VCU adds doctor of nurse practice degree

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing has been approved to offer a post-master's doctor of nurse practice degree, becoming the first university in the state to offer a DNP focused on quality and safety in healthcare.

The DNP is an alternative to the current, research-focused PhD the nursing school already offers. It is the highest academic degree in nursing with a focus on clinical practice.

Classes for the new program will start in the fall semester. The program can be completed in five semesters full-time or eight semesters part-time.

"The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and other nursing authorities have recommended that nurses in advanced practice be prepared at the highest academic level to address the increasing complexity of patient care," said Ann Hamric, PhD, professor and associate dean of academic programs at VCU School of Nursing. "We are excited to be addressing the demand for more DNP-prepared nurses who can take on greater leadership roles and implement quality and safety improvements in the healthcare system."

The VCU School of Nursing is part of an academic health sciences campus anchored by the VCU Health System, which holds Magnet designation for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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