Doctor of Nursing Practice
“The DNP degree is a movement that is gaining speed really fast. It is well regarded and I’ve gained new respect from my colleagues and peers.”
The first time Galen Hamann listened to experts discuss nursing informatics, at a conference he attended while earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota, he was hooked. “It was like gospel to me,” said Hamann. “It made sense to me. The vision of where it was going and the opportunities I saw there made me want to learn more.”
Nursing informatics brought together Hamann’s previous career experience in engineering with his career aspirations in nursing. He was eager to explore the intersection, so he enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the School of Nursing in the informatics specialty area. Early on in the program Hamann said he knew he made the right decision to obtain his doctoral degree in informatics. “My first informatics class really validated my choice,” said Hamann.
When Hamann enrolled in the DNP program he had been a medical-surgical nurse at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. He took on an informatics role at the VA hospital when he began work on a computerized decision support tool for antibiotic prescriptions. He conducted literature reviews to ensure information was up to date and completed usability tests. Hamann continued to work at the VA while he worked toward earning his DNP degree, and for his scholarly project, Hamann developed an evaluation tool for a national residency program, which is currently in more than 30 hospitals. The tool required him to create a database and develop the front-end interface for a tool that was facility specific and permitted multiple users. As a result of his DNP education and knowledge gained through the DNP program, his title at the VA hospital evolved from clinical applications coordinator to clinical informatics specialist.
“The DNP degree is a movement that is gaining speed really fast,” said Hamann. “It is well regarded and I’ve gained new respect from my colleagues and peers.”