Here’s how this university is addressing problems in healthcare with new opportunities for nurses


Make your community a better place with help from the University of North Alabama. (UNA)

It’s no secret that healthcare has undergone massive changes in the last several years, from technological shifts to a global pandemic that shifted the way the world approaches medicine. 

But, all that change is an opportunity for massive growth—here’s how the University of North Alabama (UNA)’s brand-new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is training nurses to be at the forefront of that growth.

University of North Alabama - Fall 2023

Solving problems in healthcare

Innovative education is necessary to take the healthcare system to the next level. (UNA)

Dr. Kristy Oden, Chair of Graduate Programs, and Dr. Laura Williams, DNP Program Director at UNA’s Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions both feel confident that UNA’s DNP is filling a gap in nursing education in North Alabama, and they are both excited to welcome the first students to the program in January 2023. 

“I am looking forward to watching our students grow as scholars and become amazing, doctorally prepared nurses. We need them in education. We need them in hospitals. We need them in every healthcare sector.”

Dr. Laura Williams, Program Director, DNP, UNA Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions

UNA’s program combines technological acuity with a student-first approach, meaning that prospective students can expect a rigorous program coupled with faculty and staff support every step of the way. 

About the program

World-class education, world-class facility. (UNA)

UNA has three unique paths of study that DNP students can choose from, culminating in a variety of different outcomes. These include: 

  • Advanced practice: Focused on innovative, evidence-based practice and designed for students who are already certified as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. 
  • Educational leadership and simulation: Designed for students who want to be in the field of nursing education, whether in academia or elsewhere.
  • Population health and simulation: Designed for students seeking leadership roles in population health in both clinical and non-clinical settings. 

Evidence-based practice is the through-line that connects these three programs, ensuring that UNA-educated DNPs are as effective as possible in their communities. 

University of North Alabama - Fall 2023

Meet Brad Hardemon, one of UNA’s first DNP candidates

Brad Hardemon is going for his third nursing degree from UNA. (Brad Hardemon)

Two-time UNA alum Brad Hardemon will be part of the first UNA DNP cohort. 

In late 2019, after completing his Master of Science in Nursing from UNA, Brad accepted a position as associate chief nurse of operations at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a job with infection prevention and control at the forefront. 

A few short months later, Covid-19 arrived in North America, making his position more essential than ever. “It was a wild ride,” he said. 

Now that the dust has begun to settle, Brad decided that it was time to get started on his DNP. The motivation for his fourth nursing degree? Passion to do his job well. 

“I have oversight of infection control for the hospital, and I really want all the tools I can have to make that even more successful.”

Brad Hardemon, UNA DNP candidate
University of North Alabama - Fall 2023

Nuts + bolts 

Is UNA calling your name? (UNA)
  • Cost: At $18,000, the program is competitively priced. 
  • Quality: The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, and post-graduate APRN certificate program in nursing at the University of North Alabama are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Flexibility: All coursework is online with three in-person intensives required throughout the duration of the program. Coursework takes approximately 30 months for full-time students and 48 months for part-time. 

Head to the next level in your nursing degree with UNA. Apply now.

Sponsored by:

University of North Alabama
Emily Phillips
Emily Phillips
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