Date: December 7, 2007
Contact: Eric Matanyi
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-4044
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, IL, December 7, 2007 – Governors State University announced approval of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) by the Illinois Board of Higher Education at its December meeting. The program expects to admit its first students for the Fall 2008 trimester, pending final approval from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
"Many thanks to the faculty and staff of the College of Health Professions for developing a program that meets local and national needs,” said GSU President Elaine Maimon. “Preparing additional nurse educators will directly address the nursing shortage in this region."
The program will be offered through the university’s College of Health Professions, which pioneered the university’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Physical Therapy, earlier this year.
Distinguished as a professional doctorate, the DNP is different from traditional Ph.D. programs that prepare students to become researchers. Professional doctorates teach future practitioners how to understand and use evidence-based practice.
“The professional doctorate offers what the Ph.D. doesn’t,” said Linda Samson, Dean of the College of Health Professions. “It provides advanced knowledge and skills professionals need for actual practice in the discipline.”
More important, the DNP will address the critical shortage of nurses and nurse educators with this level of preparation.
Program graduates will be advanced practice nurses who will assure that patients receive a high level of care. They will have expertise in nursing as well as in organizational issues, leadership, evidence-based practice, and population health. “Our graduates will bring their advanced knowledge of practice to the nurses on the floor and to hospital administration,” Samson said.
The DNP has also been developed to address a critical shortage of nursing faculty. One of the major barriers to increasing the capacity to educate new nurses is the lack of qualified faculty. DNP prepared practitioner/educators will be able to bring their practice expertise to the classroom and the clinical settings in many nursing programs. The recognized shortage of nurses can be reduced by educating new nurses, which is another goal of the DNP.
The College of Health Professions is the university’s fastest growing college offering four baccalaureate programs, six master’s degrees, two doctoral programs, and eleven certificate programs.
For more information, contact the College of Health Professions at (708) 534-4035.