Potential Doctorial Nursing Program for Troy University

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An area university is looking to expand one of its programs, one that could help the community and give students a chance to further their skills.

Checking blood pressures and giving medicine are the daily routine for nursing students at Troy University, something that’s preparing them for their future careers.

Now, a possible new program could allow them to continue their education past a master’s degree.

Troy Nursing Program Director Bernita Hamilton said, "The proposed program is for a doctor of nursing practice; this is a new program that has been recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing."

Hamilton says the proposed program would not only be a great asset to the students, but to the community as well.

Hamilton adds, "The nurses will be educated to provide, or to be leaders in the design, implementation of quality healthcare programs."

Senior Alecia Ohnemus feels the same and says getting into nursing holds a personal meaning for her. "My Grandmother was a diabetic and I always took care of her,” she says. “I just really wanted to help people."

Ohnemus says if the proposed program passes, it could put a nursing degree at a higher level for some who don't take it as seriously. "I think that right now, nursing is not looked upon as being very professional,” she says. “I think that the more Doctorate degrees, the higher of degrees that we have out there, the more people, especially high school students will think of the professional first as opposed to going into engineering or lawyers."

The program would involve more than 700 hours of clinicals and intense course work and would take anywhere from two to four years to finish.

The proposal is set to go before the Alabama Commission on Higher Education Thursday and Friday.

Hamilton says if the proposal passes, she would like to see it go into effect by 2008.

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