The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing has received approval from the University of Texas System Board of Regents to launch a DNP degree program designed to prepare graduates for todays increasingly complex healthcare practice and clinical leadership roles.
The DNP curriculum will emphasize clinical and leadership skills, according to a news release. Graduates will be prepared to translate nursing research into evidence-based standards of care while contributing to healthcare teams that improve
The DNP program will help meet the demand for more practitioners able to provide leadership at the highest levels of healthcare and for highly prepared clinical faculty for schools of nursing, Alexa Stuifbergen, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, said in the release. Im pleased to say we already have in place a strong cadre of tenured and clinical faculty to lead the research and education efforts necessary for a successful DNP program.
More than 15 years ago, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing identified the need for a doctorate for advanced practice nursing and recommended the DNP become the terminal degree for nurse practitioners by 2015. In 2010 the Institute of Medicine published its report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which affirmed this need and recommended doubling the number of doctoral-prepared nurses by 2020.
There are more than 240 DNP programs nationwide. including 11 in Texas, but none in Central Texas, according to the release. The UT Austin program is designed for nurses who are employed full-time. It will be offered in a hybrid format with a combination of on-campus and online learning experiences. The degree will complement professional practice doctoral programs at UT Austin, including the PhD, PharmD and soon-to-be offered MD.
The start date of the DNP program is dependent upon approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, but it is tentatively scheduled for fall 2015. The School of Nursing plans to enroll 12 students in the first cohort.
Meet the program directorJane Champion, RN
Professor Jane Champion, PhD, DNP, MA, RN, FNP, AH-PMH-CNS, FAANP, FAAN, will be the director of the program.