Press Release: New Nursing Doctorate at CUNY Graduate Center Addresses Critical Shortage

At a time when the U.S. is facing an acute shortage of nurses, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York has established a new Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) Degree Program aimed at training nursing educators, as well as researchers and other health care leaders.  The new program was approved at the June meeting of the New York State Board of Regents and will begin this fall. The degree will be offered in conjunction with Hunter College, Lehman College, and the College of Staten Island.

“At the same time that health care providers are facing a critical shortage of nurses, nursing education programs are facing a critical shortage of faculty,” said Graduate Center President William P. Kelly.  “Here at the doctoral level, the net result is an extraordinary need and opportunity for us to educate new nursing faculty who will in turn prepare students to enter a vital and rapidly expanding career field.”

Designed for students who already hold master's degrees, The Graduate Center’s DNS program is unusual in that it is structured to allow nursing professionals to continue working while pursuing their doctorate. The rigorous curriculum, which will require a dissertation, will focus on clinical research and will prepare graduates to undertake projects that improve patient care and results.

In addition, the new program will complement The Graduate Center’s existing clinical doctorates in Physical Therapy and in Audiology.  The three clinical disciplines will be combined under Clinical Doctoral Programs, headed by Dr. Barbara E. Weinstein, Executive Officer.  Dr. Weinstein sees the perhaps unique possibility of creating interdisciplinary studies aimed at fields where all three clinical specialties have related needs, such as gerontology.

The DNS program has been developed to address a shortage of doctoral-trained nurses in New York City, helping to close a critical health-care gap. It is the only nursing doctorate program to be offered by a public university in the metropolitan area. In all (public and private) there are just five doctoral programs in nursing in the state, along with only one in New Jersey, two in Pennsylvania and two in Maryland.  

Building on CUNY’s tradition of excellence in nursing education, the program is expected to attract national nursing scholars eager to conduct clinical research and mentor the next generation of nursing faculty and nursing leaders. Graduates of the program will be prepared to fill faculty positions in schools of nursing, take on leadership positions in health administration and policy, and to assume staff positions as clinical nurse researchers.

Approximately ten students will be accepted in the first academic year, and 15 each will be enrolled in the second through fifth years. The curriculum consists of 48 credits, 9 in nursing science, 18 in research methods, 9 in health care and policy studies, 3 in research practicum, 3 in electives or independent study and 6 in dissertation seminar.  Prospective students seeking more information should contact Robert Biondi, Assistant Program Officer of the Clinical Doctoral Programs, at 212-817-7980, or visit their website

Submitted on: JUN 1, 2006

Category: Nursing Science | Press Room