UT offers first post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice degree in Ohio

November 8, 2012 | News, UToday, Graduate Studies, Nursing
By Kim Goodin

The University of Toledo’s College of Nursing has been approved by the Ohio Board of Regents to offer the first post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice degree in the state.

The program is offered to baccalaureate nursing graduates who intend to continue their careers as experts in advanced practice nursing, nursing education and nursing leadership in health-care systems.

UT’s first students were admitted for fall semester in August. With a new semester set to begin Jan. 7, UT invites those interested in learning more about its post-baccalaureate nursing programs to a free information session Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. on Health Science Campus.

Dr. Timothy Gaspar, dean of the College of Nursing, said, “The changing demands of this nation’s complex health-care environment require the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes.”

Factors building momentum for change in nursing education at the graduate level, he said, include the rapid expansion of knowledge underlying practice; increased complexity of patient care; national concerns about the quality of care and patient safety; shortage of nursing personnel, which demands a higher level of preparation for leaders who can design and assess care; shortages of nursing faculty with doctorates; and increasing educational expectations for the preparation of other members of the health-care team.

UT’s program is designed for those who have earned baccalaureate degrees in nursing, whether newly graduated or already working in hospitals and other health-care facilities.

After practicing for 16 years as a registered nurse in northwest Ohio, Sue Recker decided the new terrain of health care required additional education. With her children now in college, UT’s new program came at an opportune time.

“I’ve always wanted to pursue higher education in the nursing field,” Recker, a full-time nurse educator, said. “Although I still love taking care of patients, the post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice degree will open more doors for me as a nurse educator, administrator and leader.”

She acknowledges that nursing has changed drastically since she began her career. “With this program, I’ll enhance my own abilities for patient care and learn to better educate nurses at the bedside on how to be the most effective caregivers.”

As a part-time student, Recker is in class one day per week. The program consists of a combination of campus-based and online courses. The current majors are family nurse practitioner and primary pediatric nurse practitioner. Additional majors are expected to be offered in the future.

Those who complete the post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice degree program will be prepared for the following types of positions:

• Advanced practice nursing practice in hospitals and communities;

• Clinical faculty in areas of practice specialization; and

• Leadership positions in health-care organizations and systems.

Graduates also will be eligible for national certification in advanced practice specialty areas.

UT’s post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice degree program will be administered by the College of Nursing and work in cooperation with the College of Graduate Studies.

Dr. Patricia R. Komuniecki, vice provost for graduate affairs and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, said, “I’m very excited about this new pathway for post-baccalaureate students to earn the doctor of nursing practice degree. This new program, in addition to our other graduate degree programs in nursing here, has clearly established UT as a leader in the preparation of future advanced practice nurses and leaders.”

To register for the Nov. 13 information session or for more information about UT’s graduate nursing programs, call Kathleen Mitchell, assistant dean of student services, at 419.383.5810 or email kathleen.mitchell@utoledo.edu.

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