September 17, 2014 3:30PM
On Wednesday, the Kansas Board of Regents gave approval for Pittsburg State University to offer its first doctoral degree. The board approved a proposal from PSU’s Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing to transition its current master’s level advanced practice nursing program into a doctor of nursing practice degree.
“This is a major milestone for the university, the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing and for healthcare in the region,” said Mary Carol Pomatto, university professor and director of the school. “We are excited to be able to meet this growing need for highly trained healthcare professionals.”
Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at PSU, said the new program takes the university to a new level of service for the four-state region.
“This degree is the coming professional standard for advanced practice nursing and will provide students the necessary training for outstanding careers as nurse practitioners and nurse educators,” Kunkel said. “Given our rural location, this region in Kansas has a serious need for advanced practices nurses to offer primary healthcare for residents. We are thrilled to be in a position to provide a doctoral-level program meeting national professional standards, advancing future careers of our students, and delivering a much-needed service to our region.”
In making their case for the new degree program, university officials noted that the demand for doctoral level advanced practice nurses is expected to increase both in the region and across the nation. The university cited the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine that “by 2020, the field of nursing provide twice as many doctoral graduates in order to build a primary care workforce in the U.S.”
Pomatto said PSU’s doctoral degree program will be the first in Kansas that is not located in a metropolitan area.
“It is significant,” Pomatto said, “because a majority of Southeast Kansas counties are in the bottom quartile of the Health Index ranking for the state.”
For more information, contact the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing at 620-235-4431.