OU College Nursing Dean Julie Hoff says the new BSN-DNP program is one of the most robust in the state.

Long known for its history of innovation and producing some of the state’s best in nursing, the OU Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing took the next step last fall, announcing a new BSN-DNP program.
“Really it’s limitless what these graduates can do and we’re so excited to be preparing them at the doctoral level,” said Program Director Amy Costner-Lark, DNP, APRN. “We’re very excited to get this first group in.”
The BSN-DNP program allows nursing students to earn their doctorate of nursing practice after earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing. Students in the BSN-DNP program will focus on advanced nursing competencies.
“The most important thing to remember is our healthcare system is increasing in complexity and patients are sicker and going home sooner than they ever have before,” Costner-Lark said. “The program prepares nurses to practice at the highest level to ensure quality outcomes, to provide cost-effective care and use evidence-based practice. We’re creating high-quality clinicians and high-quality nurse specialists and high-quality nurse executives to transform the health of Oklahoma and the nation.”
We anticipate by 2025, a DNP will be the required educational standard to enter practice for advanced practice nurses. The addition of the program helps move the OU College of Nursing in line with other medical specialties requiring doctorates for advanced practice, such as pharmacy, physical therapy and audiology.
The BSN-DNP program will offer three specialty pathways: Family Nurse Practitioner; Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist; and Executive Leadership.
“Given the increasing complexity of patients in a rapidly transforming healthcare system, preparing nurses to practice at the highest level is critical to ensure quality outcomes,” Costner-Lark said. “Offering a BSN-DNP program is aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing position statement on the DNP as entry-level for advanced practice nurses. The University of Oklahoma has a rich history of preparing exceptional nurses, and this program will continue to provide high-quality clinicians who focus on evidence-based practice and quality improvement for the citizens of Oklahoma and beyond.”
Julie A. Hoff, PhD, MPH, RN serves as the dean of the college of nursing and notes the DNP is uniquely positioned to support innovation and entrepreneurship within the profession and will help guide healthcare delivery into the future.
“Given the current health status of Oklahoma the DNP program will really provide us with the ability to advance health sooner in the state of Oklahoma,” Hoff said. “This will really answer that call as well as advance the care that is delivered.
“It’s not just care at the level of individuals it’s care across families, communities and populations.”
Costner-Lark said OU students have a wealth of resources at their disposal throughout their journey.
“We’re certainly a leader in education in the state of Oklahoma and also a leader in healthcare,” Costner-Lark said. “Our partnership with OU Medical, Inc. not only gives us access to high quality research that’s being performed but also opportunities for our students to train in a cutting-edge hospital and clinics across the state.
“It’s been a very exciting process to develop this program.”
One of the nation’s few academic health centers with seven professional colleges — Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Graduate Studies — the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center serves approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs on campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
OU Medicine — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Medicine is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. To Learn more vist www.nursing.ouhsc.edu