DNP Students

Program overview

The DNP program at the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing prepares advanced practice nurses who will:

  • Function as nurse practitioners working in increasingly diverse populations, complex healthcare systems and clinical nursing education;
  • Transform patient care through interdisciplinary collaboration, population-focused and evidenced-based health interventions, and measurement of the outcomes of these interventions at both the individual and community aggregate levels; and
  • Be the future leaders that advance nursing and health care practices in Southeastern Massachusetts, the Commonwealth, and beyond.

Adult Gerontology Primary Care track

‌The Adult Gerontology Primacy Care DNP will lead the transformative reform of health systems to achieve and maintain safe clinical practice environments, promote health, wellness and high quality patient care, and translate research into innovative practices that improve health outcomes and contain health care costs to both patients and society. 

The DNP course work includes translation research methods, theory, health policy, population health, informatics, systems leadership, leadership residencies, and a capstone project to achieve the goals for the DNP and to meet national accreditation and certification standards.

Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track

This track of the BS to DNP program educates registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree for an advanced practice role in psychiatric healthcare.

Nurses with a DNP are prepared to serve as clinical leaders and integral members of the healthcare team. Their expertise in quality improvement and systems leadership influences health care systems, health policy and health care outcomes for individuals, families, and underserved populations.

The College of Nursing will admit the first class of DNP students to the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program for the fall of 2017. Applications are will be reviewed through May, 2017. The Psychiatric and Mental Health DNP program is offered as a part-time option. Courses will be a combination of on-campus and blended.

For further information regarding the Psychiatric and Mental Health BS-DNP program and the application process, please contact: Victoria Vital.

Faculty and principal area of expertise

  • Deborah Armstrong, Assistant Professor; PhD, University of Massachusetts Worcester; Spinal cord injury, Pathophysiology
  • Marilyn Asselin, Associate Professor; PhD, University of Rhode Island; Reflection in practice, knowledge, utilization, leadership, reflective teaching practice, qualitative methodology
  • Anne Marie Caron, Lecturer; DNP,RN,ANP-BC, University Massachusetts Dartmouth; Long term care, geriatric medicine, antibiotic stewardhsip, chronic illness management
  • Elizabeth Chin, Assistant Professor; PhD, University of Massachusetts Worcester; COPD, self-management, symptom management, qualitative methodology, learning differences
  • Kathleen Elliot, Lecturer and DNP Clinical Coordinator, DNP, ANP-BC, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Substance Misuse Disorders and Medically Underserved populations
  • Christine Gadbois, Lecturer, DNP, APHN-BC, University Massachusetts Dartmouth; Administration, public health, public policy, behavioral health, disabilities, home health
  • Divina Grossman, Professor, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Pennsylvania; Health disparities, health equity, diversity and cultural competence, hypertension and blood pressure, chronobiology and circadian rhythms
  • June Andrews Horowitz, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research & Professor; PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, New York University (PhD); family mental health, perinatal/postpartum mental health disorders—specifically postpartum depression, mother -infant interaction, neurophysiologic markers for depressed mothers and their infants, intervention research, mixed methods research
  • Susan Hunter Revell, Associate Professor; PhD, University of Rhode Island; Spinal cord injury, technology in the classroom, theory
  • Sharon Keating, Lecturer, RN, FNP, University Rhode Island; Technology to improve weight loss in adolescents, emerging adults patients
  • Mary McCurry, DNP Graduate Program Director, Associate Professor; PhD,RNC, ANP, ACNP, Boston College; Decision making, family care givers,technology in the classroom, theory and philosophy of nursing science
  • Margaret Rudd-Arieta, Lecturer, DNP, PPCNP-BC, University Massachusetts Dartmouth, Board Certified Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Emerging adults, Type I Diabetes, asthma, informatics
  • Gail Russell, Professor Emeritus; EdD, NEA-BC, Columbia University; Leadership in health systems
  • Monika Schuler, Lecturer, PhD, RN, CNE, Northeastern University; Role development and nursing education
  • Kristen Sethares, Graduate Program Director of PhD, Professor; PhD, CNE, Boston College; Chronic cardiac illness, self care, symptom management, quantitative methodology
  • Janet Sobczak, Associate Professor; PhD, PMHNP-BC, PPCNS-BC, Medical School of Georgia; Substance addictions, Eating disorders, Trauma, Women's mental health, Sexuality Qualitative methods, Mixed methods
  • Caitlin Stover, Interim Graduate Program Director of MS, Assistant Professor; PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, CNE, University of Massachusetts Worcester; Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender health care, community program planning and evaluation
  • Jennifer Viveiros, Lecturer, PhD, CNE, Univrersity Massachusetts Dartmouth; Memory, cognitive impairment, education

Degree Requirements

DNP students complete 63 academic credits that include over 1000 hours of clinical practice. In addition, students complete a scholarly project that translates research into practice and measures the effectiveness of this intervention in terms of both health outcomes and cost effectiveness.

Program Highlights

The nursing faculty create rich and meaningful student experiences that build on undergraduate education and clinical competencies to address the career aspirations of the student. Classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences are structured to expand the skills and grow the confidence of the student as APRNs and nurse leaders. The support and collaboration of community partners–both clinicians and health care agencies–are essential components of this program.

Faculty Research

The faculty of the College of Nursing conduct research in two broad areas—living with chronic illness and innovations in nursing education. Support for this work comes from a variety of sources:

  • the US Department of Health Education and Welfare
  • the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
  • professional groups and community agencies

Recently, Dr. Kristen Sethares’ work on congestive heart failure and patient self-care was recognized when she was an invited presenter at the Chancellor’s Colloquium.

Our faculty of the College of Nursing are recognized experts and are actively involved in service projects in Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. Our faculty serve as consultants for our practice partners and professional groups. Faculty are frequently invited speakers at professional meetings and give peer-reviewed poster and podium presentations throughout the US. Many faculty volunteer for local, regional, national and international health initiatives.


The UMass Dartmouth graduate nursing program opened in the late 1980s and has produced over 250 graduates who work in southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. In 2007, the PhD in Nursing admitted its first cohort of students and has grown steadily.

The new BS-DNP program positions the graduates of UMass Dartmouth to meet certification criteria as an adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

Many graduates continue their affiliation with the College of Nursing by serving as preceptors, mentors, clinical instructors and guest lecturers for our students. We are very proud of the many accomplishments of our graduates and their continuing commitment to UMass Dartmouth.

Some examples are:

  • Dr. Mary McCurry, Associate Professor and DNP Graduate Program Director here at UMass Dartmouth is a graduate of the ANP track of the MS program.
  • Dr. Margaret Rudd- Arieta, DNP Faculty at UMass Dartmouth, is a graduate of the Post-MS DNP Program.
  • Dr. Christine Gadbois, Vice President, Seven Hills Rhode Island, DNP Adjunct Faculty at UMass Dartmouth, is a graduate of the Post-MS DNP Program.