Students in the UIW Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program attended spring orientation held Jan. 12-13. Pictured (L-R) Manuel Gonzalez, Geoffrey Gonzales, Jose Villa, Lisa Zerda, Elizabeth Leal, Modesta Garcia-Atwater, Decy Devere, and Steve Jaubert.

The University of the Incarnate Word’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing is now offering a new program for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) interested in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

“The program began in Aug. 2011 and we currently have nine students enrolled,” said Dr. Laura Muñoz, director of the DNP program. “The DNP program is taking the university to a new level, as well as priming students to become leaders in healthcare.”

The new program offers either full or part-time enrollment options using an online platform of learning with individualized clinical placements. Students enrolled in the program full-time have the opportunity to complete requirements in one calendar year.

“I am taking courses from Onalaska, Texas, and the program is a lot of work, but everyone at UIW is so helpful and supportive that it makes working to obtain the degree feasible,” said Skyler Salmasi, student in the DNP program. “As a UIW alumna, I cannot imagine completing the DNP program anywhere else but here.”

Individuals interested in applying for the program must hold a Master of Science in nursing from an accredited college or university and have a current unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse and APRN Certification in one of AACN-recognized specialties (NP, CNS, CNM, CRNA) with recognition to practice as an APRN by the Board of Nursing in the state of residence/practice.

“It is exciting that we are the first class and foundation of the DNP program,” said Lisa Zerda, DNP student. “For me, I feel that completing this degree will be opening a door to endless opportunities.”

For more information on the DNP program, visit