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Vet receiving his degree
Accent Fall 2019 Magazine

Korean War Vet Achieves Dream

George Panebianco and his family celebrated the completion of his bachelor’s degree from MNU in October. The 85-year-old Belton, Missouri, resident, is a Korean War Veteran who majored in Spanish at MNU in the ‘80s. Through the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, George earned his BA in general studies this fall. Welcome to the Alumni Association, Mr. Panebianco!

Nurse Practitioner Program Begins

A new online track in MNU’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) launching in January 2020 will provide the education and credentials to become a nurse practitioner (NP). The curriculum focuses on caring for adults and the aging. Graduates of the program will earn a Master of Science in Nursing and achieve the designation of Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) upon passing the AGPCNP Certification Exam. MNU is the first university in Kansas offering this specialty.

An AGPCNP is an advance practice nurse with a clinical focus on treating people from adolescent through adult and into advanced age.
This specialty is a great mission fit for MNU as well as being in growing demand, according to the Department Chair for Post-Licensure and Graduate Nursing Education, Dr. Sarah Miller.

“AGPCNP specializes in an area that will only grow as the population ages, particularly as baby boomers retire and their need for healthcare increases,” Miller says.

She also finds the MNU faculty well suited to preparing these kinds of professionals.

“We have outstanding faculty who are qualified experientially and academically,” she says. “They are compassionate and caring—truly wanting what’s best for our students, while still holding them to high expectations.”

Miller says the program is attracting nurses who want to impact patient care in a more significant way by being able to diagnose patients, prescribe medication and treatments. They should be driven and organized as the program will be challenging but doable. Location is not a factor since the program is online except for three on-site intensives of two days each. 

As far as credibility and reputation, the university holds many top-rated rankings for its nursing programs, from pre-licensure BSN to graduate-level MSN. Additionally, programs are Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE) accredited, and Kansas State Board of Nursing approved. MNU-educated nurses are highly qualified and in demand, according to Miller. 

For more information about the MSN program for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, visit

New Path to Becoming a Classroom Teacher

The “special sauce” in this program is that students do not need a degree in education to enroll. This feature opens the door to many career-changers.
The Master of Science in Elementary Education Unified program equips graduates to teach in the elementary grades, no matter their undergraduate major. Providing expertise in both elementary education and special education, it is all online. The program addresses a shortage of teachers, particularly in special education.

“Kansas implemented a new designation combining elementary education and special education at the graduate level,” says Dr. Martin Dunlap, program chair. “The goal is to supply the need for teachers in special education. MNU is one of just a few universities with the program.”

Dunlap says the university encounters adults who have earned a bachelor’s degree and want to change careers. Previously they often had to earn a second bachelor’s degree. This master’s degree means higher earning potential sooner. 

“We’re drawing students from a variety of careers,” Dunlap says. “Paraprofessionals in school districts, business people, all types of people in all sorts of jobs who want to become teachers.”

For students who do not have an earned bachelor’s degree, MNU also has an accelerated elementary education unified degree program. For more information, visit

Award, Accreditation & Top Scores

Cathedral Builder 
On October 4, Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland (’84) honored MNU with the City’s Cathedral Builder Award at the State of the City luncheon. Each year the Mayor presents this award to an organization and an individual that had been instrumental to the community, its culture and its future. MNU is grateful to those, throughout its history, who have made this legacy possible.

Excellence Noted
This fall, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) approved the accreditation of the Master of Counseling program through October 2026. The approval includes the program specialties of clinical mental health, marriage, couple & family counseling and school counseling.
CACREP accreditation is both a process and a status and denotes a commitment to program excellence. CACREP accreditation is highly acclaimed in the counseling industry. MNU was first accredited by CACREP in 2010. 

For information about this and all graduate programs at MNU, visit

High Marks
MNU is first in Kansas for the number of pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing students and graduates. In both 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, MNU outpaced all other Kansas schools that offer the degree. Additionally, the School of Nursing consistently boasts a first-attempt pass rate on the NCLEX-RN® exam (required for licensure) that is higher than state and national averages. In 2018, 95.7% of our BSN grads passed the exam on the first attempt.

We are proud of our faculty that prepares these outstanding graduates to give excellent care to patients in Kansas and beyond. 

The Mindset of the Class of 2023

As we welcomed the Class of 2023 this fall, we realized that they come from another time.

  • In their lifetime, floppy drives have always been old-fashioned storage devices long ago replaced by USB drives. Their handheld devices hold more storage than their parents’ top-of-the-line desktop computer from a few years back. And let’s face it, phones are for texting and taking photos, not talking!
  • Here is a sample of 60 facts about the Class of 2023, gathered by Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. 
  • Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is a historical event. 
  • The nation’s mantra has always been: “If you see something, say something.”
  • The Tech Big Four--Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google -- are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents.
  • Their smartpens may write and record faster than they can think.
  • Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color.
  • Because of Richard Reid’s explosive footwear at 30,000 feet, airline passengers have always had to take off their shoes to slide through security on the ground. 
  • They may well not have a younger sibling, as the birth rate in the U.S. has been dropping since they were in grammar school.
  • YouTube has become the video version of Wikipedia.
  • Most of them will rent, not buy, their textbooks. 
  • Blackboards have never been dumb.

From the Marist Mindset List. Read more. 

Accent Summer 2020
This Issue

Summer 2021

Momentum builds with new construction, the return to in-person Commencement and athletic success despite the pandemic! Enjoy this issue of Accent Summer 2021.

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