Nurse of the Week: Cody Forsberg, Recent DNP Graduate, Follows in Grandfather’s Footsteps

Nurse of the Week: Cody Forsberg, Recent DNP Graduate, Follows in Grandfather’s Footsteps

Our Nurse of the Week is Cody Forsberg, a recent graduate of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Wichita State University (WSU), who decided to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps by pursuing a career in nursing. His grandfather passed away when Forsberg was just five years old, but they have a lot in common: nursing degrees from WSU and a passion to care for others.

Forsberg’s grandfather, Frank Hopkins, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing from WSU in the 1970s after retiring from the Air Force. He later became a bedside nurse for the US Department of Veterans Affairs and taught nursing classes at a community college in Fayetteville, NC. Although his grandfather died when he was young, Forsberg grew up hearing stories of how compassionate his grandfather was and how much he cared about helping others in any way that he could.

Forsberg decided at an early age to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps of caring for people at their most vulnerable. He was also inspired by his grandmother, a retired nurse who spent her career working in labor and delivery. When he finished his bachelor’s degree in 2010, Forsberg’s grandmother passed down his grandfather’s nursing pin.

Forsberg tells, “Nursing for me is being there for people when they’re at their most vulnerable point in life. When they’re sick and unable to care for themselves, and their families are unable to care for them. And regardless of the healthcare discipline that you’re in, nurses are at the bedside 100 percent of the time.”

Now a nurse at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, Forsberg graduated from WSU’s doctor of nursing practice program in December with a specialization as a family nurse practitioner. With a wife and young daughter at home, completing his DNP degree has shown Forsberg the strength that it takes to be a nurse.

To learn more about Cody Forsberg and his path to becoming a family nurse practitioner inspired by his grandfather’s career in nursing, visit here.

Loma Linda University Launches Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Loma Linda University Launches Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

The Loma Linda University School of Nursing recently launched a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program to replace its successful nurse anesthesia master’s degree which has been in operation since 2011. The new DNP program is designed to educate bachelor’s prepared nurses in the advanced practice nurse anesthetist role.

Kurt Cao, DNAP, CRNA, director of the Loma Linda nurse anesthesia program, tells, “We’re pleased to offer this new program for entry into practice in response to a growing national demand for doctoral-level nurse anesthesia education. Nurse Anesthetists must be prepared to not only provide excellent anesthesia care to their patients, but to also meet the demands of an ever-changing healthcare system and to lead effective change to sustain and improve patient outcomes.”

Loma Linda’s DNP program includes graduate-level nursing courses, nurse anesthesia concentration courses, clinical hours, and DNP project courses. The program is designed to teach students foundational concepts and principles necessary for practice in a clinical practicum sequence.

The program was designed using the same core principles of the master’s in nurse anesthesia program, including a focus on clinical practice. Upon graduating, students will be eligible for certification as nurse anesthetists. Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist concentrations are also available within the DNP program.

The curriculum of Loma Linda’s DNP program meets the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. The school’s bachelor’s, master’s, and DNP nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

To learn more about Loma Linda University’s new DNP degree program, visit here.

Fairfield University to Launch Nurse Midwifery Program in Fall 2017

Fairfield University to Launch Nurse Midwifery Program in Fall 2017

Fairfield University recently announced that they will be launching a new Doctor of Nursing Practice program in Nurse Midwifery beginning in Fall 2017.  The DNP program will be offered through Fairfield’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.

According to, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Nurse Midwifery is designed to meet the competencies for the practice doctorate in midwifery set forth by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and to meet the ACNM Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice. Students in the program will graduate as expert nurse midwives for every stage and in every setting where midwifery care is delivered to women. Jenna LoGiudice, PhD, CNM, RN, Nurse Midwifery Program Director, tells

“Students in the Egan School Nurse Midwifery DNP program will foster their commitment to empowering women throughout the lifespan. The program’s philosophy highlights a dedication to trauma-informed care and perinatal loss. Interprofessional simulation opportunities will occur throughout the program in the brand new Egan School Simulation Center. Midwives are the cornerstone of women’s healthcare and I look forward to welcoming our first cohort of midwifery students this fall.”

