“This is a major milestone for IPFW and is in response to community needs in advanced nursing practice," said IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein in announcing the program. "This program will put more nurses out on the front lines who possess the highest level of clinical education.”
The first students in the DNP program will be admitted for spring 2015, following an accreditation visit. University officials anticipate that the program will enroll 10 students in the first year.
"The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will provide nurses the opportunity to advance their education, preparing them to be full partners in transforming nursing and healthcare through direct care, leadership, and interprofessional collaboration," said Carol Sternberger, associate vice chancellor for faculty development and professor of nursing.
"The DNP will be the first doctoral level system-wide program within the Purdue University system. The ability of IPFW to offer the DNP fulfills a local, state, and national need for nurses prepared at the practice doctorate level. The DNP, offered by IPFW, is supported by the area healthcare industry, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Indiana University School of Medicine–Fort Wayne."
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts about 233,000 additional jobs will open for registered nurses each year through 2016, on top of about 2.5 million existing positions.
This is the first doctoral degree program that regional campuses will be able to offer, pending Indiana Commission of Higher Education approval early in 2014.