Doctor of Nursing Practice Program earns maximum five-year accreditation

New D.N.P. degree earns perfect review visit

The Board of Commissioners for the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has granted accreditation to the School of Nursing at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (D.N.P.). The CCNE board determined that the program met all four accreditation standards. The accreditation, retroactively effective as of March 23, 2013, is for a five-year term, which is the maximum number of years possible.

Ilene Decker, Ph.D., R.N., associate dean for academic affairs, said CCNE evaluators visited campus on March 23-24, 2013. The accreditation team met with faculty, students, Nurse Advisory Council members, and partners in the community.

“Site visitors make sure that what we wrote in our D.N.P. Self Study Report is exactly what we are doing. They determine if we are meeting all the standards we set up when we created the degree,” she said. “After meeting with everyone on campus, they reported no compliance concerns with respect to key elements. In other words, we had a perfect visit. This means we have a program that prepares high-quality professionals.”

Gemma Kennedy, Ph.D., R.N., director of the D.N.P. program, explained that the program is a practice-focused doctoral program. The mission of this program is to prepare expert nurse clinicians, administrators and executive leaders to improve health and health care outcomes through evidence-based practice in diverse clinical, health care, and academic settings.

The degree addresses the increasingly complex health care system that requires advanced practice nurses to understand leadership, policy, economics and quality and safety issues; to apply and translate research into practice; and to be leaders of multidisciplinary practice teams.

The D.N.P. program offers three post-master’s leadership tracks: Nurse Practitioner Leadership, Executive Administrative Management and Public Health Nurse Leader. Completion of the program can take two to three years, depending on the track chosen, with part-time and full-time study options.

The program’s blended curriculum of online courses and classroom sessions is flexible and accommodates the busy schedules of working professionals. New students are admitted every fall. Currently there are 27 students in the program. Five students graduated from the program in 2013. For more information about the degree, call 210-567-5805 or email


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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