New Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree at Wayne State aimed at helping alleviate nurse shortageJanuary 22, 2009
DETROIT, 1/22/09 - The fastest way to solve the nation's alarming shortage of nurses - predicted to top 7,000 openings in Michigan alone by 2010 - is to prepare additional faculty to educate more nurses. In addition to one of America's oldest Ph.D. programs in nursing, the Wayne State University College of Nursing now boasts one of the state's first Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. One objective of this new graduate degree program is to increase the number of doctorally prepared faculty in colleges and universities.
The DNP program is a clinically-focused degree that prepares graduate students at an advanced level of nursing science to serve as leaders and educators while using clinical research to improve and transform health care. The program was launched last fall and interest by potential participants has been brisk.
"The Wayne State College of Nursing is working to improve patient safety, make health care more affordable and accessible, and develop nurse educators by increasing the number of nurses with a doctoral degree," says Jean Davis, Ph.D., RN, assistant dean for adult health and director of doctoral and post-doctoral studies for the college. "It is anticipated that more than 50 percent of nurses with the doctoral degree will assume faculty roles. With more doctorally prepared faculty available, more undergraduate students in nursing can be admitted."
It is estimated that for every 10 graduates who complete the five-semester DNP program and commit to teach, 100 more undergraduate nursing students can begin working toward degrees.
The Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree is just one solution the WSU College of Nursing has devised to address the nursing shortage. Utilizing a $331,000 grant received from the Michigan Nursing Corps initiative spearheaded by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Wayne State has accepted its first group of eight students, all currently nurse professionals specializing in acute care, to participate in an accelerated course of study toward their master's degrees. When they graduate in September 2009, according to provisions of the grant, the nurses will teach somewhere in the state for at least five years, thereby adding to the faculty rolls.
Graduates who teach for five years following graduation will qualify for a special financial break through participation in a loan forgiveness program that permits waiver of repayment.
"The nursing shortage is real, it's at crisis stage, and answers are needed right now," emphasizes College of Nursing Dean Barbara K. Redman. "We are attacking the problem with multiple approaches, with the goal of turning out talented, exceptional nursing instructors with all deliberate speed."
For more information on the DNP and other degree programs at the WSU College of Nursing, visit www.nursing.wayne.edu.