Friday, December 12, 2014

Establishment of the Doctor of Nursing Practice is the excuse that UNCG is using to justify having the Union Square Campus build.

By  Jackie Billeci

In the locally released marketing of this new build, UNCG is the major stakeholder with claims that they need 20,000 square feet, access to a bunch of equipment etc... to accommodate 320 new students when fully operational.  In fact, the DNP, at least for nurse anesthetists is a re-work of a current post masters certificate program that has 2 enrolled students.  UNCG's intent is to mash the MS level and PM in anesthesia and gerontology . Even so, this does not demonstrate enough interest to justify the new building.  The number used in marketing isn't supported in the needs assessment either.  In fact, of the 179 returned surveys only 3% were interested in a DNP in anesthesia and 100% supported an on-line program, not an in place one.

The Union Square Campus is not implicitly mentioned in the establishment documents for the DNP.  Facilities is a topic of consideration in allowing a new program, particularly one described as substantive change.  It is acknowledged that the current facilities are inadequate to expansion, that a new nursing building at UNCG is a top priority.

But planning money for a new building was not supported by the legislature. 

The stated facility need was 6 additional faculty offices and some classroom space.  From the budget, they project that one-time expenses for facilities renovations or additions, equipment purchases would run $20,000 each in year 1 and 4.  The only other section that covered how differential expenses would be covered was the series of annual budgets based on a tuition differential (more on that later).  The amount of money from this source earmarked for facility (rent or lease) is $0.  In one other area there is a fragment of a sentence suggesting that Dr. Brady promised recurring money (which in UNCG parlance = tax dollars).

There is no letter of support from Moses Cone or suggestions that they support this degree at all.  The establishment documents claim that their affiliations are with Wake Forest and '500 doctors practices' in central NC to VA' and doesn't discuss the need to collaborate with Moses Cone or incorporate large scale instrumentation investment.  The only mention of Moses Cone is that a nurse leadership team of the Moses Cone Health Services supports a DNP program.  Since General Administration approved this program relying on the relationships stated, there is no need for UNCG to get involved in something new with Moses Cone, especially supported solely or majorly by the City of Greensboro taxpayers.  If UNCG needs something to benefit NC citizens (mission of UNC system), the cost should be borne by all NC citizens, not just for those unfortunate enough to live in Greensboro.

Wake Forest School of Medicine has a teaching hospital, clinic hours, equipment and 80 faculty in its Nursing School. They have pledged to partner and provide facilities, faculty practice, and mentoring support. Why isn't anyone  at UNCG saying 'wow, thank you'?

A point of interest which did not make the papers is that the establishment documents claim that much of the expense of expanding into the new degree program will be borne through a tuition differential [higher costs].  Tuition differentials are not uncommon in MBA programs and this has been tolerated because people that go into business administration tend to make more money than the rest.  I find it notable that this program boasts that graduating nurses with a doctorate may make $132K per year, which sounds like a lot for a nurse until you consider that a doctor graduating with, well, a doctorate in anesthesiology makes $260K per year base pay.  So why are people (women) being asked to pay more for their education to get a job that's 50 cents on the Dr. Doctor dollar?