SYRACUSE — The State University of New York Upstate Medical University plans to begin offering a doctor of nursing practice degree in the fall.

The program will be available online and part time. The degree is the nursing profession’s highest clinical doctorate, according to Upstate.

It’s designed for individuals working in clinical practice and areas that support it, including administration, organizational management, leadership, and policy. The degree prepares nurses to assume a larger clinical role. In some settings, a nurse with the degree may oversee the development of a clinical practice, according to Upstate.

“It’s a realistic program that prepares one for the future of nursing,” Upstate College of Nursing Dean Elvira Szigeti said in a news release. “With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act under way, demands on the health care system will be significant, and nurses, especially those with a [doctor of nursing practice degree], will be leaders in creating systems of caring to meet the needs of the patient.”

More information on the program is available here. The application deadline for the fall program is June 1.