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Too Few Teachers for Too Few Nurses

Within the next year, IUP will welcome students to its new doctoral program in nursing. The program, approved in January by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, will help alleviate the critical shortage of nurse educators that now exists. Because there are too few nurse educators with appropriate credentials, and because so many are close to retirement, nursing programs across the country are turning away students at the same time the nation is experiencing a shortage of trained nurses.

“The need for qualified nurses continues to grow,” said Carleen Zoni, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “One strategy to meet this need is to increase enrollment in nursing programs and increase the number of faculty with appropriate academic qualifications to teach in these programs. IUP’s doctoral program will have a specialized focus on nursing education and will develop nurse teacher-scholars who are both experts in nursing pedagogy and prepared to conduct advanced research.”

Offered on a cohort basis, the program will comprise 60 credits, spread over eight semesters. The curriculum has three components: a nursing core, a research core, and support courses that allow for specialized study. Each cohort will consist of approximately eighteen students.

IUP’s Department of Nursing and Allied Health includes, in addition to the new doctoral program, both undergraduate and master’s programs. The Allied Health Professions programs are respiratory care, clinical laboratory service, nuclear medicine technology, and a gerontology certification program.

This is IUP’s ninth doctoral degree program. The university also offers more than one hundred undergraduate majors and more than forty master’s degree programs.