The first group of students to enroll in the California State University Northern California Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice program are preparing to graduate in May, with 21 months of studying and research completed. But before they hit that milestone, the students are preparing for their oral defenses on April 4, at San José State University and April 11, at CSU, Fresno.
The cohort includes 31 students from across Northern California in a legislatively mandated pilot program that offers online education to post-master’s prepared nurses who have extensive work experience in healthcare. “During the initial interview process, we were looking for leadership potential,” said Lori Rodriguez, the director of the DNP Consortium at San José State University. “We were fortunate to enroll students with initiative, leadership potential, integrity and rich practice backgrounds.”
For the first cohort, 31 students are nearing completion of the program. At least 90 percent of the students reported they have been working 30 or more hours since enrolling in the full-time program. Their average age is 49 years old and average time in practice is 20 years.
Sylvia Ruiz, an administrative support coordinator with the DNP program, said some of the students have already received promotions and others are anticipating promotions upon graduation.
“They’ve received scholarly recognition,” Ruiz said, with Rodriguez noting that five students were accepted to speak at the National DNP Conference in Nashville, Tenn. next fall, in addition to numerous local, state and national invitations to present. Publications from this program are beginning to emerge.
While the program has been online, with students meeting in person for one to four days a semester of intensive training at one of the two campuses, Ruiz said the students formed bonds quickly.
“They found a network of people across the state with ‘like minds’,” Rodriguez added.
The culmination of the program includes the doctoral projects the students started on in their first year to change a healthcare outcome in the community. The projects had to focus on a group or community rather than an individual, with potential for a long-lasting impact. Of the graduating class, 16 students are scheduled to present their findings during their oral defense on April 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225/229, with the public invited. The other 15 students will present their oral defenses April 11, from 8:30-5:30 p.m. at CSU, Fresno, in McLane Hall, Room 193. Rodriguez said faculty members, other students and members of the healthcare community are welcome to attend.
The students tackled a variety of projects, some in hospital-based settings and others in community locations. Some projects to be presented at SJSU include:
- “Intent of High School Hispanic/Latino Adolescents Toward Tissue and Organ Donation: A Study of the Impact of a Culturally Sensitive Educational Intervention,” completed by Sharon Castellanos and overseen by Dr. Lynn Van Hofwegan
- “Backpack Homeless Healthcare Program: What Knowledge, Attitudes and Skills Do Backpack Homeless Healthcare Program’s Multidisciplinary Teams Believe are Critical in Order to Provide Effective Patient Centered Health Care Services to Unsheltered Homeless Population in Santa Clara County?” completed by Mercy Egbujor and overseen by Dr. Tamara McKinnon
- “The Experience of Latino Parents of Hospitalized Children During Family Centered Bedside Rounds,” completed by Lisa Walker-Vischer and overseen by Dr. Constance Hill
For the full schedule on oral defenses at SJSU, click on the PDF DNP Oral Schedule April 2014 Updated.