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Meet Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Dr. Deedra Harrington

UL Grad School -- 05/27/2021

Dr. Deedra Harrington holds the Mr. & Mrs. Adrian Vega/BORSF Professorship in Nursing. She joined the UL Lafayette College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions as a faculty member in 2005.Dr. Deedra Harrington

Harrington has been named a 2019-2020 Outstanding Doctoral Mentor by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at UL Lafayette prepares practitioners to meet the needs of the complex healthcare environment. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practice, organizational and systems leadership, health policy, and theoretical foundations for advanced practice nursing.

The DNP program is ranked No. 133 in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition of “Best Colleges” in the Doctor of Nursing Practice category. Harrington notes that one of the program’s best features is its “caring and compassionate faculty” who “value their students and embrace assisting with scholarly work."

When serving as a DNP student’s chair or committee member, she provides the guidance, support, and encouragement they need to achieve their degree. It’s important to acknowledge that “life can happen,” she says, so staying in communication is key.

“I often say a doctoral degree is difficult, but it should not be unattainable for the students that pursue it. Because if they put in the work, and they're given the guidance that they need, they're going to be successful!”

Harrington engages graduate students in research by approaching them as a professional peer, and providing them with strategies for completing their DNP Synthesis Project.

She encourages them to pick a research topic they are passionate about, noting “if you love the focus topic you will not get bored and the coursework will be easier.”

To help graduate students avoid becoming overwhelmed, she advises them to “stay focused and complete one assignment at a time.”

“If they put in the work the rewards will show in the end. Also, if they succeed in obtaining a doctoral degree the sky is the limit on their success,” she says.

Harrington takes immense pride in her students’ hard work and dedication.

“The most rewarding aspect of working with doctoral students is to see the growth they have in our program and when they have completed their final course studies. In addition, I gain new professional relationships with incredible advanced practice nurses that I would have not had the opportunity to have if they had not decided to enter our DNP program.”

“It is such an accomplishment to be able to hood a DNP student at graduation and tell them ‘You did it!’”


Deliver quality patient outcomes using the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise by earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice. Learn more about the DNP program at UL Lafayette.