UT Health Science Center to offer Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 27, 2012) — Nurses in South Texas will have the opportunity to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio beginning in fall 2012. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the new degree on Jan. 26.

“The purpose of the DNP program is to prepare nurse practitioners, nurse executives and public health nurse leaders to provide health care at the highest level of their specialty,” said Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “Our graduates will have specialized knowledge about health care systems, the translation of evidence into practice, policy and executive leadership to address the needs of our populations for the 21st century.”

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the UT Health Science Center, said, “We are very proud of the faculty of our School of Nursing for their efforts in initiating the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. This new degree is the next step in ensuring that we are providing more highly educated nurses for Texas who will be prepared to improve clinical practice.”

The new degree complements the nursing profession by preparing graduates to become advanced clinical experts in their chosen specialties.

Applicants must have earned a master’s degree in nursing. Tracks for nurse practitioners and nurse executives/administrators will begin this fall, and the public health nursing track will be offered beginning in fall 2013. Student scholarships are available.

The DNP consists of 41 to 51 semester credit hours beyond a master’s degree. It will be offered as a two-year program for full-time students and as a three-year program for part-time students.

For more information about the DNP, please contact Gemma Kennedy, Ph.D., RN, director of the DNP program and associate professor of research in the School of Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health Systems, at 210-567-5875 or kennedyg@uthscsa.edu.

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 federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $228 million in fiscal year 2010. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 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 www.uthscsa.edu.

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