First students in Doctor of Nursing Practice program graduated

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program graduated its first three students this spring.

“It was very exciting, but it was a lot of pressure. So we were kind of paving the way for other students,” graduate Terry Durley said. “It was very challenging, yet very rewarding at the same time. We were able to experience a lot of different subjects, take a lot of different subjects and go to different clinical areas.”

All students in the program are already Registered Nurses who work full-time and study part-time for 4 1/2 years. They take a combination of academic and hands-on classes, practicing skills like suturing. When the students graduate, they become Nurse Practitioners.

“The fact that it's doctoral level, that addition of different classes and different projects and things like that, certainly adds an exciting element to it,” third-year student Douglas Kozeluh said.

You may even have a nurse practitioner as your primary care provider, but graduates explained they were different than doctors.
“We do a lot of the same type of things, and we see patients like a physician does,” graduate Myrth Condon said. “However, we have a little bit different focus when we see them.”

That different focus is based on the two professionals’ different education backgrounds. Medical doctors are trained in diseases and how to cure them, while nurse practitioners put a sharper focus on care.

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