Congratulations to the First DNP Executive/MPH Dual Degree Cohort

Congratulations to the First DNP Executive/MPH Dual Degree Cohort

Sam DiStefano
By Sam DiStefano  | 

The spring ’24 graduation saw the first cohort of the DNP Executive/MPH Dual Degree program graduate. This dual degree, directed by Dr. Cecília Tomori, is the first of its kind. The DNP Executive/MPH dual degree is offered through the School of Nursing and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, integrating cutting-edge nursing and population health frameworks to prepare nurse leaders to address the most critical public health challenges of our time.

The program was developed and launched in 2020, under the leadership of Dean Patricia Davidson and Dean Ellen MacKenzie, and continued with the support of Dean Sarah Szanton. The DNP Executive/MPH was collaboratively designed and implemented from the start – with leadership from Dr. Tomori and Dr. Marie Diener-West, Helen Abbey, and Margaret Merrell, Professor and Chair of the Master of Public Health Program, and support from leadership and faculty at both schools. The dual degree’s first student, Maria Nerina Girasol, DNP, MPH, RN, AGCNS-BC ’23 paved the way for the inaugural cohort. Dr. Girasol earned accolades for her scholarly work and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic from both the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health and has led the design and delivery of equity-centered models of care since her graduation last year.

The 14 students in the inaugural cohort have already achieved so much. Students have given presentations, written numerous publications, and have received many honors and awards throughout their time in the program. Additionally, eleven of them received the selective honor of being inducted to the Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society’s Alpha Chapter at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. You will find them at upcoming conferences, including Sigma’s 35th International Nursing Research Congress and the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo later this year.

The Student’s Experience

“The JHU DNP/MPH dual degree program has paved the way for nurse leaders like me to be innovative thinkers and transformative leaders in addressing health equity and health care access to the people we serve in the community, with positive outcomes for public health.”

Claire Lazaro

“As a member of the inaugural class of the DNP/MPH program, I have witnessed the program’s exceptional rigor and depth. The seamless integration of nursing and public health courses has given me the critical skills and tools necessary to advance my career as a public health professional. This program has equipped me to become an effective health advocate, prepared to tackle complex health challenges and create meaningful impacts in my communities. So, thank you!”

Adebukola Adeniran

“This is such an important program with incredible opportunities in each school for students to tailor their focus. Nursing and public health should be allied disciplines. This program gives us the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact by bringing a population health perspective to nursing leadership and translating our extensive patient care experience into public health practice.”

Danny Baker

View all the photos from the Scholars Day celebration

The future of the DNP Executive/MPH Dual Degree program is bright with multiple cohorts following closely, carving out their paths across healthcare leadership and policy, and earning honors and recognition. Their commitment to improving health, health care, and health equity through the combined power of nursing and public health is certain to make a lasting impact. We cannot wait to see the transformation led by these new graduates. 

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