Meet Susan Roche

Susan Roche


Q and A with RCC’s newest Doctor….of Nursing


Congratulations on a significant accomplishment! Please tell us about it and how it benefits patients at RCC.

Q: What specifically is your new degree?

A: I received my DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice, from Robert Morris University located in Pittsburgh.

Q: What does this training involve?

A: The DNP is a practice doctorate, as opposed to a theoretical doctorate, PhD. It is comparable to an MD vs PhD in Medicine only in Nursing. The MD is a practicing doctor while a PhD is theory building doctorate. With healthcare reform, nurse practitioners will serve in a more advanced role requiring the doctorate in nursing practice. The requirements of the DNP program included years of experience as a nurse practitioner which has traditionally only required a Master’s degree. By 2015, all nurse practitioners will be required to obtain a DNP in order to begin practice. Those without DNP’s will probably be grandfathered, but I didn’t want to be behind in the future requirements of the profession

Q: What are some highlights of this training?

A: The doctoral program prepared us to research evidence based practice. As healthcare costs continue to soar, we must look to therapies which have research proven success in order to justify the cost. The additional research approach to care has taken nursing practice to the next level.

Q: How does it benefit patients at RCC?

A: Symptom management and holistic care has always been the focus of nursing practice. The DNP allows nurses to apply research theories to practice to improve patient outcomes. Nurses are the only professional to care for the physical concerns of the patient as well as the psychosocial impact of health and illness. Nurses individualize care based upon the patient as a unique person dealing with disease and illness. We take all the objective research findings and create a unique approach to each individual patient optimizing their treatment outcomes, both physically and psychologically.