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TWU Home > Marketing & Communication > News Releases

TWU College of Nursing approved to offer new doctoral program


DALLAS/DENTON — Texas Woman’s University’s College of Nursing recently received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to offer a new doctoral degree program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). 

“The DNP is designed to address the need for more highly educated nurses in the country’s increasingly technological-based healthcare system,” Dr. Marcia Hern, dean of the TWU College of Nursing, said.  “Nurses who want to pursue doctoral education will be able to choose between a Ph.D., which is research focused, and a DNP, which is the highest level of specialty clinical practice.  Both degrees will prepare nurses for positions as nursing faculty.”

TWU received approval to offer the DNP from the THECB on July 19 and will begin its DNP program in summer 2008. 

“The DNP will educate nurses for the highest level of nursing practice and provide them with the knowledge and skills to effect change in healthcare delivery and health policy,” said Dr. Caryl Mobley, associate dean of the TWU College of Nursing in Dallas.  “The degree expands on the repertoire of competencies of a master’s prepared advanced practice nurse to include healthcare organizational concepts, health informatics, genetics and a richer understanding of ethics and evidence-based practice.”

According to Dr. Mobley, the DNP provides recognition for the most advanced level of nursing specialty practice.  As a practice doctorate, it is similar to several other degrees in health disciplines such as psychology (PsyD), pharmacy (PharmD), physical therapy (DPT), social work (DSW) and medicine (M.D.). 

Several prestigious national healthcare organizations have called for such a nursing practice doctorate to improve the country’s healthcare system.  In a 2005 report, the National Academy of Sciences urged the development of a clinical doctoral degree in nursing similar to the M.D. and PharmD in medicine and pharmacy.  The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) also adopted a position statement in 2004 recommending that nurses practicing at the highest level should receive doctoral level preparation.

“The DNP addresses the national need for well-educated nursing leaders in healthcare practice and education,” said Dr. Peggy Mancuso, associate professor of nursing and director of the TWU DNP program.   “The program also will allow students to increase their nurse educator skills, thus helping decrease the nursing faculty shortage.”

TWU’s DNP program will be based at the TWU Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center with support courses offered from the TWU Denton campus.  The degree requires 46 credit hours, and can be completed in two years. Nurse practitioners and nurse midwives who have a Master’s degree in nursing, are certified in their specialty area, are licensed as registered nurses and are recognized or eligible to be recognized as an APN in Texas are invited to apply to the Graduate School for the DNP program.  Admission requirements are detailed on the TWU College of Nursing website at www.twu.edu/nursing.

For more information, contact Dr. Mancuso at pmancuso@twu.edu or call or 214-689-6552.

With more than 13,000 alumni and more than 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in Denton, Dallas and Houston, TWU has the largest college of nursing in Texas and produces more new nurses than any other program in the state.  According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, TWU’s College of Nursing is the fifth-largest in the U.S., and the TWU nursing doctoral program is the largest in the country.   For more information, visit www.twu.edu.


Media Contact:

Amanda McKeen Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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