Dr. of Nursing Practice is Millikin’s First Doctoral Program
By Jim Meadows
Millikin University in Decatur has unveiled its first-ever doctoral program.
The school’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice program has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, an accrediting body, and will be launched in January of next year.
Dr. Deborah Slayton, who is the director of Millikin's School of Nursing, said a nursing practice degree brings nursing degrees up to the level of M-D’s for physicians and DDS degrees for dentists. She says nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists are already required to master a substantial amount of training.
"So those individuals have 2500 plus hours of practice, and they’re just getting a master’s degree", said Slayton. "So, one of the things that the nursing profession’s been advocating is … that we add other course work to it, and that they are awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice."
Slayton said more nursing practice doctorates means there will be more professionals who are qualified to teach at nursing schools.
"It’s going to help to ameliorate the nursing faculty shortage because we’ll have more doctorally prepared faculty to be able to teach," Slaton said. "And those are two things that drive the nursing shortage right now. One is that we don’t have enough doctorally prepared faculty members. And second is that we don’t have enough clinical places for students to practice."
Slayton said the new nursing practice doctoral degree builds on Millikin’s master’s degree program in nursing. The school’s other master’s program is in business administration. Millikin has a total enrollment of about 2,400 students.