Wednesday, April 1, 2009

MCG offers nursing doctorate at Macon State College

Nurses who want to advance their leadership and clinical roles can earn a Medical College of Georgia Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Macon State College.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents recently approved the doctoral-level degree option as an external program at Macon State. The program will enroll its inaugural class of four students this summer.

"The program is an excellent opportunity for nurses who want a terminal or doctoral degree in nursing with a clinical practice focus as opposed to the research focus that a Ph.D. in nursing provides," says Dr. Marguerite Murphy, director of MCG's Doctor of Nursing Practice program. "DNP-prepared nurses can be instrumental in improving health care outcomes in our ever-changing, complex health care environment."

"The critical need for registered nurses is well known, but the need for leaders in the nursing field also is vital," says Dr. Barbara Frizzell, Macon State’s vice president for academic affairs. "The doctoral program offered by MCG on our campus not only enriches our own academic environment, but establishes a conduit to produce talented leaders and instructors in nursing for central Georgia and beyond."

The doctorate of nursing practice focuses on clinical and management expertise necessary to improve outcomes in health care practice, leadership and education. The program also will help alleviate the national nursing shortage by producing more qualified nursing professors, allowing nursing schools to enroll more students.

"Extending our program to Macon State is really providing critical gains for our nursing profession in central Georgia to improve patient safety and advance quality outcomes for nurses who are working with patients, families, health systems and communities," says Dr. Janie Heath, School of Nursing associate dean for academic affairs.

The curriculum includes 40 graduate semester hours over four semesters, covering trends in effective care, methods of care delivery and concepts in evidence-based care.

Requirements for the program include a master’s degree in nursing or associated program of study related to a specialty area, such as public health, a graduate school admissions test, current professional nurse licensure and appropriate specialty certification.

For more information about the program, visit www.mcg.edu/son/index.htm or call Karen Sturgill, program coordinator, at 706-721-3676. To see current students, faculty, alumni, clinical and academic partners, including Dr. Rebecca Corvey, dean of Macon State's School of Nursing, talk about the program, visit www.mcg.edu/son/video/feature.html?v=20090324corvey and www.mcg.edu/son/video/index.html.

Amy Connell
Medical College of Georgia
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