Introducing Two New Health-Related Graduate Programs

Two new graduate-level offerings in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences—the BSN-DNP Nurse Executive Leadership (NEL) program and a master’s of science in athletic training—are providing enhanced opportunities for students, while also producing healthcare leaders and better meeting the needs of today’s healthcare industry.

The BSN-DNP NEL program prepares expert leaders to bring evidence-based knowledge into the practice arena, improve healthcare outcomes, and strengthen the executive nurse leadership role in guiding complex care delivery. In addition to nurses with baccalaureate degrees who wish to pursue graduate-level nurse executive leadership education leading to the DNP degree, the NEL concentration allows nurse leaders with non-nursing master’s degrees (e.g. MBA, MPH) to attain the DNP degree.

“This program uniquely provides nurse executive leaders with an advanced nursing doctoral degree to complement their expertise in related areas of business, public health, and health administration,” said Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “It brings together skills that leverage excellence in healthcare networks in our region.”


The NEL track was approved in December 2021, and the first cohort of students begins this summer. Courses will be taught in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, accelerating the time to completion of the DNP degree.

In addition to this doctoral program, Southeastern’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies is now offering a master’s of science degree in athletic training. Department Head Charity Bryan said the degree will provide a comprehensive, progressive, educational and clinical foundation to prepare graduates for a career in athletic training, which is recognized by the American Medical Association as a healthcare profession.

“Certified Athletic Trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients in professional and collegiate sports, public and private schools, sports medicine clinics, occupational health settings, and physician offices, as well as many other emerging and developing settings,” she said. “Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities.”


Classes in the program are taught by nationally recognized experts in their fields who hold doctoral degrees, she
explained. Program students can gain clinical experience with high school, college, and professional teams, as well as various other settings, and will be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification national credentialing examination. Upon completion of the program, students will have graduated from a nationally accredited athletic training program.

MSAT Program Director Ryan Green said jobs associated with the degree include athletic trainer, orthopedic specialist, sports medicine assistant, physician’s assistant, physical therapist, exercise physiologist, health coach, strength and conditioning specialist, and teacher.

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