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Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Curriculum

Curriculum Details

39 total credits required

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the online Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program can be completed in as few as three years, or as many as six.

As you prepare for nursing’s highest credential, you’ll learn to lead teams devoted to improving health care quality and patient outcomes and shape the future of nursing in roles that require scientific excellence, innovation and deep practical experience.

This program is distinguished by a focus on practice, with six individually designed clinical sessions guided by DNP mentors, nursing faculty and external advisors. You may need to travel to access clinical sites for these opportunities.

DNP Didactic Courses

15 practice hours. This course investigates the study of knowledge shared among members of the nursing discipline, the patterns of knowing and knowledge development, criteria for evaluating knowledge claims and the philosophy of science. The nature of theory, theory development in nursing, and significant conceptualizations of nursing are discussed. Through guided search and discussion, the doctoral student becomes knowledgeable about the utilization of theory to guide practice.

30 practice hours. This course explores the effect of the interrelationship between policy, advocacy, and ethics on clinical practice and health care leadership. The advanced practice nurse’s role in health care policy and planning is examined. An overview of issues in health care policy and planning, including the socio-political and economic context of health and health-seeking behaviors will be provided. Health care policy and planning at the local, state, and federal levels will be considered. Issues in clinical practice will be examined for how legislation and regulations impact care. The course examines the structure and function of legislative and regulatory organizations, governance, public relations, and global health care issues. Broader social issues common to the care of underserved and vulnerable populations will be examined. Ethical dimensions of public policy formulations and implementation will be highlighted.

30 practice hours. This course will introduce the fundamentals of patient safety and quality improvement (QI) in a variety of healthcare settings. Emphasis will be placed on the development, implementation, and evaluation/measurement of evidence-based healthcare QI practices. Management of complex system change within the healthcare environment will be reviewed as part of the QI process. Patient safety will be an important concept throughout this course in which key issues will be examined. Information Systems (IS) will also be addressed throughout this course for best application to the QI process along with daily practice needs. This course will allow the learner to identify key processes involved in optimal patient safety, outcomes, and the overall delivery of healthcare services.

This course reviews doctoral level practice scholarship and the principles of evidence-based practice. Students learn how to build a practice based on clinical expertise, best current evidence, patient values/preferences/goals, and available resources.

This course provides the student with a foundation in clinical prevention and population health. The student is introduced to the methods used by epidemiologists to assess factors associated with the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations and to read, interpret, and apply literature using epidemiologic and statistical methods. Topics include a discussion of the historical background, practical applications of epidemiology, methods for identifying and evaluating sources of health information, calculation of key epidemiologic measures, investigation techniques, and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs. Current concepts of public health, health promotion, evidence-based recommendations, determinants of health, environmental/occupational health, and cultural diversity and sensitivity are integrated throughout the course. The student is taught to interpret epidemiological, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental data in the development, implementation, and evaluation of clinical prevention and population health.

This course is the second of two courses that review doctoral level practice scholarship and the principles of evidence-based practice. Course content emphasizes implementation plans, and the evaluation, analysis, and reporting of outcomes.

This course addresses organizational and systems leadership skills for advanced leadership in practice to improve clinical health care systems and promote excellence in care. Focus is on leadership, strategic visioning and planning, collaboration with the health care team to make data driven decisions at both the micro and macro systems level. Healthcare finance and the implications for health care organizations are examined.

30 practice hours. This course is a role transition seminar and colloquium that assists the student in preparing for expanded roles. The student synthesizes, integrates, and translates knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have been acquired throughout the program. Practice immersion experiences are designed by students based on DNP Essentials competency self-assessment and scholarly interests.

This course is a role transition seminar and colloquium that will assist the student in preparing for expanded roles and self-reflection. The student synthesizes, integrates, and translates knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have been acquired throughout the program. Practice immersion experiences will be designed by students based on DNP Essentials competency self-assessment and scholarly interests. Scholarly writing, grant proposals, and career development strategies will be discussed.

DNP Project Courses

This course is the first of 6 project seminars in which the student synthesizes, integrates, and translates newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of the selected project over the course of the program. The first seminar prepares the student to develop the problem statement and a plan for evidence review.

This course is the second of 6 project seminars. Under the guidance of the course faculty, DNP Project Leader, and external advisor the student synthesizes, integrates, and translates newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of the selected project over the course of the program. In the second seminar, the student completes an evidence review, synthesis and recommendations, and prepares draft of project proposal.

This course is the third of 6 project seminars. Under the guidance of the course faculty, DNP Project Leader, and external advisor, the student synthesizes, integrates, and translates newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of the selected project. In this seminar, the student completes the proposal presentation.

This course is the fourth of 6 clinical seminars. Under the guidance of the course faculty, DNP Project Leader, and external advisor, the student synthesizes, integrates, and translates newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of the selected project over the course of the program. In this seminar, the student investigates ethical considerations related to the project prior to implementing the project in the practice setting.

This course is the fifth of 6 clinical seminars. Under the guidance of the course faculty, DNP Project Leader, and external advisor, the student synthesizes, integrates, and translates newly acquired knowledge and skills to implement and evaluate the selected project. In the 5th seminar, the student evaluates the project outcomes.

This course is the last of 6 clinical seminars. Under the guidance of the DNP Project Leader and project mentor, the student has synthesized, integrated, and translated newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of the selected project. In the 6th seminar, the student completes the project write-up and presents project findings.

DNP Elective Courses

This course covers research-based educational theory and evidence-based teaching/learning strategies. The theories will be examined for their application in a variety of settings, level of education, and for the adult learner. It will introduce the impact of diversity and emphasis is placed on who the learner is and how he/she learns. External issues and trends impacting on nursing education will be explored including ethical/legal considerations in course curriculum design and implementation; virtual environments for teaching/learning and external issues and trends impacting on nursing education will be explored.

This course prepares the student to design and implement curriculum based on evidence-based teaching/learning theory. Focus is on the process of curriculum development for an individual course including course objectives, content, learning activities, delivery of the content and student evaluation. The role of the faculty in program evaluation of the curriculum is explored.

This course addresses organizational and systems leadership skills for advanced leadership in practice to improve clinical health care systems and promote excellence in care. Focus is on leadership, strategic visioning and planning, collaboration with the health care team to make data driven decisions at both the micro and macro systems level. Healthcare finance and the implications for health care organizations are examined.

NU 781 – Introduction to Palliative Care (3)
This course is an introduction to palliative care nursing within a quality of life framework. The emphasis is on symptom management and care for the patient and family experiencing a life threatening illness with a focus on end of life care. The student will explore the role of the advanced practice nurse on the interdisciplinary palliative care team. Nursing leadership responsibilities in palliative care as it relates to policy, research and practice to improve patient and system outcomes are discussed. This 3-credit course is required for the FNP/DNP student and is an elective for the post MSN DNP student.

OR

NU 782 – Executive Leadership (3)
30 practice hours. Ongoing transformation of the health care environment requires that nurse leaders develop capacities in new arenas in order to address aggregate health, system, and global needs. Guided by various leadership models in health care, this course explores advanced leadership development opportunities in data analytics, entrepreneurship, and globalization. The focus will be on understanding leadership models as guides to influence behavior, data analytics as a strategy for improving outcomes of care, entrepreneurship for professional autonomy and meeting social needs, and globalization for improving global health. This course is an elective 3-credit course for the post MSN DNP student.