DECATUR — Students at Millikin University will have two new degree programs to choose from during the 2013-14 academic year.
The first is a criminal justice minor being offered to undergraduates starting in the fall and the second is a doctoral program — Millikin’s first — to begin in nursing in January 2014.
“These new programs offer students the means to advance their performance in professional fields,” said Barry Pearson, vice president of academic affairs. “The new Doctor of Nursing Practice program is especially important because it recognizes the demand for highly trained nurses nationally.”
Deborah Slayton, director of the university’s school of nursing, said the program offers nurses who have a bachelor or master of science in nursing a chance to earn a doctorate in nursing practice with a specialty in nurse anesthesia.
The program will also offer nurses who already are advanced practice nurses and have a master’s degree — nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists — the chance to earn a doctorate in their specialty.
Millikin is one of five universities in Illinois to offer a nurse anesthesia program, and the university’s early entry into the practice mandate for nurse anesthetists should help graduates in the marketplace. New nurse anesthetists won’t be required to have a doctorate until 2025.
All that remains is for the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs to approve the transition from the current nurse anesthesia program to doctoral-granting program.
Slayton said Track 1 for nurses who are not advanced practice will probably take three academic years full time while Track 2 for advanced practice nurses will take about two years part time.
She said Track 1 will accept 14 students, with applications due July 1, and Track 2 will accept 12 to 15 students, with applications to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Bobbi Gentry, assistant professor of political science, said 25 current Millikin students have already signed up for the minor, which will involve an internship, three other required courses and three electives, for a total of 21 credit hours.
“Students are interested in criminal justice, and this is a chance to learn about all aspects of it,” she said.
The internship involves mentoring young people assigned to Teen Court or Truancy Court, participating in teen court proceedings or working with the Macon County Juvenile Justice Council.