Trustees approve nursing doctorate degree in West Lafayette, Purdue Northwest program realignment

December 19, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Saturday (Dec. 19) approved a doctorate degree for nursing at the West Lafayette campus, and the realignment of two nursing programs at Purdue Northwest.

A doctor of philosophy in nursing will help Purdue meet the national call to increase the number of nurses with a doctorate, said Christine Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

“Nurse scientists are in critical need to address issues related to health care delivery and patient care, and our Purdue program will build on established campus relationships, especially in engineering and health care systems,” Ladisch said.

The graduate courses developed for this degree also will be open to graduate students across campus to reinforce the program’s interdisciplinary aspect. The School of Nursing is housed in the College of Health and Human Sciences, and it already offers graduate degrees at the master’s level and a doctor of nursing practice.

“The goal of this new program is to educate the next generation of nursing scholars and scientists,” said Jane Kirkpatrick, head of the School of Nursing and associate dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “Because of the nation’s significant nursing faculty shortage, we anticipate our graduates will be heavily recruited by universities and colleges.”

There also is demand for nursing scientists in industry as hospital and health care systems seek to hire them for executive leadership positions or as nurse researchers. This is key for hospitals to obtain credentialing from the Magnet Recognition Program, which recognizes quality patient care and nursing excellence. Nurses with doctoral degrees comprise less than 1 percent of the nursing workforce.

The program is subject to approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and if approved, the school plans to admit students in 2017.

Trustees also approved the realignment of nursing programs from Purdue University Calumet in Hammond and Purdue University North Central in Westville to be transferred to Purdue Northwest. This move was approved to ensure that required state licensure could be maintained as the two campuses unify their academic organizations. The unification plan was approved by the trustees in October. This request is subject to approval by the Higher Learning Commission. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Sources: Christine Ladisch,

Jane Kirkpatrick, 765-494-6644,

Wes Lukoshus, 219-989-2217,

Carol Connelly, 219-785-5267, 

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