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School of nursing celebrates new doctoral degree

University officials joined faculty, staff, students and area health care representatives at the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing on Friday to officially celebrate the Kansas Board of Regents’ approval of a new doctor of nursing practice degree at PSU.

University officials joined faculty, staff, students and area health care representatives at the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing on Friday to officially celebrate the Kansas Board of Regents’ approval of a new doctor of nursing practice degree at PSU.

Mary Carol Pomatto, director of the school, said the new doctorate program is a major milestone for not just the school and the university, but for health care in the region.

“It is the culmination of years of hard work by members of this school and of this university,” Pomatto said.

Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, praised Pomatto and the school of nursing faculty for the hard work required to prepare for and earn approval of the new doctoral program.

“Despite having a full plate...the school of nursing leadership and faculty did not back away from the tremendous challenges involved with all of the background steps required to propose a new advanced graduate degree program,” Kunkel said. “Gaining this approval required a long process of feasibility studies, assing available and needed resources and navigating various bureaucracies, both on and off campus.”

President Steve Scott said it was important to take some time to celebrate the achievement.

“It’s important to celebrate our successes, to acknowledge the efforts that go into achieving great things and to reaffirm our commitment to the personal and professional growth of our students and faculty,” Scott said.

Scott said the new doctoral program gives PSU students new opportunities.

“No longer will they have to leave our region to attain the professional training they’ll need to reach their professional goals,” he said.

Scott quoted national projections that by 2020, doctoral graduates will need to double in order to build a primary care workforce in the U.S.

“This doctoral program will help fill that growing gap and together with our health care partners, form the foundation for a healthier region,” Scott said.

The president noted that since FY 2006, when the Kansas Legislature approved a targeted investment in PSU’s nursing program, undergraduate enrollment has grown from 112 to 233 and graduate enrollment from 17 to 49.

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