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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice Program ranked #21 in The U.S. News and World Report 2017 Rankings of Top Nursing Programs.

The College of Nursing’s doctor of nursing practice (DNP) is a clinical practice-oriented leadership curriculum that focuses on evidence-based practice and on research utilization for the improvement of clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and system management.

All classes have an online component; some classes require a one- to two-day intensive session on campus. There are no more than three intensives on campus per academic year.

DNP Pathways

  1. The BS to DNP Program provides individuals with a Bachelor's in Nursing with a single path to a DNP degree.
  2. The Post-Graduate DNP Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (DNP-APRN) pathway prepares individuals with Master's Degrees in Nursing and a specialty certification for leadership roles in the clinical setting. View the DNP-APRN Plan of Study (PDF)
  3. The DNP-PHN Progra​m is for individuals who hold a Master's Degree in Public/Community Health and desire leadership roles in the public health sector.
  4. Individuals with a nursing masters in a specialty other than public health can earn both a Masters in Public Health and DNP Degree with the DNP/MPH Dual Degree Program.
  5. The Post-Graduate DNP Health Systems Leadership Program prepares nurse leaders across the continuum of care (i.e. primary care, acute care, long-term care, school nursing, home care, etc.).

Nationwide, award of the DNP requires 1,000 post-baccalaureate academically-supervised clinical practicum hours as defined by the America​n Association of Colleges of Nursing. Your transcript will be evaluated to determine the number of clinical hours required for the DNP program.

Career Possibilities

The DNP prepares advanced practice nurses to assume such roles as:

  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Clinician-Scholar
  • Developer/Evaluator of Health Care Programs
  • Health Care Entrepreneur/Executive
  • Clinical Administrator

Clinical Experience

As a DNP student at the College of Nursing, you will be required to complete credit hours in a clinical setting under the supervision of a nursing professional. These clinical experiences are an integral part of our mission as a college and provide students with a comprehensive education, functioning as integration of practice and course work. Students have a wide variety of clinical settings and nursing environments in which to complete their clinical hours. Instructions for signing up and more information on the clinical experiences are available the in student clinical education section.

Please note, all students completing clinical hours must meet very specific requirements concerning immunizations, background checks, etc.

Expected DNP Program Outcomes

  1. Implement ethical, competent nursing practice with individuals, families and communities based on understanding the human experiences of health, illness, healing, and dying.
  2. Use technology and information systems to promote health, facilitate appropriate and ethical decision making, support collaboration, and foster communication.
  3. Promote health and safe environments of local to global populations and communities through the development, implementation, and evaluation of models, programs, and policies.
  4. Manage care ethically with individuals, families, and populations to achieve quality, cost effective outcomes.
  5. Advocate for social justice initiatives that enhance access, quality, and socio-cultural acceptability of health care for all.
  6. Provide leadership in the delivery and management of health care for diverse populations and environments across the continuum of care.
  7. Practice relationship-centered caring based on the human experience of health, illness, healing, and dying.
  8. Practice nursing reflectively, guided by theory, based on best evidence.
  9. Participate in generating and testing knowledge regarding nursing science, nursing practice, and health care delivery.
  10. Engage in professional stewardship to improve interdisciplinary collaboration and nursing practice, education, research, and health care delivery.