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Cal State to offer doctor of nursing practice degree

October 4, 2011 |  5:24 pm

California State University will begin offering a doctorate in nursing practice in the fall of 2012, a move expected to boost the number of practitioners qualified to serve as faculty in the state’s understaffed nursing programs.

Two programs will be offered jointly by several campuses -- Fresno and San Jose in one grouping and Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles in another -- which will develop curriculum and share resources and faculty. Cal State San Diego will offer a stand-alone program.

The programs are the result of legislation passed in 2010 authorizing Cal State to offer pilot post-master’s degrees in nursing practice.  About 90 students are expected to be admitted statewide each year. Prospective students must be licensed registered nurses and have a master’s degree in a healthcare field. Annual tuition for the program is $13,104.

Cal State will be the first public university in the state to offer the doctor of nursing practice degree, designed to enhance scholarship in clinical practice, officials said. The University of California offers a doctorate in nursing that is research-based.

Doctor of nursing programs have been increasing nationwide in response to the changing demands of the healthcare profession. The U.S. Bureau of Health Professions estimates that California will have a shortfall of more than 100,000 nurses in 10 years, Cal State officials said. A key factor is too few qualified nursing faculty.

“California’s health depends on the expert knowledge and care provided by nurses educated at our university campuses,” said Ephraim Smith, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Cal State. “The CSU will now be able to add DNP graduates, who are experienced practitioners and have dedicated their lives to patient care, to the ranks of nursing faculty.”

Cal State will also begin offering a doctorate in physical therapy next fall at five campuses, in Fresno, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and San Diego, which all already offer master’s degrees in the field. Annual tuition will be $16,148.


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