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Enrollment suspended for UND nursing specialization

Enrollment has been suspended for UND's advanced public health nurse program. The program is a part of the master's of science in nursing track at the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines. Dean Gayle Roux said the decision was made...

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Enrollment has been suspended for UND's advanced public health nurse program.

The program is a part of the master's of science in nursing track at the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines.

Dean Gayle Roux said the decision was made because of limited faculty resources within the college, the specialized nature of the program and its small size.

"I would say 99 percent of faulty I work with understand the decision and were in favor," she said. "Although this is never what we wish for because we value the specialty, we have so many faculty needs in the other graduate tracks where two-thirds of students are turned away because we don't have the resources to admit them."

The decision will not affect accreditation, Roux said, and students in the program, including the three signed up for this fall, will be taught until they obtain their degrees.

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The advanced public health program is the only one offered in North Dakota, but moving forward the plan is to offer a three-year path from a bachelor's of nursing degree to a doctor of nursing practice degree.

"This fits in with our longer-term curriculum plan," Roux said.

Despite budget cuts during the 2015-16 school year, Roux said her college didn't lose any faculty to buyouts or layoffs, though two retired who had been at the school for about 30 years.

The four faculty members who teach advanced public health courses will remain at UND even as the program is phased out because they have several roles within the college.

"Primarily this is because we do function on a pretty well-structured faculty model and workload and also because we have faculty shortages in the health field," Roux said.

The program's historical enrollment data was not available by press time.

"The discontinuation of programs is not as unusual as it might seem," interim Vice President for University and Public Affairs Peter Johnson said. "It just usually doesn't get much attention and tends to happen slowly."

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