The College of Staten Island (CSI) School of Health Science launches the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Adult-Gerontological Health Nursing (DNP) program. Applications for the fall 2015 semester are available on the graduate admissions website.

The DNP at CSI is the second Doctoral program for the college and “underscores the growing importance of having highly-educated, advanced practice nurses with clinical doctoral degrees caring for patients on Staten Island and the metropolitan area at large,” notes Dr. Maureen Becker, the interim founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences.

The program will be open to all Bachelor of Science nursing graduates with a minimum of one year clinical experience. The CSI DNP is also accepting advanced standing students who already have a Master’s degree in nursing and are currently certified or licensed as Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners.

Restructuring of healthcare organizations and initiatives surrounding healthcare reform have created new roles for advanced practice nurses, especially those with doctoral-level preparation. Graduates of the DNP programs are eligible for certification as specialists in adult-gerontological health nursing through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and other certifications offered by ANCC and nursing specialty organizations and are also eligible for licensing as Adult-Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialists and/or Primary Care Nurse Practitioners through New York State Office of the Professions State Education Department.

According to Dr. Becker, the program will give “doctoral students the ability to continue their life long journey in education as Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners. It will also allow Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners to teach in clinical and/or academic settings through the completion of course work in nursing education.” The DNP is the second clinical doctorate for CSI, both of which housed in the School of Health Sciences. The other is a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Dr. June M. Como, Graduate & Clinical Doctorate in Nursing Practice Program Coordinator at CSI, said, “Having a Clinical Doctorate provides you with more evidence-based practice tools and a deeper clinical understanding—the main focus of which is to translate research evidence into practice to enhance patient outcomes and to be able to use it in a more timely fashion.”

“CSI DNP graduates will receive better pay in their fields, more respect from the health care industry as a whole and, also very importantly, CSI is the most economical game in town,” added Dr. Como.

Once in the program, students in the 75 credit DNP at CSI program will develop core and adult-gerontology competencies in their chosen role and specialty. They will also be positioned to take the advanced certificate programs that are offered. The Advanced Certificate in Nursing Education which will enhance the advanced practice nurses ability to teach clinically and/or academically, and/or the Advanced Certificate in Cultural Competency which will prepare advanced practice nurses to be future educators of diverse consumer and professional populations and exemplary caregivers to individuals with different cultural beliefs and practices.

A recipient of a CSI DNP degree will take up one of two roles in the field of advanced practice nursing: that of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (NP).

Students in the two degree programs take many of the same courses but focus their course assignments, competency development and clinical hours on the role of choice – as clinical nurse specialists to work with the adult and gerontological populations within the spheres of direct care, nursing personnel, and organizations/networks or as primary care nurse practitioners to work with the adult and gerontological populations. Both advanced practice nurse roles focus on promoting health, preventing disease, and managing the care of individuals, their families, and communities.

For her part, Dr. Como, who co-wrote the proposal for the program, is “very excited about the program.”

Born and raised a New Yorker, Dr. Como, who has lived in Staten Islander for over 30 years, received many of her degrees in the CSI/CUNY system and is “happy to provide this level of service to our students.” She added that the “School of Health Sciences makes it a seamless transition for our students,” explaining that when studying for an undergraduate nursing degree at CSI, students can now remain on campus for the entirety of their nursing education. “All of the stress of moving to another school is removed and established mentor relationships can flourish,” she added.

Visit the graduate admissions website for additional details and to apply online.