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Rivier University’s Enhanced Doctor of Nursing Practice Receives Accreditation

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) has approved Rivier University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, including targeted track options, for accreditation.

The DNP program prepares clinical nurses and nurses leaders for the highest level of care and innovation in today’s dynamic and complex healthcare environments. Completion of this degree provides a professional skill set that applies directly to positions in private, public, or non-profit workforce settings across the world.

“Increasing demand for professionals at the highest levels of the healthcare system requires programs like the Doctor of Nursing Practice and individuals dedicated to lifelong learning,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “DNP graduates will forge the future of U.S. and global healthcare.”

The DNP Professional Practice Track is designed for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to elevate their clinical nursing careers. Newly launched for Summer 2019, the Systems Leadership Track offers two entry options: one for Master of Science in Nursing graduates and another for non-nurse practitioners with a BSN and a master’s degree in a field outside of nursing. This track prepares nurses for leadership and management roles creating or redesigning systems to meet the demands of the emerging healthcare market.

The program aims to improve patient outcomes through six major areas of competency: patient-centered care, safety, evidence-based practice, informatics, quality improvement, and teamwork and collaboration. The DNP is an online degree with five face-to-face sessions over the course of the three-to-five year program. These sessions facilitate peer mentoring, faculty introductions, technology assistance, guest lecturing, and the presentation of complex cases by current doctoral faculty at both the DNP and Ph.D. levels. In addition to coursework, the degree requires a total of 1,000 practicum hours (500 hours of previous work, plus four DNP practicum courses that include 500 hours), and a scholarly project. Practicum hours provide for supervised practical application related to each student’s scholarly project.

“Nurses are taking on greater roles in patient care, and healthcare system and policy creation,” says Dr. Paula Williams, Dean of the Division of Nursing and Health Professions. “Rapidly changing healthcare needs and shortages of providers are being addressed by an increasingly educated and engaged nursing workforce.”

The University is currently taking applications for the DNP and other nursing programs. Information is available at or by contacting the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions at or (603) 897-8507. Rivier University, located in Nashua, New Hampshire, offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels with on-campus and online options.



Sky Croswell
Director of Marketing and Communications
Contact: (603) 897-8514 or

Notes to editors:

Founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier University is a Catholic institution recognized for distinctive academic programs, offering many of the region’s leading programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. The Rivier experience ensures that students develop leadership skills as well as an awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures in New England and around the world.