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College of Nursing Elevates Advanced Practice Registered Nursing to the Clinical Doctorate

In 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommended moving all Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) programs to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level. Today’s health care environment requires APRNs who can deliver high-quality, safe, and effective care to individuals, families and communities. As the state’s flagship institution, we are committed to educating the best prepared APRNs at the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to lead changes in health delivery systems, explore and implement ways to cut health care costs, measure outcomes of groups of patients, populations and communities and provide evidenced-based care.

These principles guided our decision to elevate all APRN concentrations (except nurse anesthesia) to the DNP-degree level. Students seeking admission in fall 2018 to APRN clinical specialties will apply to the BSN-to-DNP program as we will not be accepting MSN applicants. We will continue to offer the post-masters certificate programs in each of the specialty areas.

As the healthcare system continues to evolve, APRNs will assume greater authority and independence for providing a broader range of clinical care than ever before. The UT College of Nursing’s move to the DNP as entry into advanced practice is congruent with the national trend to empower nurses and advance the profession.