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Public Affairs

Applications Open for CSU Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs

Three DNP programs plan to start in fall 2012

(Oct. 4, 2011) – For the first time in the system's history, prospective California State University graduate students may apply to Doctor of Nursing Practice programs planned to begin in fall 2012.

Of the initial three planned DNP programs, two will be offered jointly by multiple CSU campuses including Fresno and San José in the north and Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles in the south.  San Diego is planning a stand-alone program.  The DNP will build on the CSU faculty expertise and campus resources based in existing Schools of Nursing.

"California's health depends on the expert knowledge and care provided by nurses educated at our university campuses," said Ephraim Smith, CSU executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.  "The CSU will now be able to add DNP graduates, who are experienced practitioners and have dedicated their lives to patient care, to the ranks of nursing faculty."

The U.S. Bureau of Health Professions projects California will have a shortfall of more than 100,000 nurses in ten years.  A key challenge to closing this projected shortfall 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.

The CSU DNP programs will train future faculty by allowing students to engage with experts, conduct doctoral-level research, complete a doctoral project embedded in clinical practice and prepare scholarly writing on advanced practice nursing. 

"As medicine becomes more complex, the perspective and voice of nurses will depend on gaining the knowledge provided in bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate level study," said Monica Tenhunen, a San Diego State alumna and CSU Long Beach nursing faculty member on CSU Voices and Views.  "Nurses are the face, voice and supporting hands of patient care.  We are there to serve in our patients’ best interest, and to do so we must have knowledge to speak with authority."

How to Apply
The CSU began accepting fall 2012 DNP application on Oct. 1, 2011.  The deadlines to submit an application for admission may vary by CSU campus.

To apply, prospective DNP students submit a graduate application on CSU Mentor.  Then, students will need to visit the appropriate program website for details on program-specific admission requirements, including letters of recommendation, transcripts and exam scores.

All prospective students are required to be licensed registered nurses, have an acceptable master's degree in nursing or a related health care field, and either certification or eligibility for certification in advanced nursing practice.  

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 412,000 students and 43,000 faculty and staff.  The CSU awards about 90,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces.  The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California.  With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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