After completing an accreditation process over the past year and a half, the School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has been approved through 2019. The program is for a terminal doctoral degree and it has two components: one being for a bachelor’s degree where you can immediately graduate with a DNP degree or you can do it as a post-master’s component, the more popular choice.
Dr. Mary Ellen Roberts, director of the doctor of nursing program, said that it’s a popular choice because eventually the degree will become essential, within the next decade, to receive even an entry-level position.
“It’s a clinical degree as opposed to a research degree, so most students that are in this program give direct patient care,” said Roberts. “The degree itself was really meant for those that were nurse practitioners or becoming nurse practitioners.”
Roberts continued by saying that the degree on the post-master’s level allowed for various nursing certifications and because of the two nurse-practitioner programs, adult/geriatric program and pediatric program, many people already having their bachelor’s degree in nursing come to SHU in order to become nurse practitioners.
Laura Weinberg, a sophomore nursing major, said she has considered entering the DNP program after receiving her bachelor’s. Now that the program is accredited, she said it’s a path she’d like to take.
“I am already comfortable with the school and I trust that it will be accurate and guide me to an even better career,” said Weinberg. “I want to assess patients with confidence and appear reliable and trustworthy in more respected practices, like in a pediatric doctor’s office or an emergency room.”
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) determined after evaluating the school’s self-study and conducting a visit to campus, which is when the accreditation begins, that the fairly new DNP program here at SHU was consistent with their standards and could continue for another four years.
“What they try to do then is, because this was a new program, give you enough years so that it coincides with your reaccreditation. So in 2019 the whole College of Nursing will have to be reaccredited, every program,” said Roberts. “Often times what happens is you’re just not sure how long they’re going to give you the accreditation for, especially since it’s a new program.”
Roberts also acknowledged that new programs only get accredited for five years so that the school can re-evaluate their new program again before the complete accreditation for the whole school comes around again, which happens every 10 years.
Eric Hostettler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.