Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA to host joint doctor of nursing intensive

Any field of study or profession has its experts and its highest tier of professionals. For nursing, the doctor of nursing practice designation represents the highest level of education in nursing. In the University of Alabama System, this degree can be achieved online.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is offered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, the University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Nursing and the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing, and because the degree is completed online, students across the nation can earn degrees from afar.

This year, the 2014 Joint Doctor of Nursing Practice Intensive will be hosted at the Capstone. The collaborative intensive rotates between the three universities each year. The DNP Intensive began in 2009, and this year, 250 attendees will be involved in the three-day conference from March 5 to 7. There is no fee to participate, but prior registration is required. This year’s theme is “Trailblazers: DNP’s Seizing Leadership Opportunities” and focuses on the changes facing the health care industry.

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“We would hope [attendees] would take away information on how to develop scholarly projects and how to write for publications,” Tabby Brown, communication specialist for the Capstone College of Nursing, said. “Also, what leadership roles DNP nurses are taking in health care industry.”

Brown said the DNP intensive is a great opportunity for students to meet each other and the faculty, as students and professors present research projects to peers and educators.

The intensive opens March 5 with a welcome for students, faculty and alumni. On March 6, nationally known speakers will present on the changes in the nursing field. In the afternoon, students and alumni will present scholarly research and papers. On March 7, the final day, students will return to their home campus and follow a tailored agenda for each university. Faculty will present tips about writing and developing scholarly projects and writing.

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Mary Smith, a nurse practitioner at Starkville Orthopedic Clinic, will present a keynote lecture at 11:30 a.m. on March 6. called “The Future of Healthcare: Geriatrics, Leadership, and Policy.” Her presentation will highlight the elderly population and encourage attendees to be effective leaders and become involved in policy. Smith has been speaking for four years and created her own elderly care program, Homebound for the Elderly and Disabled.

“I think this program is unique because the three schools come together. A lot of schools do their own event,” Smith said. “I think the more people you bring together, especially nurses, the more effective you can be.”

Smith said bringing together students from different communities is also beneficial to understanding both the rural and city health problems that face the state of Alabama.

The DNP program allows nurses who have earned their BSN to enroll anytime during their professional career. The program includes 34 hours of required course credit to earn the DNP degree.

Marsha Adams, senior associate dean of academic programs of Capstone College of Nursing, said she hopes all attendees can take away something to improve the nursing profession.

“I hope attendees take away a sense of camaraderie, a sense of pride, a sense of professionalism, and I believe they’ll walk away proud to be a part of this DNP program,” Adams said. “Students will walk away with great ideas to use for possible scholarly practice projects, and faculty will walk away with new teaching learning strategies. There is a take home for everyone who attends.”

To learn more about the DNP program, visit

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