Campus News

UK College of Nursing celebrates 20 years of DNP

nursing celebration
UK College of Nursing Dean Rosalie Mainous and Mayor Linda Gorton at the 20th anniversary celebration of the DNP program.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2023) — The University of Kentucky College of Nursing (CoN) recently celebrated 20 years of its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. UK’s DNP program was the first in the nation, and on April 14 faculty, alumni and students joined together to celebrate all the incredible nurses that come from UK.

The UK DNP program is now ranked in the top 5% of DNP programs in the nation. It focuses on development of advanced competencies for complex practice, and research utilization for the improvement of clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and system management.

Mayor Linda Gorton was also in attendance at the celebration. She declared April 14, 2023, as UK College of Nursing DNP Day. CoN Dean Rosalie Mainous says the college is grateful for Mayor Gorton’s dedication to supporting nurses in our community.

“I was honored not only to preside over the 20th anniversary celebration, but also to celebrate former Dean Carolyn Williams,” said Mainous. “Her work at the national level through the American Association of Nursign Colleges (AACN) established the DNP degree and was the launchpad for a longstanding tradition of excellence.”

Williams, Ph.D., is a former president of the American Academy of Nursing and was crucial to the creation of the DNP program at UK. She was dean of the UK College of Nursing from 1984 to 2006.

“This event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our leaders, faculty, students and community partners that allowed for this clinical doctorate to come to fruition,” said Sheila Melander, Ph.D., associated dean of MSN/DNP Faculty and Practice Affairs. “It was a great time to celebrate our graduates and their many contributions across our state and nation that have resulted in positive changes and impacted patient and healthcare system outcomes. Many projects were shared that showed the reach of our college.”

For more information on the UK College of Nursing DNP program, visit their website.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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