Joint doctor of nursing practice program established at ETSU, Tennessee Tech

Contributed To The Press • Updated Jul 12, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Addressing the changing health care system and the increasing need for nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and graduate levels, Tennessee Tech’s Whitson-Hester School of Nursing and the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University have established a joint program to provide an opportunity for nurses to earn a doctor of nursing practice degree.

Admitting students at both campuses beginning fall 2017, the program aims to prepare graduates to meet the health care needs of Tennesseans.

“I am so grateful that TTU Whitson-Hester School of Nursing is partnering with ETSU to provide this innovative program to educate future advanced practice nurses to serve the residents of the Upper Cumberland region and beyond,” said Huey-Ming Tzeng, dean of Tech’s Whitson-Hester School of Nursing.

This joint doctor of nursing practice program consists of six concentrations: family nurse practitioner, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, executive leadership, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care and women’s health care nurse practitioner.

“The ETSU College of Nursing has long valued its clinical programs that have graduated advanced practice nurses ready to serve their communities,” said Wendy Nehring, dean of ETSU’s College of Nursing. “We are thrilled that, through this partnership with TTU, we’ll now have a way to offer the concentrations of women’s health care nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.”

For Tech, this DNP program provides the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing’s first doctoral program and the opportunity to graduate advanced practice nurses specializing as a family nurse practitioner, executive leader or a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, areas of expertise for ETSU.

The joint program will use an online and blended delivery format including on-campus work at the beginning of each semester and online learning throughout the remainder of the semester. At least once a year, all enrolled students will meet together. The program is designed to allow working professional nurses and students the opportunity to complete clinical requirements in or near their home city.

This collaborative will provide opportunity for study and concentration not currently available in northeast and mid-upper Tennessee, addressing a shortage of primary healthcare services that advanced practice nurses with DNP degrees can help meet. These graduates would also be capable of filling a shortage of nursing faculty in Tennessee.

Students may enroll for any concentration at the institution of their choice. For more information on the program, contact Dr. Myra Clark, ETSU’s associate dean of Graduate Programs, at [email protected] or 423-439-5626, or Bedelia Russell, assistant professor in Tech’s Whitson-Hester School of Nursing, at [email protected] or 931-372-6006.

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