An alternative to research-focused doctoral programs, the DNP advances professional nursing roles in clinical practice (Family Nurse Practitioner), and nursing leadership (administration and education). The program is designed to produce leaders who embrace health care reform and are advocates for vulnerable populations. Graduates will integrate theory and practice in areas of health policy and law, administration, business, evaluation, systems, education, population health, and evidence based practices.
The program has 75 to 84 credits (depending upon program concentration). Students in the program utilize a combination of learning strategies, relying on web-based course work delivered in hybrid format with both in-seat and on-line sessions. Students will complete clinical requirements to meet the mandated minimum 1,000 hours of specialty training that is one of the hallmarks of the DNP degree. Students will complete a scholarly DNP project.
The program has two entry points for admission: first, the baccalaureate in nursing to DNP and; second, a post-masters in nursing to DNP. These different entry points allow the curriculum to be individualized for candidates based on prior education, experience and choice of specialization. Post-masters students entering the DNP desiring to change their area of professional practice will be evaluated on an individual basis and may require additional coursework from the professional core or concentration.
The DNP curriculum includes course work that integrates nursing, business, informatics, education, and healthcare administration. Students are provided with the opportunity to develop clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills to design and implement programs of care delivery, significantly impacting health care outcomes to vulnerable populations and having the potential to transform the delivery of health care.