WCU, UNC Charlotte joint doctor of nursing practice program welcomes 1st students

The first students in a new doctor of nursing practice degree program offered by Western Carolina University in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte had their inaugural class meeting Monday, Aug. 19. From left, are program directors Shawn Collins of WCU and Dianna Inman of UNCC; WCU students Suzanne Greene, Jamison Lord, Karen Lewis and Cheryl Johnson; UNCC student Dianne Earnhardt; WCU student Sharon Reynolds; UNCC students Holly Wahab, My Linh Waldrop, Mariama Foh, Sherry Bernardo and Erika Gabbard; and WCU student Bryan Haslam.

The first students in a new doctor of nursing practice degree program offered by Western Carolina University in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte had their inaugural class meeting Monday, Aug. 19. From left, are program directors Shawn Collins of WCU and Dianna Inman of UNCC; WCU students Suzanne Greene, Jamison Lord, Karen Lewis and Cheryl Johnson; UNCC student Dianne Earnhardt; WCU student Sharon Reynolds; UNCC students Holly Wahab, My Linh Waldrop, Mariama Foh, Sherry Bernardo and Erika Gabbard; and WCU student Bryan Haslam.

A new doctor of nursing practice degree program offered by Western Carolina University in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte welcomed its first group of students as the fall semester got under way Monday, Aug. 19.

Six advanced-practice nurses from WCU along with six advanced-practice nurses from UNC Charlotte comprise the initial cohort of students in the new program, which was approved in February by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

Face-to-face courses taught at UNCC and at WCU’s new instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville. The program’s first cohort met on the UNC Charlotte campus.

The new program offers specialties in family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesiology and nursing administration, said Judy Neubrander, director of WCU’s School of Nursing. The DNP has begun this fall as a post-master’s program, giving students who have completed requirements for a master of science in nursing degree the option of continuing for another two years of study to receive a doctor of nursing practice degree. In 2016, the program will begin enrolling students who have bachelor’s degrees and who will start three years of study to earn their doctoral degrees in one of the three specialty areas, Neubrander said.

The DNP is the third doctoral-level academic program at Western Carolina. The university also offers doctoral degrees in educational leadership and physical therapy.

For more information about the DNP program, contact the WCU School of Nursing at 828-227-7467.