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IPFW doctorate proposal advances

State likely to OK nursing program

– IPFW soon may offer students the opportunity to earn a doctorate of nursing – the first of its kind at the Fort Wayne campus.

The Purdue University board of trustees this week approved a systemwide proposal for a Doctor of Nursing Practice, the university said.

If approved by the Indiana Commission of Higher Education in early 2014, it will be the first doctorate program offered at IPFW.

Carol Sternberger, associate vice chancellor for faculty development and professor of nursing at IPFW, said the commission has been supportive of the program, which would create more opportunities for nursing students.

“The Indiana Commission of Higher Education has been supportive of our actions … we don’t anticipate any problem with getting the approval we need to move forward,” Sternberger said.

If the program is approved, the first class of students will be admitted for the spring 2015 semester.

“This is a major milestone for IPFW and is in response to community needs in advanced nursing practice,” Vicky Carwein, chancellor of IPFW, said in a statement. “This program will put more nurses out on the front lines who possess the highest level of clinical education.”

University officials said they expect to enroll 10 students for the first year.

“We’ve really tried to look at the growing needs of health care and the dynamics of that,” Sternberger said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts about 233,000 jobs will become available for nurses each year through 2016, in addition to the 2.5 million existing positions.