Three Flagler Hospital nurses made history recently when they completed their doctorate degrees and graduated as the first class of the UNF Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Barbara Drummond-Huth RN, Brenda Kingdon, RN and Sharon Smith, RN were the first nurses to complete the program and are all employed at Flagler Hospital. This is another first for Flagler Hospital, which was Northeast Florida’s first Magnet designated facility, a designation that only about 6% of health care facilities hold.
The 48-credit hour DNP program offers a post-professional degree that prepares nurses at the highest level of practice. It includes a clinical residency as well as a nursing doctoral project. The purpose of the program is to prepare advanced practice nurses with the education and skills to engage in an evidence-based practice while conducting research that relates to their practices.
“In the big picture of health care in Northeast Florida, the Brooks College of Health aims to provide the region with the highest quality of skilled nurses at the baccalaureate, master and doctoral levels,” says Dean Pamela S. Chally, PhD, RN. “We are exceptionally proud of our first three DNP graduates, all employed at Flagler Hospital. What a wonderful example of teamwork and support for one another.”
Each nurse also completed a lengthy evidence-based research project as part of the program. Drummond-Huth completed her project entitled “The Effect of Leadership Skill-Building on Nurse Leader Behaviors.” Kingdon wrote on “The Effect of Provider Education on Documentation Compliance in the OR,” and Smith on “Effect of an Educational Intervention on Hospital Acquired Urinary Tract Infection Rates.”
“We are proud to have three members of Flagler Hospital’s nursing leadership team as the first graduating class of the DNP program,” said Joe Gordy, Flagler Hospital president. “Their discipline and commitment is truly commendable and will no doubt have a positive impact on our hospital’s ongoing mission to provide the best patient experience with the best staff”
Barbara Drummond-Huth is Flagler Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, Brenda Kingdon is the Director of Surgical Services and Sharon Smith is the Nursing Director 5th Floor.