Inaugural class arrives on campus to kick off Doctor of Nursing Practice program

    Inaugural class arrives on campus to kick off Doctor of Nursing Practice program


    Excited smiles filled the nursing conference room on the fourth floor of the William Chambers Coker Science Building. The first cohort of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students arrived on campus for a meet and greet to begin the fall semester in August. 

    The inaugural class of five students comes from a variety of backgrounds that will add to their experience at Coker University. 

    “The DNP is the highest practice degree for nurses and reflects the changing demands in our complex healthcare environment,” Dean of Nursing Dr. Carolyn Hart said. “DNP-prepared nurses have a greater understanding of underlying knowledge of nursing practice; they are more informed about health equity and the quality of patient care.”

    The students will complete their coursework online, offering flexibility to continue their education while caring for patients daily. The program offers 11 courses on an 8-week term schedule. 

    The doctoral program is the latest addition to the University’s overall healthcare program expansion. The university welcomed its first Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) cohort in Fall 2022 while introducing a new healthcare education model to increase the number of healthcare workers and access to care in the Pee Dee region. 

    “It is an exciting time to be at Coker,” Dr. Hart said. “From the administration to our students, we are committed to advancing the nursing profession. Offering a doctoral degree in nursing is a recognition of how vital nursing care is to healthcare.” 

    Looking to further your nursing education? We are proud to offer extended nursing programs for working nurses looking to advance in their careers. From a traditional bachelor’s program to a degree completion or graduate degree, including a Doctorate of Nursing Practice - you’ll discover how you can be a leader in the nursing field. 

    Learn more at, and watch our YouTube video highlighting the amazing nursing program.