Gannon Announces New Doctoral Degree
Posted: February 10, 2014
The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree offered by Gannon
University's Villa Maria School of Nursing will be offered online
exclusively starting in the Fall 2014 Semester.
The degree program, which admitted its first students in the
Fall 2013 Semester and will graduate its first students this
December, has been offered in a combination of in-classroom and
online classes, but the move to an online-only model will allow
more nursing professionals to access the program. This is
especially true of graduates of Gannon's nurse anesthesia program,
who are located across the country.
"I really do believe that the DNP role will be extremely needed
and sought-after with the changes in Affordable Care Act and
health-care law," said Kathleen Patterson, Ph.D., assistant
professor and director of the Villa Maria School of Nursing. "The
need for advanced practice nurses is huge, and this program will
prepare advanced practice nurses at a higher level."
The doctor of nursing practice degree is a 26-credit course of
study focused on "immersion" or "experience," as opposed to many
doctoral degree programs, which tend to focus on research. The
program is offered as a "bridge" program, or "add- on," from the
Villa Maria School's existing master of science in nursing (MSN)
Advanced practice registered nurses who hold a master of science
degree in nursing and are certified in their specialty may
The DNP can be completed in three academic semesters if taken
full time, or in four to six semesters if taken part time.
Earning a doctor of nursing practice degree will be an important
step in helping nurses more effectively influence changes in
patient safety and develop best practices for hospitals and other
clinical settings. Nurses with a DNP degree will be better able to
act as advocates for individuals and populations of varying
diversity and socioeconomic levels.
Graduates of the program also will be better positioned to make
use of existing medical research, technology, large databases and
information systems so as to promote health and wellness, prevent
disease and improve patient outcomes.
Students interested in the DNP program are invited to attend a
virtual Open House on Wednesday, March 12th at 6:30 p.m.
Registration and details on the event can be found at
gannon.edu/dnp or by calling (814) 871-7474.