Edinboro University Offers First Doctoral Program

- January 23, 2014 - EDINBORO, Pa. – Edinboro University’s first doctoral degree program, an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), was approved today by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

The DNP, to be offered in consortium with Clarion University, is designed to be a completion program to Clarion and Edinboro Universities’ jointly offered Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The new program is an invaluable asset to the northwestern Pennsylvania region due to a critical shortage of primary care providers in rural areas. It also will keep EU in line with the goals of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which voted to move the current level of preparation necessary for advanced nursing practice from the master’s degree to the doctorate level by 2015.

“I am delighted that Edinboro is, for the first time in its 157-year history, authorized to grant a doctoral degree,” said Edinboro University President Julie E. Wollman. “I am equally delighted that this degree will meet the great need in our region for advanced practice nurses and clinical nurse educators. Our mission is to provide an outstanding education that prepares students to excel and advance in their professions and that meets the needs of our region. Our new doctoral program does both.”

The Edinboro-Clarion collaborative Doctor of Nursing Practice is a 34-credit program that offers specialty electives in advanced clinical practice and clinical nursing education. Students will be admitted to the program in cohorts of 27, with classes beginning each summer. The first offerings will begin in summer 2014.

Courses can be taken part-time over six semesters in an entirely online format. Like all of Edinboro University’s online offerings, the DNP program is designed to provide a flexible educational experience, allowing students to continue employment as advanced practice nurses while pursuing the doctoral degree.

“It is exciting that nursing is the first doctoral program to be offered at Edinboro,” said Dr. Amy McClune, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor of nursing and graduate program director. “The approval of the DNP should provide an avenue for other disciplines to pursue doctoral programs on campus.”

McClune said the DNP graduates will augment the supply of primary health care practitioners in the region, filling a critical need in rural western Pennsylvania that the Edinboro and Clarion consortium has been addressing through the online MSN program for more than a decade. That program was recently acclaimed by US News & World Report as one of the best online nursing programs in the country, placing 37th out of the 129 programs ranked by the survey.

With the addition of the DNP, EU now offers a comprehensive program of nursing credentials. A student can pursue a degree in one of Edinboro’s four undergraduate nursing offerings, continue through the online MSN program and complete her or his studies with the DNP.

“This program is also a wonderful example of effective collaboration to leverage the strengths of the State System,” President Wollman said. “We are pleased to offer this program in collaboration with our partners at Clarion University. Thanks are also due to our state’s leaders who, with the passage of the Higher Education Modernization Act, opened up this opportunity for us.”

That legislation, passed and signed into law in July 2012, permits Edinboro and the other Pennsylvania State System of High Education universities to offer applied, or professional, doctoral degrees such as the DNP.

For more information on Edinboro University’s programs in nursing, visit www.edinboro.edu/departments/nursing/nursing.dot.

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