WVWC announces new degree

The Inter-Mountain photo by Sarah Goodrich Dr. James Moore, West Virginia Wesleyan College’s dean of the faculty, speaks during a press conference Wednesday morning as college officials announce that a doctor of nursing practice degree will be offered in the upcoming fall semester.

BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan College officials announced Wednesday that a doctor of nursing practice degree will be offered in the upcoming fall semester.

“The nursing field is critical to the state of West Virginia’s future …,” said WVWC President Joel Thierstein during a press conference Wednesday morning. “It is critical to the state that we continue to supply qualified nurses and highly trained nurses to the state of West Virginia to secure its future.”

Dr. James Moore, dean of the WVWC faculty, said by offering this program, the college “takes another giant step forward” in serving the region.

“The quality of our nursing program is incredibly high, and that’s due in no small part to our dedicated nursing faculty,” said Moore. “We have some of the most talented, conscientious and student-centered faculty at any institution in the country and even the world, in my opinion.”

With Wesleyan’s master in nursing program, the DNP degree will focus on advancing professional nursing roles, including preparing tomorrow’s nurse leaders to drive reform in the health care system and advocate for the most vulnerable in the population, explained Dr. Susan Leight, director of the School of Nursing and graduate programs.

“Nurses need to be leaders on the health care team who bring expertise to practice to ensure quality patient outcomes,” Leight said. “To fulfill these role, nurses need to have access to the necessary education preparation in advanced clinical practice and transformational leadership.”

Leight explained the degree will offer to two programs of study — advanced nursing practice and nursing leadership.

She explained students who opted for advanced nursing practice can choose from a concentration in family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nursing practitioner or nurse midwifery.

With two points of entry into the program available, Leight said, “Students can either move directly from their BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) program into our DNP or they can move after they complete their MSN into our DNP program.”

The program will accommodate part-time and full-time students.

“We will offer our DNP using the latest instructional technologies, including our virtual classroom with audio and video linkage between the faculty and the student,” she explained.

Leight added students will come to campus for occasional intensive residency, receiving skill instruction, working one-on-one with faculty and program guests and having the opportunity to interact with other students in the program.

By using these technologies, Leight said, “We believe that we can effectively reach students in their home environment.”

“It’s the goal of our program to graduate exceptional nurse leaders and advanced nurse practitioners,” she said. “West Virginia has so many health-related problems, and it is just so important that our graduates excel advanced clinicians and transformational leaders as we strive to meet the needs of society and provide the absolute best care possible.”

More information about the DNP program is available at www.wvwc.edu or by contacting Morganne Tenney, assistant director of admissions, at 304-473-8525.