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College of Nursing welcomes first DNP cohort

1sr DNP cohort
Villanova Nursing’s first DNP cohort includes (front, left to right) Michelle Parisien MSN, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner, Evercare/United Healthcare , Daughters of Israel, West Orange, NJ.; Penny J. McEvoy, MSN, APRN, ANP-BC, adult nurse practitioner, Litchfield Internal Medicine of ProHealth Physicians, Litchfield, Conn.; Janet Dunn, MSN, RN, APN, ACNP-BC, acute care nurse practitioner, CT surgery and VAD coordinator, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia and adjunct faculty, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and Michele M. (Micki) Ballister, MSN, CRNA, nurse anesthetist clinical faculty and staff, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C. (back row) Jenny Lynn, MSN, CRNP, acute care nurse practitioner, thoracic surgery service, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Betty E. Naimoli, MSN, CRNP, adult nurse practitioner, Abington Health Physicians Network, Maple Glen, Pa.; Matthew McCoy, MSN, CRNA, nurse anesthetist, A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del.; Meghan O’Regan Coleman, RN, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP, nurse practitioner, Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and oncology nurse practitioner, Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Hematology Oncology Group, Bryn Mawr, Pa. ; and Monica McNeill Cades, MSN, CRNP, NP-C, nurse practitioner, Inpatient Palliative Care, Pinnacle Health, Harrisburg, Pa. and Weekend Coordinator, ASN Program, Gwynedd-Mercy College.


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 .