Duquesne University to pioneer nurse engineer dual major
First, there were nurses.
Now, there are nurse practitioners, nurse managers, nurse anesthetists and soon, courtesy of Duquesne University, nurse engineers.
The Catholic university that pioneered its undergraduate degree in nursing 77 years ago will start the nation's first dual degree in nursing and biomedical engineering this fall.
The beginning of the five-year, 207 credit-hour program coincides with the opening of Duquesne's first engineering program, an undergraduate program in biomedical engineering. The school will inaugurate the degree program with the admission of 20 freshmen biomedical engineering majors this fall.
John Viator, the professor Duquesne brought on last year as director of biomedical engineering, and Mary Ellen Glasgow, dean of the School of Nursing, said the concept of nurse engineers is gaining traction among incoming students in the first biomedical engineering class.
“I'm pretty sure we'll have people converting to the dual major this fall, so we could have our first nurse engineers in five years,” Viator said.
Glasgow and Viator said the dual major will provide engineers with hands-on clinical experience in patient care that will give them a better perspective on the practical applications of solutions to health care problems. For many biomedical engineers, that happens only after consulting and collaborating with doctors and nurses who have hands-on experience in delivering health care.
“We aren't going to be putting out millions of nurse engineers,” Glasgow said. “But those we put out will be a force multiplier.”
She predicted the nurse engineers will help pioneer dramatic advances and efficiencies in health care through their direct experience with patient care.
“Imagine now in a startup situation: Now you need a clinician to identify the problem, hand it to an engineer to develop a solution, and then hand it back to a nurse to test it. Now one person will be able to do that,” Viator said.
On the nursing side, Glasgow said the program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing and the Collegiate Commission on Nursing. Accreditation for the biomedical engineering curriculum is pending and granted retroactively by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology when the university graduates its first biomedical engineers, Duquesne spokeswoman Karen Ferrick-Roman said.
Richard Hart, chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Ohio State University and president-elect of the Biomedical Engineering Society, said biomedical engineers often work in teams that include nurses and doctors.
Hart estimated as many as 15 to 20 percent of biomedical engineers go to medical or dental school, but he knew of only one who went on to earn a degree in nursing.
“The student interest in nursing, I haven't seen. But there hasn't been a clear pathway before. I think it would be an interesting experiment to watch,” Hart said.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- North Shore access to be limited Saturday for Chesney concert, officials say
- Blawnox man’s torture, death a robbery plot gone wrong, police say
- Overturned cement truck knocks out power in South Side Slopes
- Air rifle incidents on the rise, experts say
- Penn Hills votes to sell, lease vacant school space
- Pa. gaming industry’s growth amplifies siren call for addicts
- Land eyed for trail connectors to expand Harrison Hills Park
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto returning from manufacturing trade mission to Cuba
- Duquesne University to raise minimum wage floor
- Plum schools, dealing with sex scandal, to form panel in June
- Aging natural gas pipelines in Green Tree to be replaced