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Creighton Offers State’s First Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Creighton Offers State’s First Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

The Creighton University School of Nursing has become the first school in Nebraska to offer a doctor of nursing practice degree (D.N.P.).

“By offering the area’s first D.N.P.-degree program, the Creighton School of Nursing continues its longstanding commitment to provide students with the best educational and clinical learning opportunities available,” said Eleanor Howell, Ph.D., dean of the Creighton School of Nursing. “The D.N.P. program will prepare students interested in advanced clinical and management practice for emerging opportunities and challenges in health care.”

The D.N.P. – the first new nursing degree unveiled in more than 30 years by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing – was first offered at 20 schools across the United States in 2006. Another 56 programs opened in 2007. Creighton enrolled its first students for the fall 2008 semester.

Howell attributed the evolution of the D.N.P. degree to the increasing complexity of health care, expansion of knowledge, and the growth in credit hours in master’s degree programs. Nursing’s move to a practice doctorate mirrors the change to practice doctorates by other health professions such as pharmacy and physical therapy, she noted.

“The health care-delivery system is moving towards an interdisciplinary approach in which teams of health specialists, including nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others work together to provide optimum patient care,” Howell said. “While all levels of nursing will continue to be in high demand, it will be those with doctor of nursing practice degrees who will be responsible for leading change and innovation in the practice of nursing.”

The D.N.P. degree is different from a Ph.D. in nursing in that the D.N.P. is patient- or practice-focused, and the Ph.D. is research-focused.

Creighton’s DNP program is designed to be flexible with the curriculum tailored so students can specialize in a variety of roles, including nurse practitioners, managers, and clinical specialists. The program includes courses offered through Creighton’s internationally renowned Werner Institute for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution that focus on emerging health care issues and dispute resolution.

Persons holding bachelor’s or master’s of science degrees in nursing are eligible for Creighton’s DNP program. For more information, contact Erron Holland at 800.544.5071 or

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.