Doctorate in nursing proposed for CSU

January 18, 2011 10:40am

•  Trustees also to consider OK for doctorate in physical therapy

•  Fresno State and Sacramento State to be included in doctoral programs

California State University may begin planning for three Doctor of Nursing Practice pilot programs to launch as early as fall 2012, pending approval by the CSU Board of Trustees at their meeting to be held Jan. 25-26.

CSU already awards 60 percent of bachelor's level nursing degrees in California, and has several master's level programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Health Professionals, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, projects California will have a shortfall of more than 100,000 nurses in ten years, CSU says.

A problem in addressing the need has been a limited number of slots available in California nursing programs, which is tied to a limited number of individuals qualified to serve as nursing faculty, CSU says.

"By offering top quality and affordable degree programs, the CSU will help build the pipeline to fill the ranks of nursing faculty," says CSU Chancellor Charles Reed in written comments Tuesday.

The three proposed DNP programs include two programs that will be offered jointly by multiple CSU campuses. The joint programs would include Fresno State and San Josť in the north and Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles in the south. San Diego is recommended for a stand-alone program.

The DNP will build on the CSU faculty expertise and campus resources based in existing nursing departments, the university says.

The CSU Board of Trustees will also consider allowing campuses to begin planning to offer Doctor of Physical Therapy programs at Fresno State, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento State and San Diego to develop proposals for programs to launch as early as summer 2012.

Physical therapists practicing in California must have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program as well as passed national and state examinations. Beginning in 2015, the National Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will only grant accreditation to programs awarding doctorates.

With the doctoral programs, the CSU will be able to continue educating physical therapists to meet the state licensure requirements, CSU says.

California State University currently educates one-third of the state's physical therapy graduates.

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