Mississippi University for Women is offering two new advanced degree programs this year as it continues to fulfill the state’s healthcare needs and position individuals who work with global partners.
On the 40th anniversary of its first charter graduating class for the associate nursing degree, MUW is marking another milestone in its history of helping advance healthcare for the state.
Beginning in January 2013, the university enrolled its first class in the newly approved doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program, said Dr. Shelia Adams, dean for the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology.
“We wanted to focus on an area of strength for us,” she said. “This degree will be offered for nurse practitioners to enhance their skills in clinical practice, thereby improving patient care delivery for our state. At the same time, the DNP program will provide the breadth and depth of knowledge required for nursing doctoral practice degrees.”
The W opened the first master’s level nurse practitioner program in Mississippi and began admitting students in 1975, Adams said. “We were the first in the state to offer this degree, and the only one until the mid to late 1990s. Therefore, The W is the recognized expert in nurse practitioner education within Mississippi.”
The DNP program responds to national studies calling for advanced nursing educational opportunities to help the profession meet the increasing complexities of the healthcare system. In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine called for the number of nurses with doctorates to be doubled by 2020.
“The MUW DNP program will enable nurses to achieve higher levels of education in the specialized area of nurse practitioner education and will increase the number of nurses with a doctorate, in keeping with the IOM recommendations,” Adams said.
Based on feedback from practicing nurse practitioners, MUW’s program will provide intensive studies in areas such as advanced diagnostic methods, advanced radiology, pharmacology and medically oriented anatomy and physiology while expanding scientific knowledge, improving the quality of patient care delivery and improving patient outcomes. Those entering the DNP program may opt for a one-year very intensive program or a two-year part-time program to enhance their practice roles. Both will require a culminating translational project with the intensity of a dissertation, Adams said.
“For the translational project, DNP candidates will have to research, implement and publish the results of a project focused on practice,” she said. In total, the program will require 38 to 44 hours past the master’s degree, and those exiting the DNP level will be required to have a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours.
When the program launched in January, it became the only doctoral program at MUW.
For more information, see muw.edu/nursing.
This summer Mississippi University for Women will launch its Master of Science in Global Commerce program, which will be delivered completely online. Its purpose is to prepare graduates to manage global business operations to the benefit and competitive advantage of companies across the region.
Dr. Scott Tollison, dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies, said this program is ideal for an individual who works for a multinational firm and has to collaborate with global partners.
“We are preparing students to understand the global environment in which they will work,” he said. “They can work and succeed in this environment without ever leaving Lowndes County.”
One of the curriculum requirements is the student’s capstone activity that involves a Regional Studies Portfolio. During a student’s first semester, he or she must declare a region or country of the world on which to complete a portfolio. Every course, in turn, will require the student to write a portfolio paper on the declared region.
As an example, Tollison said, a student may declare Germany as his or her region or country. That student may choose to research and write about the telecommunications infrastructure in Germany. At the end of the program, students will collect their papers in a portfolio to be presented to the graduate facultyelectronically during their graduating semester. As a result, students will develop a mastery of one region of the world by writing a series of portfolio papers throughout the curriculum, create a portfolio unifying the curriculum and exit the program with a deliverable work product that can be presented to potential employers.
Students are required to complete 36 hours, 12 of which are electives. Core courses include global telecommunications, global marketing management, systems project management, supply chain management, cross cultural management, financial management, international business law and environmentalsustainability management.
“We’ve made it a multidisciplinary approach. They are getting a little bit of all of the basics,” Tollison said.
Additional requirements include the Graduate Management Admission Test, completion of prerequisite courses (all available at MUW) and an essay that focuses on the applicant’s accomplishments and professional aspirations.
Tollison said the program is designed to be completed in four semesters, while some may be able to complete in three. Students can enter the program in June, August or January. All courses will be delivered by graduate faculty.
“Time and place are no barrier to program completion,” he said.
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