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New Year, New Coordination

Photo of New Coordinators for Phd, DNP, MS

In the new year, the College of Nursing has made a few changes in program coordination. Susan Tavernier, PhD, CNS, RN, AOCN(R), is the new program coordinator for the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) program and the Master’s of Science in Nursing (MS) program. Christine (Tina) Mladenka, DNP, APRN, CNP, WHNP-BC, is the new coordinator for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

A Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in education provides a wide range of career opportunities. Students are prepared to provide education in an academic, clinical or other settings across the healthcare landscape. The program also provides the opportunity to be successful in taking on leadership roles within an organization focused on improving patient safety, quality, and improved outcomes using available evidence.

The PhD in Nursing program prepares nurses to conduct original research. Many of the nurses who are working to obtain their PhD in nursing are changing patient care and nursing as we know it. PhD prepared nurses collaborate as scholars and leaders to improve the health of a population. The faculty at ISU College of Nursing have expertise in many research methodologies and patient populations.

“My goal is to streamline processes and increase the focus on the student in the programs (PhD and MSN). We expect to see increased enrollment, high student satisfaction, and stellar scholarship,” says Dr. Tavernier. As program coordinator, she will oversee the application process, the progression of the students and curricula. She says communication between faculty and students is vital in her new position.

The DNP Program is a practice-focused doctorate that offers two options, the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) tracks. The DNP prepares clinical leaders for comprehensive clinical nursing practice that influences health care outcomes for individuals or populations, grounded in evidence-based application in today’s health care system. “At ISU, we think it is an important part of the learning experience to schedule clinical intensives each semester that require DNP students to meet on campus as a group to experience in-person educational presentations, standardized patient assessments, and interactions with each other. Moreover, faculty make every effort to complete in-person clinical site visits once a semester to talk to the student and preceptor,” says Dr. Mladenka. “The majority of faculty that teach for the DNP program are full time faculty who are genuinely concerned for their students and provide individualized support to facilitate the success of each student in the program.”

As the new coordinator for the DNP program, Dr. Mladenka will provide leadership and clinical experience, along with teaching and performing administrative duties. “Our goal is to continue to offer the high quality graduate education we currently provide to DNP students. FNP and PMHNP graduates have high pass rates on their certification tests. The DNP faculty will work together as a team to maintain high quality education and incorporate evolving standards in national DNP educational requirements and competencies into the program,” stated Dr. Mladenka.

Leadership in the College of Nursing are excited to support Susan and Tina in their new positions, and show their appreciation for their hard work and dedication they have for their programs. Congratulations to these two!

Written by: Lindsay Taylor, College of Nursing Career Path Intern

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