Public Affairs

Doctor of Nursing Practice Completes Successful First Year

December 6, 2012
By Erik Fallis

Successfully launched for the first time at CSU in fall 2012 — a cohort of 75 students, including organ and tissue donation advocate Sharon A. Castellanos, are completing the first year of the two-year Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.  CSU Fullerton-Long Beach-Los Angeles and Fresno State-San José State offer both southern and northern California joint programs.

The CSU DNP prepares nurses for faculty and leadership roles in academic institutions throughout the state.  In nursing education, student-to-faculty ratios must be kept low based on the nature of hands-on training in clinical scenarios.  This creates a critical need at California community colleges, where student demand exceeds the available space.

"The CSU DNP serves an absolute need in California to equip our state's leading nurses to fill academic ranks in teaching the next generation of health professionals," said Sandra Baker, dean of the School of Nursing at Riverside City College.  "The programs facilitate practice-focused scholarship and research to meet the demands of our society."

Healthcare providers are double beneficiaries of the CSU DNP program.  Helping to address shortfalls in the state's nursing school ranks secures the pipeline of future nurses.  The practice-oriented CSU doctorate also improves nursing practice and patient outcomes in clinical healthcare settings. 

"Advanced practice nurses need strong leadership and management skills in order to face the increasing complexity of healthcare systems," said John Nagelhout, director of the Kaiser Permanente Nurse Anesthesia Program in Southern California.  "In a field as ever changing as medicine, life-long learning and critical thinking are vital to improve patient outcomes."

Nurses interested in joining the fall 2013 DNP cohort are encouraged to visit: http://www.calstate.edu/dnp/.  Students applying for the southern program have until Jan. 2, while students applying to the northern program have until Feb. 1.