Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are advanced healthcare practitioners with similar responsibilities, such as diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medications. However, their training and paths toward certification differ in significant ways. This blog post unpacks the key differences between NPs and PAs to help you determine which career path best aligns with your goals. What Is a Nurse Practitioner? A nurse practitioner (NP) is a licensed clinician who provides comprehensive healthcare to patients of all ages. An NP can work in virtually any healthcare setting, diagnosing patient conditions and prescribing medications. As of October 2022, nurse practitioners have full practice authority in 27 states, meaning that they can practice Read more
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) has announced that the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Post-Graduate Nursing Certificate – Family Nurse Practitioner Specialization (PG Certificate – FNP) programs have been granted accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). CCNE accreditation is a nongovernmental peer review process that operates in accordance with nationally recognized standards established for the practice of accreditation in the United States. The initial five-year accreditation, the maximum accreditation new programs can receive, comes following a rigorous process that included submission of a comprehensive self-study, a site visit by the CCNE accrediting team, and a thorough review of the DNP and FNP curriculum and processes.
CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of academic nursing programs through its robust accreditation process, serving the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and entry-to-practice nurse residency programs.
“We are very pleased that the DNP and PG Certificate – FNP programs have earned CCNE accreditation,” said USAHS President Dr. Divina Grossman. “Earning CCNE accreditation for these programs means the university is poised to help in the national effort to address the critical shortage of advanced-practice nurses, nursing faculty, and leaders in the United States. Nurse practitioners are also vital to addressing the country’s shortage of primary care physicians.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an anticipated 31 percent increase in the demand for nurse practitioners with a DNP or FNP credentials by the year 2026, representing more than 64,000 additional jobs.
“University leadership, experienced faculty, the stellar Nursing Advisory Council, and current nursing students all contributed to the effort for CCNE accreditation, and we thank them for their continued commitment to excellence,” said Dr. Robin Dennison, Director of Nursing Programs. “We are proud to be a national leader in providing interprofessional, comprehensive health sciences programs and advanced practice nurses are among the most-needed in order to provide access to health care across the country.”
USAHS offers two paths to a DNP degree, either entry with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or for those students who have earned a master of science in nursing (MSN). Students complete a majority of the coursework online, allowing them to continue working full time while pursing an advanced degree. BSN-entry students who pursue the FNP specialization are required to complete two on-campus clinical immersions, which are offered at multiple USAHS locations. Students can also participate in optional on-campus immersions where they broaden their perspective through interprofessional learning activities, hone their oral presentation skills, network with alumni and health care professionals, meet one-on-one with the program director, and engage in dialogue with peers from various programs.