State to allow new nursing doctorate program
By Desiree Hunter
Associated Press Writer
MONTGOMERY — One new Doctor of Nursing Practice program will be allowed in Alabama and there will be a three year moratorium on others under a recommendation approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education committee on Thursday after a lengthy and sometimes contentious debate.
The 11-member committee voted 6-5 to approve the recommendation, which some nursing and education officials said would be a major setback to their efforts to deal with a nationwide shortage of nurses.
The University of South Alabama currently has the state’s lone program for nursing doctorates and Troy University and the 3-campus University of Alabama System have submitted proposals to start programs.
Ellen Haulman, staff associate for the commission, said there are 27 nursing doctorate programs in the country that are currently admitting students. The USA program was approved last fall. There were 20 students in its first class and 45 have been admitted for the upcoming fall session.
Haulman said the three-year moratorium — which lasts until Oct. 1, 2010 — would allow the necessary time to evaluate students who complete the program at the University of South Alabama and the newly approved additional program.
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