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Education
Apr 30, 2019

Start Your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree to Get Ahead of the Curve

Sponsored Content provided by Charles Hardy - Founding Dean and Professor, UNCW College of Health and Human Services

The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed to create leaders in nursing. Upon program completion, these professionals possess the highest level of nursing expertise and work in clinical settings or leadership roles.

Advanced Practice Nursing - Direct Patient Care 
DNP graduates who purse advanced practice nursing (APRN) manage, assess and evaluate direct care to patients. DNPs focusing on advanced practice nursing are required to sit for the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification exam. Additional certification for advanced specialties may also be required.

Typical APRN roles in direct patient care include: 

  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Practitioner in patient specialties such as,
    • Family Nurse
    • Adult-Gerontology
    • Neonatal
    • Pediatric
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health
    • Women’s Health
When nursing professionals pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, their ability to serve their patients in new ways increases—putting them well ahead of the curve. Nurse practitioners are important healthcare, helping to bridge the gap as primary providers amid a shortage of physicians, particularly in rural and underserved communities. With this increased responsibility, a push toward nurse practitioners pursuing a DNP degree has increased.

The Value of a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree
Nurses and nurse practitioners interested in seeking a terminal degree directly related to nursing practice and leadership would find the DNP program a rewarding next step in their career. Students further develop their practical skill sets and focus on growing as leaders.

“Our current DNP program meets the needs of APRN’s who are interested in earning their DNP.  We are also in the process of developing a BSN to DNP program that will be cutting edge and exciting,” explained Dr. Matt Gallek, who coordinates the DNP program at UNC Wilmington’s School of Nursing within the College of Health and Human Services.
Obtaining a DNP won’t change the type of work you do. It will change how you approach your work. While enrolled in the program, you will learn how to best incorporate research into diagnoses, analyze care and implement evidence-based practices—all while working alongside and learning from other professional nurses.

Advancing Careers with UNC Wilmington’s Nursing Programming
UNC Wilmington created its DNP program to prepare professionals to take their clinical practice to the next level. The program lays a strong scientific foundation for students while immersing them in evidence-based practices, organizational analysis and fundamentals of nursing leadership. “Our DNP coursework prepares nurses to Use evidence based practice to improve the care of people in an ever evolving health care world.” Gallek said. For nurses ready to take the next step in their professional careers, pursuing a DNP degree at UNCW can prepare them to lead and bring change to their respective communities.

The future of advanced nursing includes a DNP. Earning a doctor of nursing practice degree will set apart the professionals who are ready to bring more comprehensive, high-quality care to the patients they serve.

UNCW's DNP is a 36-credit hour program that can be completed in as few as five semesters. Curious to learn more? Check out UNCW’s School of Nursing and explore its programs.

Charles J. Hardy, Ph.D., M.S., is the founding dean of the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and also serves as an affiliated professor in the Office of Applied Public Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Georgia.Hardy earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Louisiana State University and was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. He also holds a Master of Science from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a bachelor's degree from East Carolina University. Hardy serves on the Board of Directors for Cape Fear HealthNet, MedNorth (New Hanover County Community Health Center), Elderhaus Inc., Wellcare and the United Way of the Cape Fear Area. In 2016, he was selected for membership in the NC Institute of Medicine.
 
The College of Health and Human Services consists of three professional schools - School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, School of Nursing and School of Social Work - and employs more than 250 full and part-time staff and faculty and enrolls more than 4,000 students in 16 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Hardy serves as chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer of the college, which is responsible for educating students across the health and human services programs. To learn more about the UNCW College of Health and Human Services, visit www.uncw.edu/chhs. Questions and comments can be directed to [email protected]

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