Student is first to graduate new Doctorate of Nursing program

Seton Hall has introduced a new Doctorate of Nursing Practice to its the College of Nursing this past year.

The DNP is a graduate level degree that focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing. Diane McClure will be the first to graduate from this program in the spring.

McClure said she has been practicing nursing for three decades. She began working on her DNP four and a half years ago and is now in the final stages.

“I started this program because I enjoy the clinical work of nursing,” McClure said. “Although having this degree will not change my current position, there is a movement in the workings now that is attempting to make DNPs mandatory requirements for nurses in the future.”

The Grassroots Movement is trying to raise the standards for RNs in the future, making it harder for nurses with bachelor’s to gain work opportunities, according to McClure.

She said in order to earn a DNP, students must already have a Masters degree and complete 36 credits toward their DNPs. However, there is a program available to nursing undergraduates interested in earning their DNPs that allows students to gain their Masters of Nursing Science in two years.

This will enable students to earn their Doctorate of Nursing Practice in less time than those interested in completing a general Masters degree, according to McClure.

Over the course of working on her DNP, McClure said she completed her research project for it. Her topic of interest was feeding infants who struggled with nipplefeeding.

This was a problem McClure said she noticed while working with babies in the hospital who were given bottles instead of being nipple fed. For a while, she thought it was a major problem. When concluding what topic to do for her research project, it just came naturally to her.

McClure said she believes that this degree is essential for the future.

“I believe in education and I believe in this degree,” McClure said

She also said that she is very excited to be the first to graduate from this program.

“Seton Hall is making a big stretch, and I could not believe it when they told I would be the first to finish,” she said

After receiving her degree, McClure said she plans on catching up on all of her nights of loss sleep and exhaustion. She also plans to get involved with the nursing faculty on campus and potentially teach.

“It’s new and up-and-coming,” McClure said about students looking to obtain this degree. “It’s clinically focused and should definitely be considered for nursing students over a PhD because it may be useful in the future if the movement raises credentials.”

Rachel Hassett can be reached at

Author: Rachel Hassett

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