Nursing Education News
Belmont Opens Admissions for New Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Belmont University’s Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing recently announced the start of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which begins fall 2012. Open to nurse practitioners who have already attained a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), the two-year DNP degree offers a flexible online/weekend hybrid curriculum to allow working nurse practitioners to complete their doctorates while maintaining full-time positions.

Currently, 182 DNP programs exist in the United States, with Belmont offering one of only four Tennessee-based programs. The new program represents Belmont’s fifth doctoral level degree in addition to occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy and law. The new practice doctorate focuses on translating existing research into practice, identifying problems, and applying research in a measurable way so that outcomes can be assessed. The 40-credit hour degree will focus on courses in population health, clinical scholarship, biostatistics, education of diverse populations, organizational leadership and management, as well as healthcare finance, outcomes and policy. Students will also engage in a significant research utilization project as the program’s capstone.

The new DNP also is a response to a national need. In the 2010 report “The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education,” the Institute of Medicine (IOM) noted the Affordable Care Act requires a comprehensive rethinking of the roles and education of nurses. To meet increasing demands and complexity, the IOM called for doubling the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020.


UT Colleges of Nursing, Engineering Develop Health Workforce Tool

A joint endeavor between the colleges of Nursing and Engineering at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, has developed a tool that will soon allow the international community to build a better workforce of health professionals.

Tami Wyatt and Matt Bell of the College of Nursing and Xueping Li and Yo Indranoi of the College of Engineering developed an educational software program that integrates electronic health records (EHRs) commonly used in hospitals and medical offices into a simulated learning tool for students. Nursing students are put into real-world scenarios by supplying "patients" that come with fictitious medical histories created by the researchers in the form of EHRs. Although students will be expected to know how to use EHRs upon graduation, they have previously had little hands-on experience with the electronic format.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), an international publisher for healthcare professionals and students, recently purchased the program. Called Lippincott's DocuCare, the tool is currently being tested in 200 nursing programs and will be on the market in August.

"Our initial research shows that Lippincott's DocuCare helps improve the competencies of the nursing students in informatics, evidence-based practice and safety,” said Wyatt.

"Lippincott's DocuCare has the potential to broadly impact more than 3,000 nursing programs with about 400,000 students in the U.S. alone," added Li.

And in other LWW news:

Wolters Kluwer Health, an international healthcare solutions provider and publisher, announced in March that it has partnered with Nashville-based HealthStream, a leading provider of learning and research solutions for the healthcare industry, to offer the Lippincott’s Professional Development Programs product suite to HealthStream’s customer base. The LWW program features evidence-based, interactive learning tools designed to help clinical nurses improve competency and meet compliance standards.

HealthStream already offers Lippincott’s Nursing Procedures and Skills and Lippincott’s Nursing Advisor to their customer base of approximately half of the acute care hospitals in America.


Cole-George Named Dean of Nursing for Fortis

Healthcare career training provider Fortis Institute announced last month the appointment of Karen Cole-George, Ed, MSN, RN, as dean of nursing programs for the Nashville campus. In this role, she will oversee operations of the nursing programs, facilitate development of new programming and innovative curricula, and work with community clinical partners to expand campus relationships within the healthcare industry.

Previously, she served as assistant professor of nursing at Tennessee State University (TSU). Prior to that, she served as director of the Women’s Center, Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma, Tenn., and interim nurse manager and administrative supervisor at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Centennial Medical Center. She has also worked as a registered nurse in the Maternal Special Care Unit for Centennial and Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia.

Cole-George received her nursing degree from Norfolk State University and her Master of Nursing from TSU. Currently, she is working on her doctorate in nursing education from Capella University.