UNCW to Graduate Inaugural Class of Nursing Doctoral Students

Monday, April 29, 2019

As UNCW prepares to graduate more than 2,700 students May 10-11, nine of those are the first graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Officially approved in 2015, it’s one of four doctoral degrees offered by the university. The terminal degree helps prepare nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists and clinical nurse specialists to meet the changing needs of health care through evidence-based culturally competent care.

With the graduation of Betty Bowen, Cassandra Davis, Joshua Freeman, Chantelle Guthrie, Anna Kirk, Julie Linder, Melinda Miller, Nicole Mock and Nicole Spencer, 20 students remain.

“In the next few years, this program is going to explode in size,” said DNP program coordinator Matt Gallek. “We are growing and becoming better and better in our nursing programs.”

While the graduating class members are all advanced practice nurses, Gallek says that the School of Nursing will offer a BSN-to-DNP program starting in fall 2020, an initiative he helped develop. Housed in the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Nursing educates nurses and clinical researchers to serve and improve the health of communities across throughout the state and beyond.

UNCW’s Strategic Plan emphasizes strategically enhancing and expanding academic programs and preparing students for post-graduate success.

-- Caroline Cropp