The university stated that it is the first college degree program of its kind in the Ocean State, and it will have an immediate impact on patient care at local hospitals. The official in charge of the doctoral coursework said that up to 10 new students per year can be enrolled in the 43-credit program.
Advanced nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists who have earned their bachelor's and master's degrees are eligible to apply. School leaders said that the new addition is in response to the U.S. Institute of Medicine's call for more nurses to have doctorate degrees.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that all four types of advanced practice nursing positions - clinical specialists, practitioners, midwives and anesthetists - are required to hold at least a master's degree. The bureau projects that the number of job opportunities in this field will increase significantly over the next decade, especially in underserved areas such as inner cities and rural neighborhoods.
Working individuals who are interested in furthering their education in healthcare fields may consider enrolling in online schools, many of which offer flexible class schedules.