Alverno College will soon begin offering its first doctorate program since it was founded in 1887.
Starting in January, both male and female students will be able to pursue Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees in either leadership or direct care from Alverno. Alverno is a four-year, independent, Catholic liberal arts college for women.
The degree in leadership will require 32 credits to complete and the degree in direct care will require 30 credits.
The program is geared toward nurses looking for a way to improve their marketability and career opportunities. The program will be run through Alverno’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing.
“We are excited to offer a doctorate degree to our nursing students and to advanced practice nurses in the community who are looking to advance their careers and earning potential,” said Margaret Rauschenberger, MSN, RN, interim dean of the JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing at Alverno College in a statement. “I often hear employers say they can always spot the Alverno graduates, and now we can offer our exemplary education to those wishing to earn a terminal degree.”
The number of Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree programs that exist at education institutions around the country has been rising over the past decade, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
The AACN reports the number of DNP programs in the U.S. increased from 20 in 2006 to 264 in 2014. Nurses who received the advanced degree can go on to become clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and certified nurse anesthetists.
They will also be able to assume leadership roles in clinical environments, develop health care polices and become expert clinicians, Alverno representatives said in a statement.
The program will offer 12 courses that blend online and classroom instruction in a cohort model that will allow students to take classes year-round in eight-week blocks. Students can choose to attend classes full- or part-time. Students who take classes full-time can complete the program in 18 months.