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Loyola accepts first students into Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Loyola press release - January 19, 2010

Ten students have been accepted to the Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice program through the early admission process. The program, the first of its kind in the state of Louisiana, will be delivered exclusively online, pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Loyola will enroll its first 25 post-master’s degree students in summer 2010, anticipating growth to 125 students within five years. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2010.

The first student to be accepted into the program is Titilola Adebanjo, a board-certified nurse practitioner from Memphis, Tenn., who strives for the highest degree in the nursing profession to meet the needs of the rapidly-changing health care system. She sought out Loyola’s DNP program for its flexibility and strong standing in the nursing community.

“Every nurse is a leader there,” Adebanjo said, echoing the school’s vision to educate professional nurses who lead change and translate science into practice in a dynamic global health care environment.

“I looked at the school and what it stands for, and I also looked at programs that would allow me to keep my fulltime employment. The online program was very attractive for me as a family woman. I don’t have to sit in a classroom for hours,” she said.

Another acceptee, Monica Urdiales Alleman agreed.

“I have very strong feelings of how exceptional the professors are, how well suited the program is for those with family and/or work responsibilities and how the program fosters a sense of cohesion among its students,” Alleman said. “I really researched NP and DNP programs and found Loyola to have the qualities that support the success of their students.”

Since 1979, Loyola’s School of Nursing has been on the cutting edge of innovative programs in health care, keeping pace with dramatic changes in nursing education. It has graduated 1,200 registered nurses with baccalaureate degrees and more than 500 advanced nursing practice providers with master’s degrees.

As nursing shortages plague hospitals across the country, Loyola continues to produce highly skilled nurses with advanced degrees, educated in the Jesuit tradition of social justice, critical thinking and service to the community, which makes them even more marketable to the medical community.

“I turned offers down because I truly believed that what Loyola offered far outweighed what any other university could offer,” Alleman said. “The critical thinking, the social justice thread, the emphasis on respect for one's community and the ability to know that I would succeed at Loyola was worth the tuition.”

According to the director of the school, Ann H. Cary, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., A-CCC, this DNP program will take a unique approach with emphasis on the translation of science and research findings to patient care and health care systems innovation.

“The application of informatics, organizational analysis and implementation science is critical to health care effectiveness,” Cary said. “We intend to incorporate the use of integrated behavioral health approaches in primary care practices as a method to address effective health care delivery.”

“The increasing gap between an adequate supply and the demand for primary care practitioners contributes to a widening health disparity among populations and locations,” Cary said.

Gwen George, D.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C., coordinator of Loyola’s DNP program added “This is particularly important in New Orleans and other areas of the country where mental health resources are scarce.”

It’s exactly those challenges that Adebanjo is anticipating.

“I want to achieve the pinnacle of my career,” while learning how to better serve patients, Adebanjo said. “To have the doctorate under my belt is one of my professional and personal goals.”
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program will admit those who hold a master’s degree as a nurse practitioner with a focus in family/adult, women’s health, pediatric or gerontology. Applications for the DNP degree program are being accepted through January 31, 2010 on Loyola's School of Nursing web page.
To learn more about the DNP program or to apply, visit the School of Nursing and select doctoral program or contact Gwen George at 504-865-3986.