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First DNP program in Louisiana starts classes

Loyola press release - May 6, 2010

The first flight of students enrolled in Louisiana’s only Doctor of Nursing Practice program arrived at Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing on May 11.

The students attended their first classes in person, became familiar with the university’s systems and met the nationally-regarded integrated behavioral health consultant, Neftali Serrano, Psy.D. Onsite classes also included Ethics and Social Justice, led by Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., and Philosophy of Science, taught by Cynthia Collins, Ph.D.

These inaugural groups of 24, all of whom are women, represent diverse backgrounds:
• 71 percent represent minority or Hispanic heritage.
• 58 percent reside in Louisiana. The remaining students are from six other states.
• 92 percent indicate they intend to practice in underserved areas upon graduation.
• 50 percent indicated they would like to work as faculty members in a school of nursing.
• 90 percent or more will receive nurse traineeship scholarships to partially support tuition expenses.
School of Nursing Director Ann Cary Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., A-CCC, said she is impressed with the class’ credentials and promise to the nursing profession.

“We have selected an outstanding cohort of practitioners seeking to obtain their DNP,” Cary said. “They have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to health care for the underserved, a passion to redesign systems of care and enthusiasm to bring new knowledge from the ‘bench to the bedside and to organizational effectiveness’ in their communities. We eagerly await their arrival and look forward to engaging the next generation of doctoral students in their leadership journey.”

The Loyola Doctor of Nursing Practice Program admits those who hold a master’s degree as a nurse practitioner with a focus in family/adult, women’s health, pediatric or gerontology. The program, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, will be delivered exclusively online. Within five years, Cary expects the program to grow to 125 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.

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.