Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Nursing department to offer Doctor of Nursing Program this fall

by Kari Ashworth - Executive Editor
Tue, Feb 18th 2020 01:40 pm
A Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) will now be offered at The College at Brockport starting this fall. Photo Credit: Sarah Killip/ Staff Photographer
A Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) will now be offered at The College at Brockport starting this fall. Photo Credit: Sarah Killip/ Staff Photographer

The College at Brockport’s nursing department is getting an upgrade. In the fall of 2020, it will begin a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a doctorate program allowing students to become nurse practitioners.

The nursing department began working on the idea in 2015 after seeing the need for advanced practice nurses.

“We wanted to start an FNP [Family Nurse Practitioner] program again — a master’s program — and nationally, there is a push for all advanced practice nurses to have a DNP,” Nursing Department Chair Kathleen Peterson, PNP and Ph.D. “So, we don’t have enough primary care providers for our population. And if we were going to do a master’s for an FNP — family nurse practitioner — we needed to do a DNP too.”

The master’s program was implemented in the fall of 2018, and now the doctorate program will begin accepting applications on Wednesday, April 1, for the Fall semester. However, only post-masters applications will be accepted. The program does hope to expand slowly into a post-baccalaureate program.

According to Peterson, the department is hoping for six to 10 students this fall. 

“We expect that it will start off a little slow, but we expect within a couple of years to have a good number of students,” Peterson said. 

The department is also in the process of hiring one faculty member to start this fall and accumulating one per semester until the fall of 2021. This staggered hiring method is due to a deficit of faculty, according to Peterson. 

“There’s a pretty big shortage of nursing faculty and we would never be able to get three at one time,” Peterson explained. “And that’s one of the hopes that [the] DNP [program] will build a cadre of faculty nursing faculty because there is such a shortage right now.”

Not only would the program help create more nursing faculty, it would also create leaders in the healthcare profession.

“I think one of the reasons the DNP is so important is because we need nurses to be leaders in healthcare change and our healthcare system,” Peterson said. “And many of the courses at the DNP level will help teach students how to implement that change, such as in policy, quality improvement, finance and then research. So, students who come into our DNP program will become family nurse practitioners, but they also will be in a good place to be leaders for healthcare change.”

This will be the college’s first doctorate program, but the psychology department is also looking into a doctorate program, though nothing has been finalized.

“At this point, the department is still determining whether this would be a viable and feasible option for expanding our program offerings, and whether it would benefit our students more than other program offerings we are considering,” Director of MA in the Psychology Program Sara Margolin said.

The doctorate programs could potentially positively increase attendance rates on campus. 

“This could absolutely affect attendance rates for graduate students, as the ideal for a clinical psychologist (and the only one that NYS will offer licensure for) is a doctoral degree,” Margolin said.

As for the nursing doctorate, Vice President for University Relations David Mihalyov believes this will increase enrollment as well as fulfill a need in the community.

“Obviously we hope this will increase our enrollment,” Mihalyov said. “On the graduate side of the house from everything we’ve seen through our market research, there’s a need for a doctorate and this program. And we think we’re well positioned to help our community.”

The DNP is different from a Ph.D. in terms of what it entails. While a Ph.D. focuses more on research, a DNP is more of a “practice degree,” in which students would actively be in the field post-graduation.

The clinical portion of the DNP will be an executive weekend format, which is a type of hybrid class. Therefore, students are here on campus one to three weekends per semester. However, the DNP portion will all be online. Some courses available will be professional writing, translating research into evidence based practice, methods of clinical practice healthcare systems, among others. 

While there is still a lot to be done at the college level, such as a website, the nursing department is looking forward to the new addition this fall.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

Author List