Online doctoral degree in nursing gains nationwide interest

Topics: College of Applied Sciences and Technology, Online and Distance Learning

October 31, 2008

Even before the first class has been offered, prospective students from around the country have expressed interest in Ball State University's new doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program.
 
"We will be accepting 20 students for the first classes next fall," says Beth Kelsey, interim associate director of the DNP program. "Already we've received extensive interest from nurses around the country."
 
The School of Nursing has a long-established tradition of innovation and working toward solutions for alleviating the critical shortage of nurses. Graduating high-caliber nurses goes way beyond simply filling a void, and the DNP program will provide leaders for the field of nursing, Kelsey said.
 
DNP candidates will be nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists who currently hold a master's degree in nursing. Part-time students will take eight semesters to complete the program, with courses available during the summer. Nurses will be able to earn a degree that is focused on practice rather than research, Kelsey emphasized.
 
"The School of Nursing has an excellent track record of offering distance education — our master's degree is completely online — and this will be another avenue that will produce highly skilled graduates to fill the nursing shortage that's affecting the United States and the rest of the world."
 
Ball State graduates' performance on the most recent American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (NP) Certification Exam is a testament to the School of Nursing's excellence:
100 percent passed the adult NP exam (national pass rate was 90 percent)
100 percent passed the family NP exam (national pass rate was 83 percent)
 
Many of the graduates of our master's nurse practitioner track are now expressing interest in the DNP program. Their experience has shown them that Ball State offers a first-class program, Kelsey said.
 
"The American Association of Colleges of Nursing have set a goal that by 2015 entry level nurse practitioners will be at the doctoral level, and we want to be ahead of the curve," she said. "Our goal is to prepare leaders in a clinical and organizational level so they can impact access to and quality of care through health policy, health care business and economics, population-focused care and evidence-based practice."
 
The School of Nursing is accepting applications, and details about the program and the application process can be found on the school's Web site, www.bsu.edu/nursing, or by contacting Kelsey at 765-285-5761.

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