With a continued nursing shortage across the United States, the profession is growing in popularity. Bradley University has provided an education in nursing since 1956. In May, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program received accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) making it even more competitive.

For students, attending an accredited program offers important benefits. They include transferability of degrees or certificates to other accredited programs and eligibility for certain federally or state-funded student loans and entitlement programs. Perhaps most crucially, it gives students an advantage when searching for a job, as employers prefer to hire graduates of accredited programs.

Between 2009 and 2018 there was a 22.2 percent growth in nursing positions, according to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making nursing the nation's top profession in terms of projected job growth. Unfortunately, there is still a distributional imbalance of nurses at the state level, the authors concede that the national projections may be confounded by a number of factors, including the expanding roles for nurses, population growth, and an aging nursing workforce.

Launched in 2015, the online program leading to a DNP offers two tracks: DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or DNP-Leadership. The DNP programs are designed for nursing professionals who’ve already earned a bachelor’s (DNP-FNP) or master’s (DNP-Leadership) degree.

CCNE is a self-governing accrediting agency committed to the improvement of public health and ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

“This recognition by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is gratifying,” said Dr. Cindy Brubaker, chair of the nursing department. “We believe strongly in the excellence of our DNP curriculum and faculty, and CCNE certification validates their quality.”

The university’s baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in nursing, as well as the post-graduate FNP certificate program, are also accredited by the CCNE. The DNP program’s accreditation is good through June 30, 2023.