Approval by Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education results in more out-of-state nursing students

           AURORA, Colo. (Oct. 21, 2009) – Graduate students from 14 states surrounding Colorado can now attend University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing (CON) programs they don’t have in their states at in-state tuition rates. UC Denver CON was recently approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to offer new programs through the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) effective with the 2009-10 academic year. Colorado is one of 15 states belonging to WICHE. 

UC Denver CON’s approved degree programs for WICHE/WRGP include three Master of Science (MS) program options, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and the PhD program:

• Nursing – Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option – MS degree program (NEW)
• Nursing – Health Care Informatics option – MS degree program
• Nursing – Pediatric Nurse Leadership option – MS degree program  (NEW)
• Nursing Practice – DNP degree program  (NEW)
• Nursing – PhD degree program

“With the approval from WICHE/WRGP, nurses throughout the west will have access to these two new graduate program areas,” said Patricia Moritz, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean of the UC Denver CON. “This will help to enable those living in the western states to have Advanced Practice Nurses who are specialists in areas such as mental health, children with special needs, and clinical doctorate education.”

Classes are offered online with some intensive classroom activity for each of the options offered through WRGP.

“The UC Denver CON is known nationally for excellence in online and advanced practice nursing,” said Vicki Erickson, RN, PhD, associate professor/director of the Master of Science/Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs at the UC Denver CON. “Recognition of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Nurse Leadership Clinical Nurse Specialist Master’s Program options by WICHE/WRGP will allow graduate students from surrounding western states opportunities to study at the College of Nursing. I’m thrilled that we were accepted. This benefits the College of Nursing by bringing more students to our programs while at the same time benefiting graduate students in surrounding states that don’t have these programs.” 

To be included in WRGP, programs must meet the criteria of distinctiveness and quality. Programs are nominated by their institutions, peer reviewed by other graduate institutions in the West, and then researched and reviewed by WICHE staff for final approval.
New programs are added every two years.

About University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing
The UC Denver College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country — from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. The college offers several specialties through its Master’s program and the only PhD program in clinical research in Colorado. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Denver College of Nursing’s nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist programs among the top ten in the country. For more information, visit the UC Denver Newsroom.

About WRGP
WICHE was established more than 55 years ago to promote the sharing of higher education resources among Western states. WRGP makes many high-quality graduate programs available at reasonable cost to students in 15 Western states. More importantly, it includes a wide range of graduate programs designed around the educational, social and economic needs of the West. Through WRGP, residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are eligible to enroll at resident rates of tuition in graduate programs in these 15 states.


Contact: Caitlin Jenney, 303.315.6376, [email protected]

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