The Ryan-Matura Library of Sacred Heart University houses both print and electronic information resources. The library holds over 140,000 print volumes, over 35,000 electronic titles, almost 2,000 audiovisuals and access to over 15,000 journal titles – both print and electronic. Electronic resources may be accessed by students and faculty remotely from the library’s Website, which includes book reviews, interlibrary loan information and online request forms, links to quality Web sites created by government agencies, research and educational organizations and leading health associations and institutions. The library also provides access to over 70 online databases. With over 15 computer workstations, the library offers consultation specifically for doctoral students in the health science and formal instruction to all members of the university community.
The practice dissertation focuses on an endeavor consistent with the student’s identified research interests. This scholarly project must be a significant, evidence-based contribution to existing nursing knowledge and be suitable for publication in a peer reviewed journal or a book. The faculty dissertation chair will act as mentor and facilitator of the student’s scholarship. Clinical practice residency hours will be used to collect and evaluate data on a specific population in a practice setting. Each student will identify a clinical practice partner who will assist the student with the requirements of the practice dissertation.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree was first proposed in 2004 by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). This association comprised of higher-degree educational leaders from across the nation set the standards for professional nursing education. AACN has issued a position statement that, after 2015, all advanced practice nurses must graduate with a DNP degree. Sacred Heart University nursing faculty have placed much thought in the design of the DNP curriculum embracing the eight essential areas of clinical expertise outlined by the ANCC. The graduate nursing faculties are committed to a spirit of collaboration and mentorship. Espousing Sacred Heart University’s mission, DNP graduates will be knowledgeable of self, rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to social and civic obligations and able to respond to an ever-changing world. A major focus of the program is development of a community of scholars, fostering a commitment to lifelong learning, and cultivating an area of clinical scholarly inquiry.