Rivier’s new online Doctor of Nursing Practice program to prepare global healthcare leaders

DNPstockphotoA leader in nursing and public health education, Rivier University is launching a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to address the shortage of nurse leaders in the healthcare industry. The DNP is a clinically focused, terminal degree for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with the flexibility to customize academic and clinical programming to meet each clinician's career aspirations. Graduates will be prepared for leadership roles on multidisciplinary healthcare teams working to improve systems of care, patient outcomes, and population health.

"The rapid rate of change in our nation's healthcare system, worldwide quality of care and patient safety objectives, and the shortage of doctorally prepared nursing faculty highlight the need for DNP-prepared nurse leaders," says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier's President. "This new program will enable nurses to work at their highest potential and support advances in global healthcare."

Rivier University has applied for candidacy status to obtain Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accreditation for the DNP. Currently, the University offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in nursing, all of which are already accredited by the ACEN. Rivier has prepared the largest number of nurses in the state of New Hampshire and added two degrees in public health last year. In 2014, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded Rivier a Nursing Workforce Diversity grant with a three-year maximum award of $930,000; the University has received $580,000 in grant funds to date.

The DNP curriculum aligns with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, which defines curricular elements and competencies for this degree. Successful completion enables graduates to diagnose and care for patients with complex health issues, utilize informatics to enhance clinical decision-making, and critically evaluate scholarly research.

Structured for student success, the curriculum design takes into account life's demands on practicing APRNs. Classes are conducted online with a Saturday session held on campus once per semester. "The combination of academic excellence and online flexibility makes Rivier's DNP attractive to APRNs," says Dr. Paula Williams, Dean of the Division of Nursing and Health Professions. "Our program accommodates nurses' professional goals, current work schedules, and family commitments."

Rivier University is currently enrolling students for the program's fall 2016 start. To learn more, interested candidates should visit www.rivier.edu/DNP and contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at online@rivier.edu or (888) 204-7695.