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First Doctoral Practice and Research Scholar to Graduate From Goldfarb School of Nursing

Friday, December 14, 2012 - First Doctoral Practice and Research Scholar to Graduate From Goldfarb School of Nursing

ST. LOUIS - December 15 marks a major milestone for nursing student Joanne Kern and the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. That’s when Kern becomes the first Goldfarb student to receive dual degrees as a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (DNP/PhD).

Goldfarb’s DNP/PhD program is the first in the United States to integrate the doctoral-level study of nursing practice with nursing research. The combined approach trains nurses as practitioners who can answer complex clinical and organizational problems through the advanced use of research tools.

Kern believes Goldfarb has created a program that will advance the discipline of nursing. 

“This program, and its professors, turned me into a practice and research scholar — not just through the dissertation process required for the PhD but also the final leadership and change project required for the DNP,” says Kern, who specialized in health literacy for older adults. “My DNP project was to translate, analyze and apply evidence to improve how older adults understand health teaching and how they relate to the use of technology. Not only did I investigate the problem, but I conducted research and influenced immediate dissemination of knowledge in practice.” Normally research dissemination is a long process, sometimes years in the translation.

Goldfarb currently has 15 students enrolled in the DNP/PhD program. Each student addresses a clinical issue that they are interested in improving with relevant research approaches. The program also creates graduates who can help address the nursing shortage that exists in both practice and academic arenas.

"At a time when the Institute of Medicine is calling for a doubling of the number of nurses with doctorate degrees, it is a credit to past visionary leadership that this college now has this innovative doctoral program,” says Michael Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN, recently appointed as the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Dean of Goldfarb School of Nursing. “Nursing science advances the human response to disease, advances knowledge surrounding health and helps abate disease progression. This is a historic moment for the college, and the public can expect more from us as we prepare additional nurse scholars who can rapidly disseminate science to the point of care."

Kern looks forward to an academic career that will be help prepare those interested in pursuing a career in nursing. And she has additional goals.

“I would also like to expand my health literacy research to advance nursing knowledge, and improve and enhance patient care because they are critical components of what we’re all about as nurses.”  

To learn more about Goldfarb School of Nursing’s DNP/PhD program, visit


Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is located on the campus of Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis and is affiliated with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, with a site at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. The College is housed in a nationally recognized educational facility with state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls and a Clinical Simulation Institute with six patient simulation labs and two exam rooms providing high-tech, advanced nursing care experiences.
Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

Angela Trower
(314) 286-0377