A Preview Of Adelphi's Doctor Of Nursing Practice
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), in the planning stage for two years, is now moving forward, having reached the approval process at Adelphi University. The University’s Faculty Senate gave its official go-ahead in May, with Adelphi’s Board and the New York State Department of Education up next for their verdict.
Those interested in the D.N.P. see the doctoral program’s more clinical focus as its main benefit, as opposed to the research based Ph.D. Both are considered terminal degrees, but the benefits of each vary according to students’ goals. The D.N.P.’s research focus is on translation of knowledge for practice while the Ph.D.’s research concentration is on developing new knowledge.
According to Joan Valas, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the College of Nursing and Public Health’s Department of Graduate Studies, numerous studies have cited the need for a better-educated and -prepared nursing workforce. Such issues as an aging population and new discoveries in genetics and environmental health have created a gap in nursing education. Advanced programs like the D.N.P. help to ensure that more healthcare professionals are gaining clinical knowledge related to these subjects.
“When master’s degree nurse practitioner students apply, we tell them what the expectations for this profession are,” said Dr. Valas. “While they can practice with a master’s degree, the D.N.P. is a terminal degree and the highest clinical degree they can pursue, so they should definitely consider it.”
Here at Adelphi, a number of faculty members have already earned the degree and see the benefits of pursuing this educational path.
According to Clinical Associate Professor Maureen Roller, D.N.P., “The D.N.P. degree has given me the opportunity to gain expertise in my clinical practice and the educational skills to continue my passion of preparing future professional nurses.”
That sentiment was echoed by Clinical Assistant Professor Marie Cox, D.N.P.: “I have the best of both worlds. I teach nursing students as a full-time faculty member at Adelphi and I am an advanced practice nurse in a clinical patient setting.” She also noted that many doors were opened to her because of the D.N.P., including being selected as an Ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) to advocate for nursing research.
For Clinical Assistant Professor Susan Zori, D.N.P., the path to obtaining the D.N.P. was a little different. About eight years ago, her long-term employer, North Shore-LIJ Health System (NSLIJHS), offered to provide eligible nursing leaders with the resources necessary to pursue a D.N.P. degree at Case Western University. Dr. Zori jumped at the opportunity and was accepted into the program.
“Not only do I continue to pursue scholarly activities such as research, publishing and presentations,” Dr. Zori said, “but also I joined Adelphi as a full-time clinical assistant professor in 2012. Previous to this I had worked for a few years as an adjunct professor at Adelphi but spent almost 40 years working in various hospital administrative positions. I now work part time as an assistant director of nursing at Long Island Jewish while teaching the next generation of nurses here at Adelphi.”
For the first prospective students interested in expanding their academic and clinical careers with the D.N.P., requirements include obtaining a master’s degree from an accredited school and completion of 500 hours of clinical course work at the master’s level while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better in all nursing and science-related courses. Students must already have national certification as a nurse practitioner in advanced practice and one year of clinical experience as a nurse practitioner. Once the program is launched, it will be available for baccalaureate prepared nurses as its intention was that the D.N.P. would replace the nurse practitioner master’s.
In addition, applicants should provide three letters of recommendation, a full CV of experience and a 500-word essay explaining the applicants’ goals once they obtain the degree.
Since the D.N.P. program is still in the approval process, there’s no concrete start date yet, but the plan is to have everything in place for the Fall 2016 semester.
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