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King University Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Receives Accreditation by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

BRISTOL, Tenn., June 2, 2016 – King University received notification from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) that the University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has been granted accreditation status by the accrediting body.

The CCNE acted at its meeting on May 3-5, 2016, to grant accreditation to the DNP program at King University for five years, extending to June 30, 2021. The accreditation action is effective as of November 16, 2015, which was the first day of the program’s recent CCNE on-site evaluation. The next on-site evaluation will take place in the fall of 2020.

“The School of Nursing (SON) is elated to receive notification today of our DNP program’s accreditation status,” says Dr. Cecelia Lynn Holden, dean and associate professor King University School of Nursing. “Nursing has the great distinction of having developed the first doctoral program at King University. To receive accreditation by the CCNE is a tremendous honor. This achievement could not have been attained without the assistance of many people at King, including Dr. Rhonda Morgan, associate dean of Graduate Studies for King’s School of Nursing, who led the accreditation journey, the faculty, administration, and many others who worked behind the scenes to assist us with this accomplishment. This achievement demonstrates that King continues to design and offer quality nursing programs.”

In December 2013, after a rigorous examination process, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states, voted to approve King’s application to operate as a Level V institution. King University was initially granted approval by SACSCOC to implement the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in August 2014.

King’s DNP program is a practice-focused platform, which contributes to the expansion of knowledge underlying advanced professional nursing practice. This program places emphasis on essential knowledge development in areas including translation of research into practice, evaluation of interdisciplinary teamwork for performance excellence, and dissemination of new knowledge for outcomes improvement. The program was designed using the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“The DNP program was designed by highly experienced nurse educators for nurses in a variety of practice and leadership roles,” says Holden. “This program was developed specifically for the full-time working professional. The curriculum is 36 semester hours and was designed to be completed in two calendar years. The part-time, two classes per semester program is ideal for the full-time professional nurse. We are extremely proud of our DNP program and look forward to many years of educating nurses at an advanced level to evaluate and translate research, thus improving health care outcomes for varied populations served.”

King’s DNP program is offered in a hybrid learning format where the majority of the courses are offered online with three required face-to-face colloquia at King’s Hardin Valley campus in Knoxville, Tenn. The program consists of 36 semester hours, 1,000 documented post-baccalaureate clinical hours, a culminating translational research project, and demonstration of identified final degree competencies. Some of the courses include Applied Statistics for Evidence-based Practice, Nursing Informatics, Leadership of Complex Systems and Organizations, and Ethical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice.

Holden says, “DNP graduates are prepared at the highest level to assume leadership and improvement roles in practice, executive function, and education as practitioners, informaticists, administrators, faculty, case managers, quality and safety officers, infection disease practitioners, policy specialists, and entrepreneurs within the planning, delivery, and evaluation of healthcare outcomes.”

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at King University is open to qualified applicants who hold a master’s degree in Nursing from an accredited school and a current unencumbered license as a registered nurse, including practitioners, educators, nurse specialists, generalists, and administrators.

Master’s-level nurses interested in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at King University are encouraged to attend an Open House held on the School’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn., on Tuesday, June 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in room 109 of Nicewonder Hall. For more information email King’s Office of Admissions at or visit.

The baccalaureate degree in Nursing, master's degree in Nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice at King University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC  20036, 202.887.6791. Visit the CCNE website at


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.