At a Feb. 9 information session and reception, Felician College in Lodi, N.J., announced the addition of the doctor of nursing practice degree to the college’s division of nursing and health management programs. The DNP degree is the first doctoral-level program offered by Felician College.
“In our profession, we need practice experts and nurse scientists to expand the scientific basis for patient care. Our program at Felician College will prepare nurses for the highest level of leadership in practice and scientific inquiry,” said Muriel M. Shore, RN, EdD, NEA-BC, DPNAP, dean and professor, Division of Nursing and Health Management, to the prospective students, faculty and administration who attended the session.
The 40-credit terminal degree curriculum is designed for nurses with a master’s degree who wish to advance their education through an advanced practice track or a nurse executive track. The initial cohort of students will begin in May, and students in full-time study can complete the program in about two years.
“The advanced practice track is for those RNs who will provide leadership in the direct care of individuals, families and populations, and our nurse executive track is for those who will manage and lead healthcare delivery systems,” said Margaret A. Daingerfield, RN, EdD, CNE, director of the DNP program and associate dean and associate professor, Department of Graduate Nursing at Felician.
Students complete the theoretical component primarily through distance education, which is accomplished with online lectures and discussions, networking, group work, readings and assignments. Coursework focuses on advocacy, scientific underpinnings of practice, affecting healthcare outcomes, advanced topics in informatics and evidence appraisal for practice. A two-day, face-to-face residency at the beginning gives students the chance to meet one another and the graduate faculty, learn about the school’s mission and philosophy, orient to library materials, explore the DNP role and begin project discussions.From left are Margaret A. Daingerfield, RN, director of the DNP program and associate dean and associate professor, Department of Graduate Nursing; Muriel Shore, RN, dean and professor, Division of Nursing and Health Management; Anna Lucena S. Yrad, RN, primary care nurse practitioner; and Ellen DiChiara, RN, Teaneck school nurse and family nurse practitioner, Olde Towne Optimal Health, Nutley. “With a DNP, nurses can take their knowledge and skills to a higher level by being the actual creators of evidence-based practice and translating it into health policies that can affect an even greater population. The DNP can open the doors for nurses to become the healthcare leaders of tomorrow,” Yrad said.
Central to the DNP program is the completion of a change project. Early on, students identify a project that focuses on innovation in the area of direct or indirect patient care, and one that benefits a group, population or community.
“The students’ selections arise from their own professional expertise or interest, and they develop and implement the project to affect a systemwide change in practice and improve healthcare outcomes,” Daingerfield said. The project may be done in partnership with a group, such as a healthcare system, health department or government or community organization. In the final two-day residency, students present their project work to peers, the DNP committee, faculty and community members.
Based upon the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice and the American Organization of Nurse Executives’ core competencies for nurse executives, the curriculum is taught by Felician’s doctoral-prepared nursing faculty who are certified in distance education.
“References need to state why they believe you will be successful and how you have been successful in clinical practice, and the curriculum vitae should reflect what change projects you have engaged in, whether they be unit-based or at the graduate level,” said Marie Cueman, RN, PhD, associate professor and chairwoman of the MSN program and DNP executive leadership program.
Candidates must be RNs licensed by New Jersey, possess a 3.0 or higher in previous graduate coursework, and have completed statistics and research course prerequisites.Theresa Campo, RN, right, a doctor of nursing practice, speaks with prospective DNP student Ellen DiChiara, RN, Teaneck school nurse and family nurse practitioner, Olde Towne Optimal Health, Nutley.
“The DNP brings professional knowledge, collaboration and leadership,” said Theresa M. Campo, RN, DNP, APN, NP-C, CEN, assistant professor at Felician College. “It brings satisfaction and fulfillment of a goal, and financially it can bring opportunities and higher salaries. Most important of all, it opens doors that may have been closed, it is enriching to the mind and the soul, and it develops leaders for the future of nursing.”
For information about application requirements, call 201-559-6092.