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Board of Nursing gives nod to post-BSN to DNP program

July 29, 2011

The Louisiana Board of Nursing has given its approval to market a new program at Loyola University New Orleans’ School of Nursing that will offer nurses currently holding a bachelor’s degree a chance to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Given the demands of current healthcare reform legislation, providing access to quality, primary healthcare is coming to the forefront as a challenge to our nation’s system of health delivery. The shortage of physicians in primary care, the aging of a large sector of our population, and the economic state of the nation have equally contributed to the need for additional nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses in advanced practice, who are highly skilled not only in treating acute and chronic illness, but also as agents to educate and motivate patients to achieve optimal health promotion and disease prevention.

“The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, along with several prominent professional advanced practice organizations, has called for all nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses to hold a DNP upon entry into practice by 2015. Our faculty is committed to supporting this effort,” said Loyola’s program director Cynthia Collins, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., A.N.P.-B.C., G.N.P. “This enhancement of our DNP curriculum prepares nurses in the role of family nurse practitioner at the highest level of practice. Nurse practitioners who are educated at the doctoral level develop a broader view of the healthcare system, enabling them to lead others in the effective and efficient use of delivery systems, the continuous quality improvement of services, the rapid incorporation of current evidence-based research into the treatment plans of families, and the creative, ethical and judicious use of existing healthcare resources.”

Direct entry into the DNP clinical doctorate program will create family nurse practitioner leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of a 21st century healthcare environment.

In addition, the program is offered in an online format, so working nurses can advance their careers while also continuing their education. The School of Nursing will begin to accept applications for the bachelor’s to doctorate program on Nov. 1, 2011 and intends to start the program in April 2012, pending state board approval.

To learn more about the DNP program or to apply, visit the School of Nursing and select doctoral program or contact Elena Ransom at 504-865-2499.

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