A New Jersey-based college recently announced that it will begin offering a doctorate degree in nursing practice (DNP) starting this summer.
The 36-credit program will be offered online, with three on-campus sessions required twice per semester. The college programs online are designed for individuals who have completed a nursing RN to BSN curriculum as well as a master's program.
College officials stated that the need for a DNP degree stems from a decision by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which will change the current education requirements for advanced practice nurses from a master's to a doctorate.
According to the dean of the college's nursing and health studies school, the online program will be designed to prepare nurses to be leaders in applying research to practice.
Employment opportunities for registered nurses should increase by about 22 percent over the next seven years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Growth in the industry will be spurred by technological advances in patient care as well as an increasing number of baby boomers who will be seeking medical treatment in the coming decade.