Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

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Entry pathways: BSN to DNP (full-time study only) and MSN to DNP [full- or part-time study]

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses for the highest level of professional nursing practice. Graduates are prepared for advanced nursing roles in direct clinical practice and leadership roles in areas that support clinical practice such as administration and health policy.

Graduates of the DNP program receive preparation in such key areas as: evidence-based practice, organization and systems leadership, finance, health policy, information technology, population health, patient safety, and translational research with the goal of improving health outcomes. All students are required to meet The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006).

BSN to DNP Pathway

BSN- and MSN-prepared nurses (those who are not prepared as advanced practice nurses) may be prepared to function as:(a) Advanced Practice Registered Nurses [APRN] (i.e., nurse practitioners) in a population focus, or (b) Health Care Systems (HCS) leaders in roles that support clinical practice such as administration, informatics and outcomes management.

All BSN to DNP students will take 3 years of full-time study ranging from 66 to 76 credit hours depending on the student’s designated area of advanced practice preparation. Those hours will include 1000 practice hours; required coursework for advanced practice, leadership, and practice-based inquiry; and completion of a DNP Project.

The BSN to DNP program options include:

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (includes an Oncology option)
Coordinator: Elaine Harwood, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Family Nurse Practitioner
Coordinator: Diane Caruso, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Health Care Systems
Coordinator: Meg Zomorodi, PhD, RN

  • Administration
  • Informatics
  • Outcomes Management

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
Interim Coordinators: Amanda Davis, DNP, RN, CPNP  and Ann Jessup, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Coordinator: Cheryl Giscombe, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC

MSN to DNP Pathway

The MSN to DNP pathway is for nurses who are already master’s prepared APRNs (Nurse Prac­titioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives) or HCS Leaders (e.g., Nurse Administrators, Informaticists, Outcome Managers). Full-time MSN to DNP students will take five semesters of study. Students are required to complete 37 to 41 credit hours, approximately 500 DNP Project hours with the completion of an evidence-based practice project (DNP Project).

All DNP students, including MSN to DNP students, are expected to complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate practice hours. Upon matriculation, all MSN to DNP students will provide written confirmation of supervised clinical hours completed during their prior degree program.

Most MSN to DNP APRN students enter the program with 500 or more practice hours from their prior master’s program. Some MSN to DNP-HCS students may not have completed 500 clinical practice hours in their prior master’s program and will need to complete additional hours in the DNP program to meet graduation requirements. The plan of study for MSN-DNP students will be individualized based on the verification of supervised clinical hours in their prior graduate program and prior coursework.

Updated June 2017