GWU’s New Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs Earn Regional Accreditation Approval

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Degrees will be Offered in Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Anna Hamrick - nursing professor at GWU
Dr. Anna Hamrick

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Hunt School of Nursing (HSON) at Gardner-Webb University is pleased to announce that its new Doctor of Nursing Practice programs have received accreditation approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The entry level post baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice programs for Family Nurse Practitioners (DNP-FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (DNP-PMHNP) are set to enroll the first cohort of students in August. The DNP-FNP will be a transition of the currently offered Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) to a doctoral entry level program.

“The MSN-FNP program has been successful in preparing primary care providers for our region, and currently has over 120 practicing NP’s across the southeast region of the U.S.,” noted Dr. Anna S. Hamrick, GWU assistant professor of nursing and chair, doctoral nursing programs. “The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, the preeminent national nurse practitioner faculty organization, announced on April 18, 2018, its commitment to moving all entry-level nurse practitioner (NP) education to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree by 2025. Gardner-Webb University and the Hunt School of Nursing has worked diligently to transition our MSN-FNP program to the doctoral level. Not only do we plan to continue to educate the next generation of primary care FNP’s, we will add a population foci for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners.”

The post master’s entry Doctor of Nursing Practice – Leadership program has been offered in the HSON since 2010. The DNP-FNP and DNP-PMHNP will continue the school’s tradition of leadership in nursing education programs and further the HSON distinction of preparing healthcare providers in a community of faith and learning.

“Graduate faculty have designed an innovative curriculum for the new DNP-FNP and DNP-PMHNP that will prepare excellent, direct patient care clinicians, as well as nurse leaders of the future,” Hamrick observed. “Students will take a variety of courses developing a strong scientific foundation for assessment, diagnosis and treatment of diverse patient populations. In addition, the curriculum prepares the graduate with an overview of the social determinants of health, population health, financial implications of practice, and the need for advocacy.”

While providing an exceptional learning experience, the HSON faculty and staff promote the school’s mission to “enhance the health status of the global community by preparing individuals to practice holistic and professional nursing through the provision of student-centered programs of study for a diverse student population that promotes academic excellence within a Christian, private, liberal arts setting utilizing teamwork and community engagement.”

For additional information on the new programs, please contact the Gardner-Webb University Graduate Admissions Office at or visit:

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a place where Christian compassion meets critical thinking. A private, Christian, liberal arts university, Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective servant-leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at