It’s a new year, a new semester, and we’ve just launched the new doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree program. We’re very pleased to see this professional doctoral program designed to prepare graduates for today’s increasingly complex health care practice and clinical leadership roles get off the ground after several years of planning and preparation.
Professor Jane Champion, director of the DNP program, welcomed the 14-member inaugural cohort to their first on-campus “intensive” on Wednesday, Jan. 13. She is joined by a strong cadre of tenured and clinical faculty in research and education efforts.
The curriculum will emphasize clinical and leadership skills and graduates will be prepared to translate nursing research into evidence-based standards of care while contributing to health care teams that improve patient outcomes.
The program is designed for nurses who are employed full time and will be offered in a hybrid format with a combination of on-campus “intensives” and online learning experiences. It is the first DNP program in Central Texas.
We also received great news for many of our students that the U.S. Department of Education has approved federal aid for advanced practice students in post-masters of science in nursing certificate programs. Students who enroll in these programs for the fall 2016 semester and beyond will be eligible for the funding.
The semester got off to a great start with a Student Services-sponsored coffee and cookies event (look for photos on the School of Nursing’s Facebook page). It’s sometimes hard to know who’s more eager to get back to class: the students or the faculty.
In other news, we’re still in the middle of a construction zone and some days we wonder if the new health care and medical center will ever be completed and ready for business. Until that time, the holes in Red River Street just keep getting bigger, and the noise … well, we’ll not talk about the noise.
We’ve had some of our faculty featured in the news: Dr. Linda Yoder’s op-ed on improving health care for our vets and Dr. Lynn Rew’s contribution to “101 Nursing Tips from the Experts”. Laura Anne White, one of our students, also wrote a very moving piece called “They Go: Lessons Learned While Caring for the Dying.” I encourage you to take the time to read these excellent pieces.
So, welcome back! I am sure you’re as excited as I am to begin a new year at the School of Nursing.