The MGH Institute's First DNP Graduates

First Doctor of Nursing Practice Students Making Their Mark

2008 DNP Grads
Drs. Valerie Fuller, Stephanie Ahmed, and Sheila Davis have accomplished great things since receiving their DNP degrees in 2008.

Since the MGH Institute created the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program — among the first four accredited in the United States — its graduates have gone on to become leaders in the nursing profession.

Drs. Stephanie Ahmed, Sheila Davis, and Valerie Fuller, who in 2008 became the program’s first three graduates, founded the New England Organization of Doctors of Nursing Practice to lead discussion around what role DNPs should play in shaping the future of health care.

In just four years, they've led the discussion on how DNPs can impact nursing in the 21st Century.

“We were newly minted and it felt like the nursing world was not ready for us yet,” explains Dr. Ahmed, the nursing director for ambulatory care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We were seeking to encourage others to start thinking about the impact of the degree upon our roles as nurse leaders and the evolution in nursing practice that was underway.”

DNP Education, Practice and Policy, published July 2012

After presenting at several conferences — including the 2nd National DNP Conference in 2010 — the women reunited with School of Nursing Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies Linda Andrist, PhD, RNC, WHNPBC, to co-author DNP Education, Practice and Policy: Redesigning Advanced Practice Roles for the 21st Century. The book  published in July 2012.

“The DNP program made me look at everything I do in a new way,” says Dr. Fuller, who last summer was appointed by Maine Governor Paul LePage to represent Advanced Practice Registered Nurses on the Maine State Board of Nursing.

Adds Dr. Davis, an assistant professor at the Institute and Director of Global Nursing at Partners In Health, “The education I received during the DNP program was instrumental in providing me with the tools necessary for my position at PIH. I learned to approach nursing from a systems perspective.”

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