North Carolina A&T to Launch Hybrid Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

The university will begin accepting applications for the program in fall 2024.
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Published on March 7, 2024
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  • The university will be the second of the state's historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to offer a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program.
  • Students can go straight from the bachelor of science in nursing program to the DNP program, skipping a master's degree.
  • N.C. A&T's DNP will have a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner track and a transformational nursing leadership track.

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (N.C. A&T), one of the country's historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), is launching a new doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program.

Students can go directly from a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) to a DNP without getting a master's degree.

N.C. A&T announced the DNP program Feb. 29 and will start accepting admission applications this fall. The university will be the second HBCU in North Carolina with a DNP program. The other is Winston-Salem State University.

A DNP is a terminal degree preparing nurses for advanced clinical practice and leadership, according to N.C. A&T. The degree is comparable to a Ph.D. in nursing but focuses on nursing practice rather than research, according to Chamberlain University.

According to N.C. A&T, it has one of the two DNP programs in the state offering a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner track.

N.C. A&T's second track is transformational nursing leadership. All coursework is conducted in a hybrid mode to support students working full or part time.

Nurse practitioners play a critical leadership role in the clinical environment and in areas outside of direct patient care that impact community health, N.C. A&T's Hairston College Dean Elimelda Moige Ongeri said in the school's press release.

Integration of emerging technology and health equity competencies into the DNP program will enhance access and improve the quality of care afforded to diverse patient populations in the state of North Carolina.

According to a 2022 paper published in the journal Health Professions Education, nurse practitioners who share the same cultural background as their patients communicate more effectively with them. And the practitioners better understand how their shared culture and history can help inform the patient's healthcare plan.

As of 2022, only 6.3% of the nation's registered nurses are Black, while 80% are white, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

This new program reflects N.C. A&T's legacy of advancing social justice through strategic workforce development, research, and community engagement, Ongeri said in the press release.

N.C. A&T will offer a 36-credit-hour, post-master's DNP degree program and a 70-credit BSN-DNP program, allowing students to go directly from a bachelor's to a DNP, skipping the master's degree.

The new DNP program will prepare students for careers as expert nurse clinicians and leaders who develop, implement, and evaluate programs of care and transform healthcare systems by using evidence-based innovations and technologies, Ongeri said.