I am a 2013 graduate of the inaugural Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Sacred Heart University (SHU). Completing this program of study provided both personal and professional benefit. The staff at Sacred Heart, from the admissions team to the professors and secretarial staff, were supportive from the application process through dissertation defense.
Prior to the start of this educational journey, I was enjoying a successful career as a wound/ostomy APRN. The increasing literature supporting advanced nursing education prompted me to investigate doctoral programs in Connecticut. I felt that as a professional nurse I needed to advance my education to promote both my personal professional goals and to enhance the image of nursing to the public and the many multi-disciplinary medical teams e.g. pharmacy, physical therapy, already mandating a doctoral level of education.
Professionally, obtaining the DNP degree has provided opportunities to expand my role in nursing.
I accepted a position as a Director of Nursing. This role enables me to support nurses and their professional practice and development. Using evidence – based research to support nursing practice, I am able to help nurses to work to the full scope of their nursing practice. I possess a more global awareness of the need to provide healthcare to all. This awareness helped me become more politically active in issues relating to healthcare and nursing.
The DNP is a personal and professional goal that I am proud to have completed.
I had been looking at DNP programs throughout the US. I couldn't quite find the right fit, until a friend of mine mentioned Sacred Heart University. I am a VP and Chief Nursing Officer of an acute care hospital in the Southeast. I was looking for a program with a leadership track, and an on-campus component. Sacred Heart was the perfect fit. It met all my requirements, and also gave me the opportunity to network with colleagues outside of my area.
The coursework and educational rigor was challenging, but appropriate for the current healthcare environment. Every course gave me knew knowledge and understanding, and enhanced my work performance as I incorporated the knowledge into my day to day work life. The faculty was very supportive and readily accessible. I could reach out to any faculty member at any time and count on a timely response. The on-campus component provided a tremendous support network and has provided colleagues and classmates that I will consider “friends for life.”
The Sacred Heart University DNP program not only met, but exceeded my expectations.