Teresa Schneider, of Wooster, poses for a photograph in the Maternal Health Simulation Laboratory that is located in AU’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Mansfield. (Submitted Photo)

ASHLAND – Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences will graduate its first student from the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at AU’s Spring Commencement on May 14.

Teresa Schneider, of Wooster, Ohio, will be the first student to receive the DNP degree through AU’s program in Mansfield.

“The first cohort of the DNP program was admitted and began coursework in June 2014. Individuals who have a master’s degree as an advanced practice nurse enter the program to complete doctoral studies,” said Dr. Faye Grund, dean of the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “Those who are graduates of a bachelor’s degree in nursing program enter after one year of clinical experience and complete the BS to DNP program.

“These students are then eligible to test for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.”

Grund said a vision for graduate education of advanced practice nurses was initiated by the Schar College to assist surrounding communities with the current and projected shortage of primary care providers.

“The American Association of Colleges of Nursing initiated the directive to educate advanced practice nurses including nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and nurse anesthetists at the doctoral level, similar to physicians, pharmacists and physical therapists,” said Dr. Latina Brooks, director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. “This level of education for these providers is essential to advance health outcomes for communities and to promote health and wellness for populations.”

Grund said the program received approval from the Ohio Board of Regents in June 2013, approval from the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission in February 2014, entered the first cohort of students in June 2014, and had an accreditation site visit from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in September 2015.

Schneider, whose background is in critical care, emergency nursing and flight nursing, is certified as a Family and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner as well as critical care nursing.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Ohio State University in 1983 and her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Wright State University in 1996.

Her master’s thesis was titled “Incidence of Airway Management prior to arrival of a rotary airway service with the Glasgow Coma Scale Score as an Indicator.”

“I am proud of being able to attend Ashland University and be a part of this history and continue to work for advancements for our patients and profession,” Schneider said.

Schneider currently works as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in the emergency room at University Hospital’s Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland and Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon.

She believes that nursing is the most trusted profession, and notes that one of the highlights of her career was her work in flight nursing.

“My three children, ages 32, 26 and 19, are my biggest accomplishment and I am very proud of them, including my daughter in law,” she said. “They are all kind and intelligent.”

Now that her doctoral education is nearly complete, Schneider said she plans to spend more time working on some of her hobbies.

The Education section is brought to you by Ashland Family YMCA.

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