Rx for Better Healthcare

USD nursing student Madison Molotky next to her father, Peter.


When Madison Molotky started talking about how much she liked her doctoral of nursing practice (DNP) program at the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, her father took notice.

“We are thrilled with her progress,” says Greg Molotky. In particular, he likes how much personal attention and practical experience the future family nurse practitioner is receiving. “To me, as a business individual, hands-on experience is the most important thing you can have.” Retired from selling heavy construction equipment, his family also built a successful oil and gas business in Michigan in the 1970s.

He liked what he heard from his daughter so much that he decided to make a $5,000 gift to start USD’s first scholarship for DNP students. The family is excited that Madison will be the first in the family to earn an advanced degree when she completes the program in 2021 and is happy to be able to “help someone else who shows the aptitude for it,” he says.

Hahn School of Nursing Dean Jane Georges says the gift will support the DNP program that is playing an important role in today’s rapidly evolving health care system. As the coronavirus pandemic shows, nearly everyone will need a nurse at some point and those with doctoral degrees are in great demand.

The DNP program, started at USD in 2008, prepares nurses at the highest level of proficiency as they learn to translate science into clinical practice, Georges explains. Students develop the skills to lead collaboratively, integrate research into care and design better health care delivery systems. Some DNP students focus on delivering complex care over the lifespan of one population. Others shape entire systems, organizations and policies through executive or administrative roles.

USD’s program is known for its “clinical excellence” and most DNP graduates have gone on to leadership roles in clinical practice and nursing education across the nation and around the world, she says.

The program has two pathways. The first includes students with bachelor’s or master’s degrees who want to become nurse practitioners, nursing informaticists and health systems leaders with clinical practice expertise at the doctoral level. Under the second, nurses with master’s degrees can enroll in the program to gain additional knowledge and clinical expertise in a defined area of advanced nursing practice, including health systems leadership and emergency care for family nurse practitioners.

In Madison Molotky’s case, she’s hoping to build on her bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco to deliver maternal health care to women using the latest in evidence-based practice and research. As a youngster, she loved watching shows like A Baby Story on The Learning Channel and knew she wanted a career helping people in need. “I thought nursing perfectly combined those two qualities in one profession.”

As the nursing school graduates more DNP students, Georges hopes others will want to join in adding to the Molotky’s gift and the new scholarship fund. “We’re hoping it’s a seed that will grow into a mighty tree.” — Liz Harman

To learn more, go to sandiego.edu/give-nursing.

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