UMass Amherst Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Recognized

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Nursing’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice program has been selected for an Innovative and Creative Programming Award by the New England chapter of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).

The DNP program is delivered through UMass Amherst’s Division of Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). The award will be presented Oct. 26 at the UPCEA New England annual conference in Providence. Jean E. DeMartinis, associate professor of nursing and the original director of the UMass Amherst program, is scheduled to accept the award.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice was one of the first completely online DNP programs in the world and only the second in the U.S. The program was launched in 2006 with nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration and about $80,000 from UMass Amherst, according to DeMartinis, who secured the federal funds. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provided additional funding for the initiative.

Since then, enrollment and course offerings have increased substantially, and more than 40 students have received their degrees through the program.

The DNP program was nominated for the award by Bill McClure, executive director of Continuing and Professional Education at UMass Amherst, who wrote, "The program fulfills one of the key goals of continuing education: to help working adults achieve the pinnacle of the nursing profession through advanced coursework in leadership, health policy, research translation, and clinical knowledge and skills."