In 2007, the University of Rochester was one of two institutions in New York to offer a doctorate in nursing. The university’s efforts to sustain the momentum for the practice doctorate continue with its annual Doctor of Nursing Practice Summit.
Slated for Nov. 1, the school will bring together advanced practice nurses, nurse leaders, policymakers, and scholars for a daylong event on the impact of DNP-prepared nurses on clinical practice, care delivery and health policy. The theme for the 2019 summit is “Progress, Promise, and Possibilities.”
Ruth Kleinpell, assistant dean for clinical scholarship and Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing Education at Vanderbilt University, is the summit’s keynote speaker. An expert on assessing outcomes of advanced practice nurses, she will present her research showing the multitude of ways that DNP-prepared nurses are contributing to better access and higher quality of care across numerous health care settings, UR says.
Kleinpell is joined by others including Joanne Phillips, director of clinical practice at Virtua Health System in New Jersey; Laura Black, senior vice president of care management and clinical services at Boston’s Commonwealth Care Alliance; and Deb Zimmerman, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority in Richmond, Va.
“I’m thrilled that we have assembled such prominent and accomplished speakers for this year’s summit,” says Lydia Rotondo, associate dean of education and student affairs and director of the DNP program at the UR School of Nursing. “As health care changes continue to intensify, it’s vital that we take the time for events like this which bring together the leading voices in nursing education and practice to explore the evolving roles and exciting opportunities facing today’s nurses.”
UR’s School of Nursing hosted its first DNP Summit in 2016 with a goal to facilitate the national conversation about the direction and impact of DNP-prepared nurses. Each year, it has provided a highly regarded forum for more than 100 health care professionals to learn more about DNP practice and contributions to health care delivery and outcomes, officials say.
More than a decade ago, the National Academy of Sciences called for nursing to develop a nonresearch clinical doctorate. The plan, in addition to helping nurses gain the knowledge and expertise to ensure quality patient outcomes, also was to fill the clinical faculty pipeline to train future nurses.
As of 2018, 348 DNP programs were enrolling students at schools of nursing nationwide, and an additional 98 new DNP programs were in the planning stages, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. From 2017 to 2018, the number of students enrolled in DNP programs increased from 29,093 to 32,678. During that same period, the number of DNP graduates increased from 6,090 to 7,039 nationwide, AACN reports. New York is among the states with 10 or more DNP programs.
The DNP program is among many UR efforts to bolster the field of nursing. Last year, the school jumped five spots to No. 21 in research funding received from the National Institutes of Health. UR received eight grants totaling more than $2.9 million in research support from the NIH during the 2018 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2018, according to data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.