June 2012 brought nine new students to campus, the inaugural class for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program. These nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, some of whom are also military veterans, educators and clinicians, arrived at Villanova from Connecticut, South Carolina and places in between. In their initial weeks on campus, they were oriented to the program, its technology for distance learning (DL) and participated in lively class discussions with faculty and guest speakers.
The goal of the DNP program is to prepare advanced practice nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse-midwives, with advanced knowledge in evidence-based practice, organizational leadership, and financial acumen to lead innovation in nursing practice and healthcare. The complex issues and changing landscape of healthcare have created a need for APRNs to respond effectively and implement solutions with interdisciplinary teams or independently in order to achieve positive healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations.
Led by Director Debra Shearer, EdD, MSN, FNP-BC, Villanova’s DNP provides students with a personalized experience - one of the hallmarks of a Villanova Nursing program. It integrates the convenience of an online DNP program with selected on-campus visits. Villanova’s DNP is a practice-focused doctoral program that relates to the student’s work environment, with an emphasis on broad systems thinking in order to facilitate the design and implementation of models of patient care and clinical practice.
Villanova’s DNP is designed in four consecutive semesters with a unique, clinically-themed DNP Project supported by faculty and clinical mentors. Each DNP cohort will have a theme to direct the DNP Project as it relates to their individual practice environments. Each student will then use the theme as a foundation for their scholarly DNP Project.
For more information about the DNP Program, visit www.villanova.edu/nursing/dnp .