The Washington State University College of Nursing in Spokane welcomed its first cohort of DNP students this fall. The action is part of a national movement supported by accrediting bodies and national organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, The Joint Commission and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The DNP is the second doctoral-level degree offered by the WSU College of Nursing. The college also has a PhD in Nursing program that focuses on conducting and contributing research to the science of nursing. New courses for the DNP curriculum include organizational leadership and structure, information management and a capstone project.
Forty students at the colleges Spokane and Vancouver campuses have enrolled for fall semester in one of three DNP program tracks: advanced population health, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner. The first cohort includes BSN graduates. In fall 2013, the college plans to accept MN graduates.
“The DNP degree is a natural and necessary progression for the profession,” Cindy Fitzgerald, FNP, MSN, PhD, assistant professor and FNP program primary coordinator, said in a news release. “It not only reflects a response to healthcare reform, but also addresses the need to supply better educated practitioners in rural areas — a primary care shortage.” Fitzgerald also teaches courses in the FNP, DNP and PhD programs.
Students must have a BSN, at least one year of nursing experience and meet other admission requirements to apply. The application deadline is Jan. 10 for the fall 2013 cohort.
For information, visit www.WSU.edu.