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Doctor of Nursing Practice receives accreditation

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at St. Catherine University has received initial accreditation from the National League for Nursing.

“The program has met the rigorous standards established for nursing education at the doctoral level, and this achievement allows us to continue and expand our commitment to prepare students for leadership,” says St. Kate’s President Andrea Lee, IHM. “I congratulate the faculty who played a role in bringing us to the moment of well-deserved celebration.”

St. Kate's DNP, which runs 24 to 27 months, is the only clinical doctorate program in Minnesota accredited by the National League for Nursing. It was launched in September 2008 with 15 students, and the University graduated the first class in December 2010.

“We had more than double the number of applicants we could take, and there were outstanding applicants to choose from,” says Margaret Pharris, associate dean of nursing. “These women are leaders in the field. They have the potential to make a real difference.”

DNP students meet monthly on Friday evenings and Saturdays, and engage often in online discussions and clinical applications that supplement the face-to-face classes.

The program, housed in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, emphasizes course content and practicum experiences based on current and projected needs in a changing healthcare environment.

"Coming to St. Kate's has given me a new breath of life," says Michelle Spadoni, recent DNP graduate and lecturer at Ontario's Lakehead University School of Nursing. "You see problems in healthcare and you wonder, 'Can I change this?'"

The answer is yes, she adds.

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The National League for Nursing (NLN), headquartered in New York City, was the first nursing organization in the United States. It was founded in 1893 as the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses to promote excellence in nursing education.

April 13, 2011 by Pauline Oo

See also: Healthcare