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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Information

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Program Description
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP) is a 39-credit program that builds on the current clinical master’s degree program for nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), or certified nurse mid-wives (CNM).  The DNP is designed as a professional practice doctorate integrating evidence-based practice, quality improvement, social policy, and systems leadership to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice.  The degree is targeted to advanced practice nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice that will complement the work of nurses currently in the field who possess research-focused doctoral degrees.  The program will include course and clinical work including a scholarly project addressing a high-priority area of advanced nursing practice.  Also included are Executive Sessions.  There will be two required Executive Sessions whereby students come together as a group to network.  The first Executive Session begins with the first online course and the second Executive Session is at the end of the program.  All students graduating with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will be eligible to take the appropriate certification exam. 

Examples of suitable research projects

  • Evaluate advanced practice primary care interventions, or innovations in care techniques
  • Evaluate management of patients (protocols, medications, metabolic monitoring)
  • Evaluate pain control in palliative care
  • Promote patient safety by reducing errors in medications
  • Use technology to improve care (telehealth consultation, interactive “home” visits, etc.) and evaluate results

The DNP curriculum is comprised of 39 credits to include 400 clinical hours.  Courses are offered in a hybrid format that includes both face-to-face instruction and online courses during a traditional semester.

Executive Sessions
Executive Sessions are an integral part of a hybrid program.  There will be a required (2) Executive Sessions whereby students come together as a group to network face-to-face and meet other APNs.  The first session begins with the first online course.  The second session will be scheduled toward the end of the program.  Students are notified well in advance of when each Executive Session starts.

Core Courses - 21 credits
NUR 700  Healthcare Ethics for the APN - (3)
NUR 701  Statistical Analysis for Evidenced Based Practice - (3)
NUR 720  Organizational Behavior & Social Policy - (3)
NUR 721  Leadership as an Advanced Practice Nurse - (3)
NUR 722  Technology for Advanced Practice Nurses - (3)
NUR 730  Research Utilization - (3)
NUR 731  Evidenced Based Practice - (3)

Clinical Core Courses - 18 credits
NUR 800  DNP Scholarly project 1 - (3)
NUR 810  DNP Scholarly internship 1 - (3)
NUR 810  DNP Scholarly project 2 - (3)
NUR 811  DNP Scholarly internship 2 - (3)
NUR 820  DNP Scholarly project 3 - (3)
NUR 821  DNP Scholarly internship 3 - (3)

Course Descriptions
NUR 700 Ethics-Examines ethical concepts foundational to advanced nursing practice.  Application of a variety of decision making frameworks to address ethical dilemmas arising from complex care, use of technology, health care resources, health care policy, national and international health issues.

NUR 701 Statistics-Develop the statistical skills necessary to critically evaluate advanced practice nursing research using qualitative and quantitative methods to identify appropriate techniques for interpretation of results of independent research, and for presentation of results to improve clinical practice. Develop beginning proficiency for performing the analysis of clinical datasets using software programs such as SPSS, Excel and SAS/STAT.

NUR 721 Leadership as an APN-Explores leadership of the advanced practice nurse as it relates to clinical practice, improving health outcomes, and ensuring patient safety.  Leadership and communication strategies will be examined in the role of the advanced practice nurse.

NUR 720 Organizational Behavior-Explores the advanced practice nursing role in health care delivery systems and outcomes in the delivery of health care.  Health care delivery models and reimbursement mechanisms from policy and economic perspectives are examined.   The advanced practice nursing role in applied research and formation of health care policy is emphasized.

NUR 722 Technology for APN’s-Designed for the advanced practice nurse, this course examines computer applications within nursing administration, research, clinical practice, education, and health care.  Critical thinking concerning the social, legal and ethical aspects of computer technology is emphasized.

NUR 730 Research Utilization-Builds on prior knowledge of the nursing research process to support practice-based problems, interpretation and analysis of current evidence and literature.  The analysis and interpretation of data from qualitative and quantitative research designs will be emphasized.   The interrelationship of theory, research and practice will be analyzed.

NUR 731 Evidenced Based Practice-Focuses on the review, analysis, synthesis, and application of scientific evidence for advanced practice nursing and health care.  The ethical, legal, cultural, and financial implication of evidence based advanced nursing practice is examined.  Tools to develop a evidenced based practice project are explored.   

NUR 800 DNP Scholarly Project 1-This is the first course of three courses developing a evidenced based scholarly project for advanced practice nursing.  The student will conceptualize a scholarly research project in an area of advanced practice nursing.  Synthesize knowledge and skills learned in previous courses to develop a evidenced based research project that makes a contribution to advanced practice nursing.  

NUR 801 DNP Scholarly Internship 1-Clinical practice component complementing the didactic of APN Scholarly Project 1 that requires 135 clinical hours.    This course integrates previous knowledge and skills as an advanced practice nurse and focuses on the development of the scholarly project question.  The experience provides additional opportunities for clinical practice and expertise development.

NUR 810 DNP Scholarly Project 2-This is the second course of three courses in the development of  a evidenced based scholarly project for advanced practice nursing.  In this course the student will continue with the evidenced based nursing project.  The focus is the completion of data collection, analysis and preparation of all components of the project.  The student will work closely with an advanced practice nursing faculty in the preparation of the evidenced based research.

NUR 811 DNP Scholarly Internship 2- Clinical practice component complementing the didactic of APN Scholarly Project 2 that requires 135 clinical hours.   Students will continue to refine advanced practice nursing skills and integrate the data collection component of their scholarly project.

NUR 820 DNP Scholarly Project 3-Final course of the three courses for the development of the evidenced based scholarly project in advanced practice nursing.  The focus is the completion, defense and dissemination of the evidenced based project.

NUR 821 DNP Scholarly Internship 3-Clinical practice component complementing the didactic of APN Scholarly Project 3 that requires 135 clinical hours.    Students will continue to engage in clinical practice and expertise development.  The course will offer the student a venue to complete, evaluate and disseminate the evidenced based project.

NUR 830 DNP Scholarly Advisement-Provides ongoing faculty advisement until completion and defense of the capstone project.

Admission Requirements
A master’s degree in advanced practice nursing (APN) from an institution accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Nursing Education or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education with a graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.

1. Completed online application.
2. Satisfactory achievement on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
    a. Applicants with a graduate GPA of 3.5 or greater, the GRE is waived.
3. Current professional certification as an Advanced Practice Nurse.
4. Official SEALED transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
    a. Undergraduate Statistics course equivalent to (3) semester hours.
    b. Undergraduate and graduate Physical Health Assessment courses.
5. Current RN licensure in one of the 50 states or U.S. territories.
6. Copy of your current professional liability insurance.
7. Resume/Curriculum Vitae reflecting a minimum of (2) years prior clinical experience as an Advanced Practice Nurse.
     a. Recent graduates may apply but APN certification must be obtained before beginning clinicals.
8. Three letters of reference from APN, one may be from a physician.  NR Recommendation DNP.doc (doc)
9. NR Goals Statement DNP.doc (doc)
10. Personal interview with a graduate faculty member.

NOTE: International applicants must receive a minimum score of 525 (paper), 195 (computer) or 71 (internet-based) on the TOEFL examination.