Marian University to launch doctoral nursing program, including certified registered nurse anesthetist curriculum

by Susan Sullivan | Mar 20, 2017

Marian University’s Leighton School of Nursing will offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program beginning in May 2017. The DNP degree program has two tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Nurse Anesthesia. 

The new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares registered nurses (RNs) at the highest level for advanced clinical practice and leadership roles. The DNP curriculum is delivered using hybrid methods of both on-campus and web-based instruction and offers courses in systems leadership, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, policy and advocacy, informatics, and other key areas to improve patient and organizational outcomes.

There are incredible employment opportunities for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) across the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The job outlook through 2024 is expected to grow by 31 %, much faster than the national average for other occupations.
  • Median pay for DNP graduates was $104,740 in 2015.

Marian University’s newest doctoral program will help meet increasing local, regional, and national employment demands for APRNs. The increased demand for comprehensive healthcare in hospitals, outpatient settings, clinics, and other facilities exists because of increased emphasis on preventive care, more awareness about health and wellness, and the changing population demographics in the US.  The Institute of Medicine report on The Future of Nursing emphasizes the key role APRNs must play in order to meet our nation’s healthcare needs.

According to Dr. Gomez, acting Dean of the Leighton School of Nursing, “Graduates of this program will be awarded a clinical doctorate in order to provide the highest degree of patient care in a variety of clinical settings. DNPs also work in research facilities, teach at the university level and play a fundamental role in the transformation of the future of healthcare.”

The nurse anesthesia program is among the first of its kind to be offered in Indiana. Previously, Hoosiers interested in becoming nurse anesthetists completed their training in Cincinnati, Chicago, and other out-of-state colleges and universities. Initial anesthesia accreditation has been granted by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational programs (COA), pending final DNP program approval by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The new doctoral program is part of Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener’s ambitious strategic enrollment plan, which calls for 14 master’s and doctoral programs with a total enrollment of 1,200 students by 2025.

For more information about graduate programs at Marian University, visit



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