Opportunity. That word is often repeated by the 13 nurses from Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare who are enrolled in a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program.
The program—developed by Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing—is the first of its kind to be offered in Saudi Arabia. The program enhances nurses' clinical skills, develops their leadership skills and solidifies their role as an essential complement to physicians in delivering health care.
Not only will this new program change the career paths of the students, but it also has great potential to strengthen the delivery of patient-centered care at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare and to develop the profession in the kingdom and across the region.
“This program is my dream," says Leena Al-Mansour, a D.N.P. student who has been a clinical nursing specialist in wound care since 2002. "I want to improve my leadership skills and my clinical practice. This is a golden opportunity.”
To earn a D.N.P.—the highest degree possible in the profession—students must complete two years of academic, clinical, management and leadership studies, culminating in an independent research project.
While most coursework is done in the kingdom, the students come to Johns Hopkins’ Baltimore campus for two weeks each semester for required academic and clinical training. In Baltimore, the students take classes taught by experts from across Johns Hopkins’ institutions, as well as through shadow days, during which they can see best practices being implemented in real time.
“We see advanced practices while we are at Johns Hopkins,” says Maisa Al-Raban, a D.N.P. student who is a clinical educator at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare. “I am very eager for this opportunity because I get a lot of ideas from The Johns Hopkins Hospital that we can apply at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare.”