A new online doctor of nursing practice degree program (DNP) was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education on Feb. 21. The program will begin in August 2013.
The DNP is Boise State’s ninth doctoral program and aims at helping prepare nurses to assume leadership responsibilities in the education and clinical work force. Entry into the program will require a current registered nurse license, a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a master’s degree in nursing or a related field.
The program will be Boise State’s ninth doctoral program.
The doctorate is a part-time program consisting of 40 credits earned over eight semesters. 15 students per year will be admitted.
“This program will allow access to doctoral education for Idaho nurses,” said Pamela Springer, associate dean of the College of Health and Sciences and director of the School of Nursing. “The DNP program will prepare nurses to improve the health of their patients in complex health systems.”
Pamela Strohfus, assistant professor and intro coordinator for the doctor nursing program, is equally excited about the potential benefits of this program.
“This will enable nurses across the state of Idaho and the nation to attain the highest degree in nursing practice,” Strohfus said.
Idaho State University has formed a memorandum of understanding (a bilateral agreement between two or more parties) with Boise State that highlights how graduate education at both schools can benefit Idaho as a whole. The memorandum includes a new doctorate in nursing at Idaho State that will focus on direct care advanced practice nursing.
Idaho State University is the health sciences institution for the state of Idaho.
“Idaho State and Boise State are collaborating in our attempt to make sure that our nurses have access to nursing that can be continued in all areas of the state,” Strohfus said. “For nursing this means a lot because it means that nurses can be at the same level as their colleagues.”
Strohfus stressed how beneficial the online aspect of the program will likely be for students.
“A person can continue working while pursuing the highest degree in nursing practice,” Strohfus said.
Boise State will continue to work closely with local health providers to offer clinical placement for students
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), nurses are being called upon to fill expanding roles and to master technological tools and information systems while also coordinating care across teams of health professions.
To respond to these demands, the IOM calls for an increase in nursing education in order to have better prepared and informed nurses that can meet the needs of these new expectations.
“This field in nursing specializes in the scholarship of nursing practice, leadership, evidence based practice, population health and healthcare policy,” Strohfus said. “It allows nurses to incorporate evidence in the care delivery and most importantly nurses are able to take all the research that our colleagues are producing and actually implement it into practice.”