Doctor of Nurse Practitioner Program graduates its first students

DNP Hooding Event

On August 13, Baptist College of Health Sciences held a walk-thru graduation and private event for our Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates. The event marked the hooding of the College’s first ever doctoral graduates with five students graduating with their Doctor of Nursing Practice with a concentration in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The program started enrolling students in the January 2018 and takes three years to complete. The new graduates are able to treat patients 16 and older. Across the country, there is a growing need for more advanced health care providers, like nurse practitioners, with critical skills to care for complex patients with an aging population.

“We are proud of our very first class of graduating nurse practitioners,” said Dr. Betty Sue McGarvey, president of the newly-renamed Baptist Health Sciences University. “Now that we have become a University, we look forward to welcoming more doctoral students and graduating more nurse practitioners, whose practice is needed now more than ever in our communities.”

Each graduate was hooded by doctor of nurse practitioner faculty members Dr. Cathy Stepter and Dr. Renee Parker. Their degrees were conferred by the registrar, dean and president of the now Baptist Health Sciences University.

“While the last several months and graduation ceremonies were disrupted due to COVID-19, our new nurse practitioner graduates have worked hard to complete their course loads and clinicals,” said Dr. Stepter, who also serves as the Doctor of Nursing Practice program chair. “They are well-prepared to take on the health care needs of our Mid-South patients.”

The graduates were able to invite five guests to the attend the event, where masks and other social distancing measures were observed. Following the doctoral hooding event, individual private events were held for each Baptist College undergraduate to walk across the stage, receive a diploma and have their pictures taken. Their degrees were earned under the Baptist College of Health Sciences name.

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Proverbs 16:3