CAMDEN — The Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden is taking a significant step forward in advancing nursing education and practice in New Jersey by offering two new programs that will prepare nursing professionals to better meet increasing healthcare demands.
The Rutgers University Board of Governors has approved a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree-granting program and the state’s first graduate certificate program in wound, ostomy, and continence nursing. The DNP program still requires the approval of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council.
“These critical programs will prepare nurses to fill the growing need for expert clinicians who can provide comprehensive primary care for diverse populations with a wide range of healthcare needs,” says Joanne Robinson, dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden. “They will enhance healthcare throughout our region and allow Rutgers–Camden to continue to grow as a center for health sciences in New Jersey.”
The DNP program is designed to educate clinicians for advanced practice leadership roles with an emphasis on primary care of adult and gerontological patients.
Students enrolled in the program will have the unique opportunity to choose a clinical nursing practice specialty such as chronic illness, end-of-life care, mental health, oncology, palliative care, women’s health, and wound care.
“We want our students to demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes,” says Patricia Suplee, an assistant professor of nursing at Rutgers–Camden. “Our graduates will be leaders in their communities and will be prepared to address major community health challenges such as improving access to care and evaluating health promotion and disease prevention programs for adult and gerontological populations.”
By offering the 62-credit DNP degree, Rutgers–Camden’s nursing program will become one of the few in the nation to provide a seamless academic transition from pre-licensure to doctoral education.
Furthermore, Rutgers–Camden will be the first in southern New Jersey to offer licensed registered nurses with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree direct admission into a DNP program, which will prepare nurses for national certification and licensure as an advanced practice nurse in adult-gerontology primary care.
Rutgers–Camden plans to begin recruitment for its first class in spring 2014.
The new wound, ostomy, and continence graduate certificate program also satisfies a critical need in the healthcare field. Beginning this fall, the 14-credit program is open to registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of one year of clinical nursing experience following licensure.
Once certified, these nurses provide acute and rehabilitative care for patients with wound, ostomy, and continence care needs in multiple healthcare settings, including inpatient, outpatient, long-term, and home health care.
“There is an enormous need right now for wound, ostomy, and continence nursing due to the aging population and chronic illness,” says Janice Beitz, a professor of nursing at Rutgers–Camden. “This is a leap forward in nursing education here and the hospitals in the region will really benefit from having an advanced certificate program in South Jersey. At the same time, it will bring quality students from all over the nation to Rutgers–Camden.”
It is estimated that between 500,000 and 800,000 Americans are living with an ostomy due to gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and integumentary disorders.
Requirements for the certificate include completion of two five-credit graduate level theory courses and a four-credit clinical practicum that includes a 160-hour clinical preceptorship.
The graduate program prepares nurses to sit for the national certification exams in wound, ostomy, and continence nursing. Once achieved, the nurses may then serve as educators, researchers, and clinical resource experts to improve quality of life for affected patients.
For more information on the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden visit nursing.camden.rutgers.edu.