University Introduces State’s Only Nurse Educator DNP Track; Classes Begin in January
Oklahoma City University is introducing a new graduate nursing program focused on training educators who can help prepare and guide the next generation of nurses.
OCU’s Kramer School of Nursing is accepting enrollments for a January start for its new Nurse Educator track in the school’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Completion Program. OCU now is the only university in Oklahoma to offer a Nurse Educator track within its DNP program. (story continues below)
Kramer School of Nursing Dean Gina Crawford said the move is significant because while much of the recent conversation about the nursing shortage has focused on growing the number of nurses in patient-care roles, it is equally important to consider the educators who train and support would-be nurses.
“Nursing retirements and attrition impact not only patient-facing health care, but the teaching and instruction environments as well,” Crawford said. “The demand is significant right now for highly educated nurses who can shape the next generation both within a classroom setting and in administrative roles in hospitals.”
OCU’s DNP Nurse Educator track focuses on preparing nurses to function within educational administrative roles, to impact health policy and to participate in research, Crawford said. The program is designed with working adults in mind, with 100% online coursework.
Students can complete the course in as little as two years, and must have previously earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree to be eligible to enroll. Graduates who go on to pursue faculty appointments may be eligible to participate in loan reimbursement programs to help recoup educational expenses.
The introduction of the Nurse Educator track follows a series of moves by OCU to help address the nation’s nursing shortage. In February, the university announced a five-year scholarship and employment partnership with SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital aimed at junior and senior nursing students, and in September the school introduced the state’s first in-person 12-month accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
“We certainly feel we can play a vital role in the nursing profession and when it comes to the betterment of health care and health outcomes,” Crawford said. “We will continue to pursue programming and initiatives that can help move our community forward.”
For information about the new DNP Nurse Educator track, email Cene’ Livingston, chair of advanced-practice nursing programs at OCU, at [email protected]. Additional information about nursing programs at Oklahoma City University is available at https://www.okcu.edu/nursing.