SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Launches Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree Program

Aug 26, 2019

The First Cohort of 10 students to be enrolled in the Spring of 2020

In response to a growing and critical shortage of primary care providers in New York and the nation, the College of Nursing at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University will launch a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. The first cohort of 10 students is expected to be enrolled in the Spring of 2020.

The three-year program will combine both distance and online instruction in all facets of advanced practice nursing for students who have already completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The DNP program is also open to nurses who already have a Master of Science in Nursing, and who may be able to complete their degree in just two years.

“The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program addresses a critical part of the SUNY Downstate mission by preparing nurses to be leaders in improving care and working to eliminate health disparities in ethnically diverse neighborhoods,” said Wayne J. Riley, M.D., President of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. “With fewer physicians entering primary care coupled with an aging population with more complex health needs, the impact that graduates of our Doctor of Nursing Practice program will have on quality and access to care cannot be overstated.”

Graduates of the DNP program will also play a significant role in training future nurses, both as faculty in the College of Nursing at SUNY Downstate and at other institutions.  The American Association of Colleges of Nursing estimated that there were almost 1,600 faculty vacancies throughout the nation’s nursing schools in 2018, with many positions going unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates.

“The DNP program will prepare our graduates to be healthcare leaders who will drive improvements that impact patients wherever they touch the healthcare system,” said Lori Escallier, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, FAAN, Dean of the College of Nursing at SUNY Downstate. “Whether as clinicians, administrators, or teachers, they will help shape how we address disparities in access, implement best practices, and create a better healthcare system for the future.”

The College of Nursing at SUNY Downstate offers nine different degree and certificate programs across the spectrum of nursing education, including:

  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science – Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science -Nurse Midwifery
  • Advanced Certificate – Family Nurse Practitioner 
  • Advanced Certificate – Nursing Education
  • Advanced Certificate – Women’s Health Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice 

More than 350 students are enrolled in the College of Nursing for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Potential students interested in learning more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree or any of the College of Nursing programs can email admissions@downstate.eduor call (718) 270-7600.


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.