In response to an evolving healthcare landscape, the UCLA School of Nursing has announced that it is adding a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program beginning Fall 2018.
The DNP program will focus on translation of research into advanced clinical practice to improve health outcomes. It builds on the traditional master’s nursing programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership.
Linda Sarna, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, tells Newsroom.UCLA.edu, “The changing demands of a complex health care environment require the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise. Our new DNP program is ideal for the advanced practice nurse who wants to translate nursing science to clinical practice and improve health care outcomes.”
Designed for working professionals, program classes will be offered on Fridays and some weekends, requiring seven quarters to complete the degree. Clinical hours can be obtained in the student’s work environment to offer convenience to working nurses who want to pursue further education.
The program also adds a central component called the Scholarly Project. Students will be required to demonstrate research and quality improvement skills by completing a project directly related to a practice issue in the clinical setting.
To learn more about UCLA’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, visit here.
Our Nurses of the Week are the student nurses of the University of Pennsylvania Nurse-Midwifery program who have created a scholarship for midwives of color. Each class of the program delivers a class gift to their professors prior to graduation like artwork or a charity donation, but the Class of 2017 decided to try something unconventional.
The students reported that their inspiration came from looking around their own classroom and realizing that only two students out of the 21 person class were students of color. Nursing graduate Kateryn Nunez, one of the two students of color in her graduating class, tells TheDP.com, “The point of the scholarship is to address the fact that over 95 percent of midwives in the US are white, whereas the people they care for, the majority are people of color, are poor people, are immigrants, LGBTQ.”
Midwives provide a personalized approach to childbirth for healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies. This was originally a common practice among black and immigrant populations but a stigma around home births discouraged people from communities of color from going into the field. As the “natural birth” movement gained popularity in recent decades, it created a racial imbalance in the profession that still exists today.
One of the largest barriers to entry for students of color to become midwives is affordability, which is why the 2017 Penn Nurse-Midwife class decided to create their scholarship. They have raised over $11,000 through grassroots fundraising from friends and family but have a total goal of $125,000. If they reach their goal, Penn will contribute an additional $25,000.
These students hope that their efforts will send a message to other universities about the importance of their scholarship. To learn more about Penn’s Nurse-Midwife program, visit here.
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the number of nurse practitioners (NPs) currently licensed to practice in the United States has reached a record high. The release of new data shows that more 248,000 nurse practitioners are now practicing, compared to an estimated 120,000 in 2007.
Thanks to a rise in the number of nurse practitioners nationwide, patients are seeing the benefits of high quality, comprehensive, patient-centered health care services being provided by NPs. An additional 23,000 new NPs graduated from programs in the 2015-2016 academic year alone, up 15% from the prior year.
AANP President Joyce Knestrick, PhD, APRN, CFNP, FAANP, released the following statement in response to this new data: “This is an important milestone for patients as well as for NPs. Provider shortages, especially in primary care, have become a growing concern, but the growth of the NP profession is addressing that concern head-on. Couple that with news that NPs conducted an estimated 1.02 billion patient visits last year alone, and it’s easy to see why millions of Americans are making NPs their providers of choice.”
In addition to a rise in NPs, an estimated 85% of new graduates have been trained in primary care, with nearly two out of three NPs entering the workforce having graduated from family nurse practitioner programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the NP profession will have grown 36% by 2026.
To learn more about the growth of the nurse practitioner profession in the US, visit here.
Donna Hood, director of Louisiana Tech University’s Division of Nursing, was named Louisiana Nursing School Administrator of the Year at the Nightingale Awards Gala in Baton Rouge. Presented by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation (LNF), the annual event honors excellence in nursing with nominations from across the state.
Under Hood’s leadership, Louisiana Tech has seen nurse pass rates of 100 percent on the NCLEX, 100 percent job placement following graduation, and an increase of incoming freshman of 26 percent. Louisiana Tech’s nursing program has been named Outstanding Undergraduate Nursing Program of the Year for the past two years by the LNF.
Hood recently collaborated with the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) to develop a minor in health informatics for nursing students. The subject of health informatics is becoming increasingly important for registered nurses, and Hood worked to develop a minor to meet the specialized needs of nursing students interested in this area of healthcare.
Among her other achievements, Hood has developed a Nursing Ambassadors student organization to promote the nursing profession, started a College Diabetes Network on the Louisiana Tech campus, and partnered with a virtual hospital to bring new simulation experiences to the nursing students in her program.
Hood has consistently demonstrated her commitment to lifelong learning and the nursing profession. To learn more about her role as a nursing school administrator, visit here.
Heather M. Young, founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis, has announced plans to step down from her leadership position to pursue a research role at the school. After leaving the office in July, Young plans to take a sabbatical and return to UC Davis to pursue research in her areas of interest including family caregiving and healthy aging for older adults.
Young tells UCDavis.edu, “My heart is full of gratitude for the belief that the leaders at UC Davis and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation placed in me 10 years ago. I came here for the opportunity of a lifetime — to launch the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It has been the most exciting and exhilarating experience of my life. I feel so grateful to our entire team and our many colleagues and supporters who share my vision for what health care should be.”
Young joined UC Davis in 2008 after the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced its $100 million commitment to launch a nursing school on the UC Davis Sacramento campus. During her tenure as dean, Young helped establish the school and its five graduate-degree programs, launched a research program, and oversaw the construction of the Betty Irene Moore Hall.
When Young returns to UC Davis as a researcher, her efforts will be focused on environments that promote healthy aging and formal health care systems for older adults. Young has spent two years working with AARP to develop solutions geared toward supporting family caregivers performing complex tasks at home.
To learn more about Heather Young and her decision to step down as dean to pursue a research role, visit here.