NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Salve Regina University in Newport is starting a new graduate program in nursing with the help of a $1 million gift.

School officials announced Wednesday that the new program will begin in the fall semester, funded by a $1 million donation from the Rodgers Family Foundation. The foundation was started by the late businessman and philanthropist Thomas Rodgers Jr., who was a longtime Salve Regina trustee and benefactor.

University officials say the new part-time program will offer nursing students and professionals with a bachelor of science degree to earn a doctor of nursing practice. Students can earn their master's degree in 33 months and complete the doctorate program in another 21 months.

School officials say the new program's graduates will be able to better navigate increasingly complex health care systems.