Beginning this summer, Georgia College & State University will offer its first-ever doctoral degree program, the Milledgeville-based university announced Wednesday.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program will admit up to 12 nursing professionals, according to a Georgia College news release.
Judith Malachowski, director of the university’s School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences, said in a statement that the program will enable DNP graduates with the ability at the policymaking level to advance patient care.
“Our DNP students will bridge the gap between research and patient care,” Malachowski said. “The program will offer extensive opportunities for collaboration, challenging problems for study and a tradition of rigorous scholarship.”
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The five-semester program is expected to kick off with a weeklong “immersion experience” in May. The program won approval from the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents last spring.
“This major step toward doctoral education is a natural progression for the College of Health Sciences and the university in our continuous effort to meet the growing need for highly qualified health care professionals in the region,” Sandra Gangstead, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said in the release.
Martha Colvin, associate dean of the College of Health Sciences, said the doctoral program is an extension of the university’s nursing program.
“Not only do we graduate bedside nurses through our Bachelor of Science in nursing degree program and primary care nurses through our Master of Science degree for family nurse practitioners, but now we will educate nursing leaders who will advance patient care,” she said.
Applicants to the doctoral program need a current, valid registered nurse license and a master’s degree in nursing or anesthesia from a nationally accredited program, the school said. Applicants also must have at least 500 faculty-supervised, clinical hours in a graduate program.