Higher Learning Commission Approves IWU Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

IWU nameplate

At its meeting on October 22, 2012, the Institutional Action Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) approved expansion of Indiana Wesleyan University's accreditation to include the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP). The degree is the second doctoral program available at IWU, the first doctoral program to be housed in the School of Nursing.

The DNP, the final and most advanced professional practice degree offered in the nursing field, emphasizes the development of a student's capacity to impact the clinical setting as a leader and to use clinical research to improve and transform health care.

IWU DNP curriculum is designed to prepare students to lead healthcare delivery teams serving diverse populations, synthesize leadership principles regarding ethical and legal issues within health care systems, and develop innovative practice approaches and influence healthcare policy from an interprofessional perspective. A global travel experience permits students to gain international skills that are necessary to address healthcare needs locally, nationally and globally.

"To have received approval by the Higher Learning Commission is a highpoint in helping us achieve our goal of increasing the number and quality of nursing professionals in Indiana and throughout the United States," said Dr. Henry Smith, IWU President.

"Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate a higher-than-average growth rate in the first quarter of the 21st century for health-care occupations," Smith said. "An even more important statistic is the lack of health care in the Midwestern states of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Seventy-one percent of the 300 tri-state counties are designated as medically underserved."

The first DNP class is scheduled for February 2013. Applications for enrollment are being accepted immediately.

The School of Nursing will be housed in the Science and Nursing building, a $45 million construction project located on the IWU residential campus scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.


Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church. The University, founded in 1920, is committed to liberal arts and professional education.

More than 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the University's main campus in Marion, Indiana. Nearly 12,500 adult learners attend classes at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and online.

More News