DNP students in Fairfield’s Nurse Midwifery program will gain clinical experience by attending births and providing gynecologic, antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn, and breastfeeding care under the supervision of Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) faculty. To learn more about Fairfield University’s DNP in Nurse Midwifery, visit here.

Vanderbilt School of Nursing Receives $1.2M Grant to Support Doctor of Nursing Practice Students

Vanderbilt School of Nursing Receives $1.2M Grant to Support Doctor of Nursing Practice Students

The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing recently received a $1.2 million grant from the US Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Nurse Faculty Loan Program to support Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students who plan to become nursing faculty. The grant is designed to help increase the number of qualified nursing faculty in colleges and universities across the country.

Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing and Dean of the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt, tells

“The nursing profession is in the enviable position of experiencing increasing demand for nurses and seeing record numbers of students apply to nursing programs. Well-qualified faculty are needed to instruct and mentor those students. This loan forgiveness program encourages and equips doctorally prepared nurses to become effective faculty nurse scholars.”

DNP students who plan to teach are eligible to receive a NFLP award that underwrites tuition, books, fees, and other associated costs. Following their graduation, loan recipients who are employed as nursing faculty at any school of nursing in the United States for at least four years will have 85 percent of their loan forgiven. Students are then given a 10-year period to pay back the remaining 15 percent.

DNP students at Vanderbilt also take courses on nursing education as part of their overall coursework. This is because of the importance of increasing the number of doctorally prepared faculty in nursing programs across the country to better educate the nursing professionals of the future. 65 Vanderbilt DNP students graduated from the program last year, and more than 270 graduates have received the loan since its inception in 2008.

To learn more about Vanderbilt’s Doctor of Nursing Practice student grants, visit here.

Mary Zerlan, DNP, CRNA, Named to American Health Council Nursing Board

Mary Zerlan, DNP, CRNA, Named to American Health Council Nursing Board

Mary Zerlan, DNP, CRNA, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO was recently named to the Nursing Board of the American Health Council. She was selected for her vast knowledge and expertise in anesthesia from three decades of experience in the healthcare industry.

The Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University’s School of Medicine emphasizes innovative education and comprehensive, personalized clinical training. Fostering an academic culture that integrates clinical care, research, and education, services provided include patient care in pre-operative evaluation, intraoperative anesthesia, post-operative critical care, and pain management.

In her role as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at the Washington University School of Medicine, Zerlan functions as an anesthesia provider at a Level I trauma center. Her scope of practice includes preoperative, intraoperative, and post-operative anesthesia care. After beginning her career as an ICU nurse, Zerlan began serving as an anesthesia provider upon completion of her master’s degree with a sub-specialty in anesthesia. Zerlan’s education background also includes a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Loyola University Medical College in 2012.

Zerlan credits her success to a strong worth ethic, perseverance, and passion. To learn more about Mary Zerlan and her position on the Nursing Board for the American Health Council, visit here.

New DNP in Health Systems Innovation and Leadership Offered at Elms College

New DNP in Health Systems Innovation and Leadership Offered at Elms College

Elms College recently announced a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in Health Systems Innovation and Leadership (HSIL) to help master’s level nursing leaders further their careers. Graduates of the program will be educated to the highest level of nursing and prepared to serve as nurse leaders and educators.

Teresa Kuta Reske, DNP, MPA, RN, director of the DNP program, says, “We are excited to offer this new track in response to nurse practitioners’ and nurse leaders’ requests to acquire a higher level of knowledge and skills in order to lead effective change of healthcare…The new track will increase the number of advanced practice nurses who are highly educated, prepared to work within collaborative interprofessional teams, and who can lead changes that improve the outcomes of patient and health systems.”

Elms’ DNP in HSIL program is intended to educate innovators who will be prepared to serve as leaders and educators in a complex healthcare system. Master’s level nurses will be trained as interdisciplinary partners to create innovative and healing environments in micro and macro healthcare systems.

The DNP curriculum implements using new original research to improve patient outcomes, enhance quality of care, and reduce costs. Students will be trained using a hybrid curriculum of both on-campus and web-based courses in systems leadership, evidence-based practice, population health, finance, quality improvement, and informatics. After completing the two-year program, graduates can remain in practice serving in leadership roles on cross-professional and interdisciplinary teams to improve the quality of healthcare nationwide.

To learn more about the Elms College DNP in HSIL program, visit here.

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