First Doctor Of Nursing Practice Program Students At Misericordia Univ. Graduate
MISERICORDIA MSN, DNP PROGRAM GRADUATES-The first graduates of the MSN to DNP Program at Misericordia University were recognized at a special dinner. Participating in the program, seated from left, are Dr. Brenda Hage, director of the DNP program; Dr. Cheryl Fuller, DNP faculty, and Dr. Cynthia Mailloux, Mountain Top, chair, Department of Nursing. Back: Jens Hansen, Christine Gallagher, Carla Weidner, Carol Medura, White Haven; Charlene Zablotney, Melissa LaPorte, and Tina Shuker.

Seven students in the Master of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) at Misericordia University recently became the first graduates of the program when they completed an oral defense of their DNP capstone projects.

During the rigorous culminating project, students critically evaluate scientific literature in order to develop evidence-based practice approaches that improve outcomes in the health care system. The inaugural class addressed a variety of practice problems, including smoking cessation, interstitial cystitis, transitions of care, improving pulmonary function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, addressing fear of hypoglycemia in patients requiring daily insulin management, antibiotic stewardship in the management of urinary tract infections, and management of familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia.

“We are incredibly proud of our new doctor of nurse practitioners,’’ said Brenda Hage, Ph. D., D. N. P., C. R. N. P, professor and director of the DNP program. “These nursing leaders are well equipped to improve health care outcomes within their institutions for the betterment of patients and health care systems.’’

Graduates of the program were honored at a dinner at the Irem Temple Country Club in Dallas. The DNP Program also recognized two graduates by presenting them with academic awards. Christine Gallagher of Ashley received the Judith and Harold Harding Excellence in Public Policy, Activism and Advocacy Award, and Melissa LaPorte of Exeter was presented with the DNP Award of Excellence in Evidence-Based Practice.

The graduates of the program will receive their degrees at the fifth annual Winter Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 20 in the Anderson Sports and Health Center on campus.

Misericordia University features the oldest nursing program in the area and graduates more students in the health sciences than any other college or university in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University offers three undergraduate nursing programs: traditional, full-time nursing students; part-time accelerated evening program for adult students; and the RN to BSN Expressway Program. The undergraduate nursing programs are designed to meet the special educational and scheduling needs of adult and traditional students. They all lead to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

The MSN nursing program is designed to meet the special needs of current BSN registered nurses who desire an advanced practice specialization as a family nurse practitioner. MU also offers a postmaster’s certificate as a family nurse practitioner for nurses who already have an advanced clinical master’s degree and who wish to change or expand their practice focus to primary care. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education in health assessment, diagnosis and management of acute and chronic health conditions with expertise in health promotion and disease prevention. Graduate programming leads to the MSN and provides course work in a convenient part-time, one-day-a-week format.

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program at Misericordia University is offered in two formats to accommodate the needs of busy health care professionals and in response to growing national need.

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