Troy University gets new nursing program

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The curriculum is expanding at Troy University. A Doctorate of Nursing Practice program will soon be added.

The online program, which is set to begin in the fall 2009, will be the first of its kind for Troy.

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The doctor of nursing practice degree, which Allen described as &8220;evidence-based,&8221; will be in contrast to the doctor of nursing science degree, which is research-based.

The doctor of nursing practice degree is for currently practicing nurses who currently hold a master&8217;s degree and want to develop their clinical expertise for use in the field, boosting the quality of care for their patients.

The program was approved Dec. 7, in a 7-3 vote by the Alabama Commission of Higher Education, the agency responsible for coordinating all collegiate and post-collegiate programs in the state. The only other program that has been approved is at the University of South Alabama, Allen said.

The agency also recommended a joint program for the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama at Huntsville during the Dec. 7 meeting.

Allen said the admissions criteria include a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, a master&8217;s degree in nursing, and working experience as a nurse. Allen said there is also a minimum range for GRE scores.

Tentatively, the program will begin accepting applications in the fall of 2008, Allen said.

The program&8217;s first class will have approximately 10 students. As the program expands, the goal is to help as many nurses as possible who are highly motivated to complete the program. Allen said she is working to secure funding, including grants, to make the program affordable.

The online format is said to be a trend in advanced nursing education and is believed to be the best approach for a program of its nature.

Nationally, doctoral programs for nursing are expected to rise over the next decade as the demand for highly skilled nurses continues to increase, for teaching, research, and practice.

The doctor of nursing practice programs at Troy University, Samford University in Birmingham, UAB and UAH, and the University of South Alabama, will provide accessibility to doctoral programs for most nurses in the state.