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The Path Forward

Cheryl Sheils Appointed Director of Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Bay Path University

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Longmeadow, MA—Bay Path University is pleased to announce that Cheryl Ann Sheils has been named Program Director for its new Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.

Sheils comes to the University from Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where she taught in the nursing program for nearly 30 years at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was a founding member and nurse manager for 20 years of Pioneer Valley Free Health Service in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Sheils has also been Project Director for a HRSA Health Workforce Diversity Grant and has traveled to Jamaica with nursing students on medical missions for the past several years. She has presented at numerous conferences and her articles have been published in industry journals and other publications.

“I am excited about welcoming nursing graduates of Bay Path’s RN to BSN program back to the University to pursue the Doctor of Nursing Practice, as well as graduates from other colleges and universities who seek top quality online education,” Sheils said.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice, set to begin in spring 2019, will be offered 100% online, ensuring great flexibility for those nurses who wish to obtain the skills to become advanced nurse practitioners with a specialization in family practice (FNP). 

“Bay Path’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is one of only five fully-online programs of its kind in the country,” Sheils said. “The online format allows working RNs to further their professional development and careers without having to leave their living and workplace environments. Bay Path University has been a leader in providing online education in several fields and provides first-rate support for online learners.”

The Doctor of Nursing Practice prepares students with the critical skills needed to translate evidence-based care into practice, improve systems of care, and measure outcomes of patients and communities. The program was designed for graduates to become strong, effective nurse leaders who will transform today’s healthcare system and advance the profession of nursing. To learn more, visit

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About Bay Path University

Bay Path University was founded in 1897. With locations in Longmeadow (main), East Longmeadow (Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center), Sturbridge (MA), and Concord (MA), Bay Path’s innovative program offerings include traditional undergraduate degrees for women, The American Women’s College on-ground and online, the first all-women, all-online accredited bachelor’s degree programs in the country; over 30 graduate programs for women and men; and Strategic Alliances, offering professional development courses for individuals and organizations. Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.