Certain dates are highlighted in the history of Pittsburg State University:
• 1905, the university’s first three-year certificate
• 1908, a four-year life diploma
• 1912, the first baccalaureate degree
• 1929, the first master’s degree
• 1959, the first education specialist (Ed.S) degree

Add to those significant dates 2014, when the Kansas Board of Regents approved PSU’s first Ph.D. program, a doctor of nursing practice.
Mary Carol Pomatto, director of the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing, said the new doctorate program is a major milestone for not just the school and the university, but for health care in the region.

“Gaining this approval required a long process of feasibility studies, amassing available and needed resources and navigating various bureaucracies, both on and off campus.”
– Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

“It is the culmination of years of hard work by members of this school and of this university,” Pomatto said.
At a ceremony celebrating the achievement, Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, praised Pomatto and the school of nursing faculty for the hard work required to prepare for and earn approval of the new doctoral program.
“Despite having a full plate…the school of nursing leadership and faculty did not back away from the tremendous challenges involved with all of the background steps required to propose a new advanced graduate degree program,” Kunkel said.
“Gaining this approval required a long process of feasibility studies, amassing available and needed resources and navigating various bureaucracies, both on and off campus.”
President Steve Scott said the new doctoral program gives PSU students new opportunities.
“No longer will they have to leave our region to attain the professional training they’ll need to reach their professional goals,” he said.
Scott quoted national projections that by 2020, doctoral graduates will need to double in order to build a primary care workforce in the U.S.
“This doctoral program will help fill that growing gap and together with our health care partners, form the foundation for a healthier region,” Scott said.
The president noted that since FY 2006, when the Kansas Legislature approved a targeted investment in PSU’s nursing program, undergraduate enrollment has grown from 112 to 233 and graduate enrollment from 17 to 49.