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February 07, 2017

Eastern Michigan University to offer new doctoral program in nursing practice

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice will offer both a two-year post-master's option and a post baccalaureate program.

YPSILANTI – In response to the quickly evolving health care environment, the growth of scientific knowledge and market needs of the community, Eastern Michigan University will offer a Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP) starting next winter.

The EMU Board of Regents approved the new academic program at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The new program, to be housed in EMU’s College of Health and Human Services, will prepare experienced nurses with the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for a comprehensive nursing practice.

Doctoral level education a key step

“With the increasing scope of clinical scholarship in nursing and the general growth of scientific knowledge and understanding, doctoral level education is now highly recommended for advanced practice in the clinical setting,” said Murali Nair, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.  

The new program’s curriculum will enable students to complete complex diagnostics while employing sophisticated data processing methods and decision-making technology.

Importantly, the new program will also integrate in-depth knowledge of bio-physical, psychosocial, behavioral and organizational sciences – aspects crucial to patient understanding in the 21st century.

Need for nurses continues to grow

“The DNP program will accentuate student development – focusing on training expert clinicians who also possess a deep understanding of the elements of leadership and education at both the organizational and academic level,” Nair said. “Students with such skills will translate into improved health care locally and nationally.”

Over the next 10 years, demand for primary care services will continue to outpace supply, and the aging baby boomer population will account for 81 percent of this change, according to federal statistics. In fact, by the year 2020, facilities caring for the elder population alone will need approximately 25,000 nurses with an advanced preparation to care for the adult/gerontological population.

In addition, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for nurses continues to grow. Budget constraints, an aging faculty and increasing job competition from clinical sites have contributed to this emerging crisis.”

Meeting the needs of society

The Doctor of Nursing Practice will offer both a two-year post-master’s option and a post baccalaureate program, with coursework culminating in a clinical practicum and capstone project. The program is designed for full and part-time study, and requires a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for admittance.

Doctoral level courses will include instruction on advanced research, health disparity in various systems, health policy and advocacy, health care delivery, and informatics.

“The DNP is an innovative program that meets the market demands of our surrounding community and addresses current needs in society,” Nair said.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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