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Breaking News -- SMU To Offer DNP

Samuel Merritt University (SMU), Oakland, has added a DNP to its degree offerings. The new degree will be launched in January 2011 and becomes the fifth in the state, after Loma Linda University, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco and Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona.

The new degree will focus on leadership and is open to master's prepared RNs. The program's 36 credits will be offered online to allow students to continue to work while pursuing full-time doctoral study.

"It's intended for nurses who want to enhance their ability to make effective changes in a variety of healthcare delivery settings, as well as those with a commitment to improving healthcare outcomes via evidence-based practice, policy change, and the application of research," said Scot Foster, PhD, SMU academic vice president and provost. "This degree would be valuable for someone in nursing education, administration, or advanced practice."

"It was an important next step for the university's School of Nursing to develop this program," said Cecily Cosby, PhD, FNP-C/PA-C professor and DNP director. "The DNP is aligned with our mission and goals.  It coincides with the urgent need for healthcare reform, and the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to maximally utilize the training and skills of nurses.  It will allow us to better serve the community with nurses prepared for the challenges ahead. While PHD prepared nurse colleagues will continue to discover new knowledge through their research efforts, it is the DNP prepared nurses who will translate and apply that knowledge to implement the changes in both practice and policy that will ultimately improve outcomes." 

SMU offers a BSN; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy and physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy and podiatric medicine. For more information visit

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