The first doctoral program at Kentucky State University will join the wave of the future in health care in January 2015.  Designed to prepare registered nurses to become adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioners, the new online Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN-DNP) degree program now accepts students who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited school of nursing and have an active registered nurse license. Students in the doctoral program will be educated to be leaders in the health care industry. They will be able to assess clients, to conduct research to enhance their practice, to improve systems of care which will influence patient outcomes, and to make changes to the enhance quality of care.

With its focus on gerontology, KSU’s program addresses a critical need in an increasingly aging population. Gerontological nurse practitioners are in great demand because of that growing need for highly skilled clinicians at the bedside.

“The doctoral program for nurses with a specialty in gerontology is a major endeavor for the nursing program specifically and the university in general,” says Dr. Indira D. Tyler, chair of KSU’s School of Nursing. “This program is for the nurse who wishes to pursue an advanced practice degree with a specialty in gerontology in a primary care setting,” says Tyler, adding, “This push for the Doctor in Nursing Practice programs supports the Institute of Medicine’s research on the future of nursing. The general public is aging, and to care for that public in a responsible way, higher education is needed for health care providers and in other disciplines such as pharmacy and physical therapy.”

“Nurses prepared at the doctoral level with a blend of clinical, organizational, economic and leadership skills are most likely to be able to critique nursing and other clinical scientific findings and design programs of care delivery that are locally acceptable, economically feasible, and which significantly impact health care outcomes,” says the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

KSU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program offers rigorous curriculum, state-of-the-art simulation and immersion in clinical rotations to prepare future nurse practitioners. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examinations in gerontological content through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The online DNP program includes 72 credit hours and 1,080 clinical hours. Students will do their residencies where they are located and under the guidance of a preceptor – a nurse practitioner who partners with the student.

For more information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, contact Dr. Indira Tyler at indira.tyler@kysu.edu or call the KSU School of Nursing at (502) 597-5957.