas.