Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University, a leader in nursing education, recently announced plans to launch its Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in the fall of 2018. The DNP will be LRU’s first doctorate program offering in the University’s history.

Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges (SACSCOC), the DNP program is designed to meet the growing demand of healthcare that develops leading practitioners in the medical field. The DNP program is designed specifically for nurses seeking to increase their clinical expertise and maximize their potential for career growth.

“The approval of our first doctoral program is a very important moment in the history of Lenoir-Rhyne University. That this expansion is in our Nursing program is not surprising, given the over 50 years of quality leadership, curriculum development, and clinical practice embodied in LRU’s Nursing programs,” said Dr. Fred Whitt, University President. “We are honored to offer this program, and our exceptional faculty and staff remain focused on raising both the visibility and stature of our School of Nursing as well as our graduate programs generally to meet the professional needs of our students and our region.”

According to a 2015 report released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the DNP program generated a 26.2 percent increase in national enrollment from 2013 to 2014.

“The purpose of our DNP program is to prepare nurse practitioners, nurse executives, and public health nurse leaders to provide health care at the highest level of their specialty,” said Dr. Larry Hall, University Provost. “These advanced practice programs build upon our existing exceptional bachelor- and masters-level nursing degrees and our strong partnerships with health providers across our region to furnish our students even greater opportunities to enhance their professional aspirations and meet a pressing need in our region.”

In 2017, 97 percent of LRU’s nursing undergraduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination on their first attempt – one of the highest passage rates in the South Atlantic Conference.

LRU’s School of Nursing is the first fully accredited undergraduate program at a faith-based college or university and is widely recognized as a top nursing program. To learn more about LRU’s School of Nursing visit