NMU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program will be represented for the first time at commencement. Three students enrolled in the post-master’s track have completed their coursework and will participate in the May 6 ceremony. Theresa Durley of Marquette (also an NMU nursing faculty member), Myrth Condon of Munising and Lacey Crabb of Escanaba were honored at a public reception on Wednesday, May 3.
“The DNP is the terminal degree for nurse practitioners,” said Melissa Romero, NMU professor and DNP director. “It is the highest level of expertise they can obtain and helps secure their positions. Our program specializes in the family nurse practitioner. Once students graduate, they are eligible to apply for national certification, which they need to practice.”
NMU became the first Upper Peninsula university to establish a DNP program in fall 2014. Romero said most who pursue the degree are working in the field, but several NMU nursing faculty members are enrolled. The post-master’s track is three years in length. The post-baccalaureate track requires an additional year, so the first cohort of 16 students from that track will graduate in summer 2018.
“It’s exhilarating to see the first students complete their studies,” Romero said. “There’s a lot of interest in our program. We hear from one to three people a week who are interested, but we end up having to turn quite a few away. Most of the students are from the U.P., but occasionally from lower Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Northern’s DNP courses are delivered on a part-time basis, using a hybrid of on-campus and online teaching/learning methods. Clinical practicum hours may be completed in the student’s local community with an approved preceptor. The DNP curriculum is 72 credit hours for the post-baccalaureate track and 45 credit hours for the post-master's track. The curriculum includes 1000 supervised clinical practice hours.
For more information, visit http://www.nmu.edu/nursing/doctor-nursing-practice-program.