Students in new Doctor of Nursing Practice seek to fill a critical health care gap

Students in the first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) cohort at UNG aim to combat a shortage of primary care physicians and tackle the growing complexity of health care with further training as they begin their coursework this fall.

“Our DNP program will prepare students to meet the currently unmet health care needs of north Georgia’s rural counties and populations,” said Dr. Sharon Chalmers, department head of nursing at UNG.

Dr. Vanessa Jones, director of the DNP program and assistant professor at UNG, said the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty’s goal is for entry level into the nurse practitioner role to be at the doctoral level by 2025.

The DNP degree is offered to graduates who have earned a master’s degree in nurse practitioner. The 38-hour post-master’s program will be offered online with two required face-to-face sessions and the completion of 500 hours of clinical practice.