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Messiah University earns CCNE accreditation for its DNP Program

Messiah University earns CCNE accreditation for its
Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Messiah University is pleased to announce that the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) granted initial accreditation for its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, retroactive to the on-site visit date of March 2, 2020. As Messiah’s first doctoral degree, the DNP program launched in 2016 and graduated its first cohort in August 2020.

Messiah’s DNP program was granted the maximum initial accreditation period of five years, which will extend to Dec. 31, 2025. The rigorous process of accreditation review includes submission of a comprehensive self-study, a site visit by the CCNE team, and a thorough review of the DNP and FNP curriculum, processes and outcomes. The program met all accreditation standards and key elements with no compliance concerns.

Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and nurse residency programs.

Messiah University’s DNP program has two tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Leadership. “To be eligible to take the board exam to become a licensed family nurse practitioner, students must graduate from an accredited program; thus succeeding in this initial CCNE accreditation was paramount,” said Kim Fenstermacher, assistant dean of nursing.

“Earning CCNE accreditation for our DNP program acknowledges the high-quality faculty, curriculum, courses, clinical partners, and administrative and institutional support we have at Messiah. Our university is poised to meet the growing need for advanced practice nurses and to address our country’s shortage of primary care providers with FNP graduates,” said Kristen Slabaugh, coordinator of DNP programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an anticipated 45% increase in advanced practices nurses will be needed by 2029, to meet the country’s healthcare needs.

To learn more about our majority online programs or to submit an application, visit


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master's degree program in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Messiah University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (