The University of Connecticut plans to offer a new doctoral program in nursing practice – the only program in Connecticut and just the second in New England – beginning in the fall.
The program is designed to serve nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, midwives, nurse anesthetists, and administrators who prefer an alternative to doctoral programs focused on research.
“The program is being developed in direct response to the national need for doctorally prepared leaders in practice,” says Anne Bavier, dean of the School of Nursing.
“The program will emphasize the scientific basis of knowledge, evidence-based practice, and development of leadership expertise within advanced practice nursing.”
The only other nursing practice doctoral degree in New England is offered at the University of Massachusetts.
The UConn program, recently approved by the Board of Trustees, awaits approval from the state Board of Governors of Higher Education. Once it is approved, students will be admitted.
The program will be headed by Regina Cusson, a professor of nursing who is also a registered nurse and advanced practice registered nurse. Cusson previously coordinated the neonatal nurse practitioner faculty special interest group of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
“She is well versed in issues facing advanced practice educators in the United States,” says Bavier.
The school plans to hire two additional associate professors this spring to staff the program. Ten students per year are expected to enroll in the program.
The School of Nursing also offers a traditional Ph.D. program in nursing.