The first group of students to enroll in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program are set to graduate and will participate in the Department of Nursing hooding ceremony from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 7 at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union.

The joint doctoral program, known as the California State University, Northern Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice, is offered through Fresno State and San Jose State University. The degree is designed to prepare nurse leaders and advance nurses for research-based practice in patient care, leadership and educational roles.

Of the 31 students graduating, 14 have previously earned graduate or undergraduate degrees at Fresno State.

“We’re excited to see this first class of graduates earn their degrees and influence best practices in nursing. It’s going to impact the level of care in the Central Valley,” said Sylvia Miller, Fresno State’s director of the program and associate professor of nursing.

Each student developed a doctoral project to change a health care outcome within a particular group or community. Five students were selected to present their projects at the National Doctors of Nursing Practice Conference Oct. 8-10 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Student research includes the following projects:

  • “Gestational Diabetes in a Military Population” by Stacy Wise, nurse educator and disease manager for the director of medical services at Naval Hospital Lemoore.
  • “The Impact of Cue-Based Feeding Protocol on Premature Infants’ Outcomes and Hospital Length of Stay” by Diana Cormier, neonatal intensive care nurse at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno.
  • “Exploring Ethnic Diversity in Nursing Practice Through a Literature Review” by Helen Hubbard, nursing faculty at Fresno City College.

“Two years ago I would not have had the knowledge, skill or confidence to approach these tasks and now I do,” said student Christopher Patty, a medication safety specialist at Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia.

The five-semester, 37-unit program is designed for working professionals and is offered online with occasional sessions held on both campuses. About 90 percent of students worked 30 or more hours per week while enrolled in the program.

For more information, contact Sylvia Miller at 559.278.4788 or

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