Oct 07, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Practice, D.N.P.

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused doctoral degree. The program prepares graduates to (1) utilize and integrate evidence-based practice, translate research, and implement quality improvement initiatives to promote positive patient outcomes; (2) translate current scientific knowledge for increasingly complex practice and collaboration with interprofessional teams; (3) be innovative and employ advanced levels of clinical judgment to improve population and health outcomes; (4) demonstrate knowledge and skills of leading edge technology; and (5) demonstrate expertise in critical analysis of policy and advocacy. The DNP graduate will be able to use technology to improve patient outcomes, participate, implement and evaluate healthcare policy and practice nursing at the highest level.

Two tracks are currently offered in the DNP Program. For students who have a master’s degree, the postMSN to DNP track requires a total of 39 credit hours (or approximately 5 semesters) for completion. For students who have a BSN, the post-BSN to DNP track requires a total of 81 credit hours (or approximately 10 semesters) for completion. A total of 1,000 clinical hours are required for the DNP.

In the post-BSN to DNP track, the program equips nurses with a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree to develop the necessary foundational principles in theory, quality, safety, and leadership, on which to base their practice in their chosen area of specialty. Students can complete the requirements to sit for national certification examination as advanced practice nurses in their preferred specialty area (Adult Health-Gero Primary Care, Adult Health-Gero, Pediatric NP, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health) as well as the courses required for the expanded role for the practice doctorate in nursing. The advanced practice nursing specialty track requires 48 credit hours for completion, and the curriculum for the DNP program requires 39 credit hours. The total for the two curriculum components is 81 credit hours. Students who complete this track are eligible to sit for national certification examination and are awarded a DNP degree. All students are required to contact their appropriate state licensing board to confirm eligibility to practice with professional licensure and certification in the state of residence after completion of the DNP Program. After completing requirements for certification, the focus of curricula content shifts to support completion of the DNP project and leadership development within the context of healthcare systems.

The post-MSN to DNP track is for nurses who have earned a master’s degree in Nursing. In this track, the DNP curriculum builds on the advanced practices nurse curriculum with knowledge of core courses and skills serving as a foundation for a strong evidence-based focus and related organization and systems leadership. APRNs and MS prepared nurses widen their scope of knowledge and influence to include populations of patients, healthcare systems, evidence-based practice, and technology. Students in this track are awarded up to 500 clinical hours from their MSN and complete an additional 500 clinical hours post-master’s while enrolled in the DNP Program.

Degree Requirements

Core courses from the DNP curriculum are listed below. For M.S. Nursing core and specialty courses for post-BSN to DNP, see M.S. in Nursing.

DNP Project

All students will implement a DNP project in an agency selected by the student. This project may be a program evaluation, a change project, an innovation, a quality improvement project, or an evaluation of a practice model. Students will defend their DNP Project during the Spring semester of their final year. In NURS 8992, NURS 8994, NURS 8996 and NURS 8998, students will plan, implement, and evaluate the DNP Project. School of Nursing faculty will supervise students in the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of the DNP Project. The final product of the DNP education process will be a cohesive project that will be presented to stakeholders in the university and applicable healthcare communities.

To guide the implementation of the DNP Project, the student will identify at least two individuals to serve on their DNP Project Team, one member will be a faculty member of the School of Nursing. The role of the DNP Project Team is to: (1) guide the student in the selection of area of concentration courses that provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to execute the project; (2) approve scholarly activities that meet the clinical hours requirement; and (3) oversee the DNP Project through development, implementation, evaluation, defense and dissemination.

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