Graduate Nursing Program Receives Accreditation

DNP graduate and adjunct faculty member Dorothea Esposito

News Story: July 8, 2013

The Sacred Heart University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has received full five -year accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in connection with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

The DNP program was developed in 2010 in response to the rapid changes in a complex health care environment requiring nurses to have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes. This 39 credit-hour hybrid program combines intensive weekend classroom sessions, online learning techniques as well as clinical residency hours. Students enrolled in the program may elect one of the two separate concentrations: Doctoral Leadership in Health Care or Doctoral Clinical Practice in Health Care.

The DNP program was officially licensed by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education in 2009. The first cohort of 20 students was admitted in 2010, and 18 doctoral students will successfully defend their dissertations and graduate in 2013. Today, 56 students are enrolled in the program with a goal to enroll 16 more for the fall of 2013.

“We are excited to have received this accreditation for our program and pleased with the groundbreaking research that has already been done by our students – for which they have received, state, regional and national recognition,” said Susan DeNisco, interim chair and director of the Department of Nursing. “We are preparing our students to be leaders in health care, and this accreditation acknowledges that we are succeeding.”