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School of Nursing offers new degree options

The School of Nursing now offers new degree options for BSN, MN, and DNP students.

The Nell Hodgson School of Nursing is broadening its offering of degree programs, from planning a new doctorate program to dual degrees to making nursing degrees accessible to CDC employees.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The School of Nursing is developing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program to prepare students for advanced roles in health care. "It caters to students who want to advance their education without disrupting their careers," says Melissa Faulkner DSN RN FAAN, associate dean for educational innovation.

The DNP program includes an advanced practice curriculum, leadership development, residency hours, and a capstone project in a focused area of study. Courses will be taught online and in the classroom.

Students may choose from two tracks—health systems leadership and population health. Advanced practice nurses with MN degrees can complete the program in two years. BSN-prepared nurses must complete four additional semesters of study in an advanced practice specialty.

Health Systems Leadership

The new graduate program in Health Systems Leadership combines coursework with experiential learning in health care.

Students will learn the inner workings of leading hospital systems, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations by interacting with nursing executives within Emory Healthcare (EHC) and partner organizations such as the CDC and the Health Systems Institute at Georgia Tech. In addition to EHC leaders, guest lecturers will include faculty from Emory School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health and executives from companies such as Cerner Corporation, Virtua, and Gentiva Health Services.

Bonnie Jennings DNSc RN FAAN, program coordinator, and Nate Spell, chief quality officer in Emory University Hospital, currently co-lead an elective on quality and safety in health care for nursing, public health, and medical students. It is part of the the new MN curriculum and helps illustrate its interdisciplinary direction and underpinnings.

"Although the program initially will focus on educating nurses, the goal is to quickly move the program into an opportunity where health care leaders from numerous disciplines can be educated and prepared together," says Jennings. "This vision is important to foster the kind of communication and collaboration needed for effective leadership in the 21st century."

Dual Degree in Bioethics

The Emory Center for Ethics now offers dual master’s degrees in nursing, public health, medicine and law, adding to a dual-degree program in theology. Based in the Laney Graduate School, the program accommodates full- and part-time students, including those who work full time.

While dual-degree programs in medicine and bioethics are relatively common, few schools offer options such as the MN/MA degree.

"Health professionals routinely face ethical dilemmas in the workplace," says Toby Schonfeld PhD, director of graduate studies for the MA-Bioethics Program. "This program offers a foundation in the major principles and theories of bioethics to help them make sound, ethically justified decisions."

New Option for CDC Employees

A new alliance between Emory and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened the door for qualified employees to enroll in several schools, including the School of Nursing.

The HHS University Partnership Program offers accredited, flexible degree options for HHS employees, including those who work for the CDC near Emory.

Tuition discounts are available to HHS employees who enroll in the School of Nursing’s BSN and MN degree programs. Two HHS employees will enroll at the School of Nursing this fall.

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