JoAnn Trybulski (center, standing) discusses the new DNP program with faculty colleagues Rosina Cianelli, Joanna Sikkema, Joseph De Santis, Elaine Kauschinger, and Rosemary Hall

The growing shortage of healthcare providers has created an urgent need for highly trained nurses who can lead the delivery of high-quality clinical care. To help meet that need, the School of Nursing and Health Studies begins a new Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) program in January.

The DNP program will prepare expert nurse practitioners to develop and implement innovative, evidence-based practice interventions and health care systems, with a focus on reducing health care disparities. Equally important, the program will help the school address the national nursing shortage by increasing the number of clinical experts qualified to teach atthe graduate and undergraduate levels.

“Our DNP program will educate advanced-practice nurses who can implement the science developed by PhD-prepared nurses and teach safe, clinically current practice to the next generation of nursing students,”says Dean Nena Peragallo, DrPH, RN, FAAN. “

The DNP program builds on the school’s strong tradition of community service, cultural competency, and evidence-based research,” notes JoAnn Trybulski,PhD, RN, associate dean for master’s programs, who will oversee the program.

The DNP’s three-semester curriculum comprises 38 credits and offers three tracks—clinical practice, administration, and education—within a flexible, executive-education format.

According to Trybulski, the school’s varied clinical partners “offer unique opportunities for highly specialized, cutting-edge clinical practica.” Selected courses taught by faculty at the University’s School of Business Administration and School of Education are another distinctive feature. “Our DNP program is truly interdisciplinary,” Trybulski says. “It will provide graduates with abroad base of knowledge and a competitive edge.”
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Program Objective Prepare nurses at the highest level of practice Prepare nurse researchers
Student Goals Career in clinical practice or service leadership, oriented toward improving care outcomes Research career oriented toward development of new knowledge and productive sholarship
Degree Requirement Capstone project demonstrating mastery of expert practice Doctoral dissertation
Graduate Career Paths Contributes to improvement in health care via direct service and policy change, and implementation of evidence-based practice Contributes to and develops new knowledge and other scholarly products that provide the foundation for the advancement of nursing science
Primary Work Settings Academic institutions, health care organizations, clinical programs Academic institutions, government agencies