The University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing, in partnership with four other Mississippi universities, will soon offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program.
Recently approved by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, the DNP program is a practice terminal degree in nursing that evolved after a statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing revealed that the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education may no longer accredit the master’s level advanced practice nursing programs after 2015, said Dr. Katherine Nugent, School of Nursing director and associate dean for the College of Health at Southern Miss.
“We are excited to be implementing the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Southern Miss," Nugent said. "We have had a collaborative Ph.D. program with the University of Mississippi Medical Center for the past 10 years and look forward to collaborating with them in offering a quality DNP program.”
Nugent said the program will be offered through a consortium that includes Southern Miss, Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
"The collaborative DNP program is an excellent example of how multiple universities in Mississippi can work together to meet educational needs with the state via sharing of resources," said Dr. Sheila Adams, dean of the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology at the Mississippi University for Women.
Dr. Robert Lyman, Southern Miss provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said working with universities across the state will help to increase the number of nursing faculty in Mississippi.
"The University of Southern Mississippi is pleased to be involved in a collaborative effort with other state institutions to address the crying need for nursing faculty in Mississippi," Lyman said. "We feel that this degree program will produce graduates qualified to serve as such faculty in a cost-effective and timely way and will ultimately serve to enhance the well-being of the citizens of Mississippi."
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program will be submitted for approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.