Palm Beach Atlantic University trustees endorsed the administration’s proposal to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program to prepare graduates for state licensure to serve as nurse practitioners, pending approval by the University’s accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
“In its history, Palm Beach Atlantic’s School of Nursing has established a stellar reputation in the community preparing nurses who are competent in their clinical skills as well as caring and sensitive in their relationships with patients and colleagues,” Dr. Joseph A. Kloba, provost and chief academic officer, said. “Faculty and students frequently are recognized by regional healthcare organizations as accomplished educators and outstanding students and employees. I am confident that the proposed DNP program will continue this proud tradition as PBA graduates continue to impact the healthcare community in significant ways.”
Palm Beach Atlantic’s proposed DNP program is strategically positioned to address the demand for nurse practitioners driven by changes in the American healthcare system. Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 authorizes nurse practitioners to be more engaged in patient care. Increasingly, nurse practitioners fill the primary healthcare role due to a projected shortage of physicians.
Graduates of Palm Beach Atlantic’s proposed DNP program, upon receipt of state licensure, will be equipped to work as nurse practitioners providing primary healthcare to patients including prescribing a range of medications. They also will be prepared to work in private practice, serve in hospital administration, teach nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and lead a variety of health-related organizations.
“As many of our graduates have expressed their desire to further their education in a faith-based setting, the School of Nursing faculty has been working for the past several years on this proposed professional degree program,” Dean Dr. Joanne Masella said. “When approved, Palm Beach Atlantic will offer one of the few faith-based graduate nursing programs in the state. This quality as well as the personal relationship that students have with faculty are the two most significant differentiators of this program.”
As proposed, the new DNP program would consist of 74 graduate credits completed in nine semesters or essentially three years of study. The degree program is aimed at professionals currently working in the field with courses being offered evenings and online. Applicants to the proposed program minimally would hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a valid registered nurse license. Additional application requirements will be determined.
Presently, Palm Beach Atlantic offers a bachelor of nursing (B.S.N.) degree. Graduates have achieved an average pass rate of 94 percent on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX). The majority receive full-time job offers in their chosen field upon graduation. The Bachelor of Nursing at Palm Beach Atlantic University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); One Dupont Circle, NW; Suite 530; Washington, DC 20036; telephone (202) 887-6791.
Palm Beach Atlantic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a doctor of pharmacy degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, telephone (404) 679-4500, or www.sacscoc.org for questions about the accreditation of Palm Beach Atlantic University. Persons wishing to review documents related to the accreditation of Palm Beach Atlantic University should contact the Office of Accreditation and Assessment at (561) 803-2053.
For more information on the proposed Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree program, call Graduate Admissions at (561) 803-2122 or visit http://learn-well.pba.edu