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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.

30 practice hours. In this course students develop advanced understanding of population health and learn to propose, plan, and evaluate models of care. Students will refine and expand skills using clinical prevention and population health methods in vulnerable, disenfranchised, and special populations across the lifespan. Health disparities and the burden of disease within social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental contexts using a systematic, multidisciplinary approach will be addressed. Emphasis in role development is placed on effecting change and integration of the multiple roles for advanced practice nurses in an interdisciplinary, integrated health system. Epidemiological factors associated with the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations will discussed and applied. 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 will be emphasized. Cultural diversity and sensitivity are integrated throughout the course. There will be discussion and interpretation of epidemiologic, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental data in the development, implementation, and evaluation of clinical prevention and population health.

30 practice hours. Course content emphasizes the conceptual understanding and application of translation science design and methods, and measurements commonly used. Application of translation science methods and design, principles of measurement, and advanced biostatistics that contribute to improved clinical decisions and outcomes are presented. The use of biostatistical techniques as well as how to apply them with confidence and interpret research findings and evidence in the literature are discussed. Note: Students are required to complete the Sanford University Writing in the Sciences course and submit a certificate of completion in the first week of this course.

30 practice hours. 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. Course will emphasize the use of informatics, or information science, as a viable strategy to improve access to care, address health justice inequities, and support population health management. Students will develop and refine informatics skills for use in leadership roles in the expansion of informatics innovation in practice and resolution of complex issues.

DNP Project Courses

30 practice hours. The student synthesizes, integrates, and translates knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have been acquired throughout the program to develop a one-page concept paper related to their topic and how they are going to approach it: design, outcome measures, and analysis. The student then develops the DNP project and proposal, Chapters 1, 2, and 3.

60+ practice hours. In this course, the student works with the DNP Project Leader and committee members to refine the proposal, successfully defend it, and initiate the IRB approval process.

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.

60 practice hours. 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 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.

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.

30 practice hours. Ongoing transformation of the healthcare 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 in data analytics, entrepreneurship, and globalization. The focus will be on understanding leadership models as guides to use data analytics and influence behavior as strategies for improving outcomes while addressing needs meeting, social justice, equity, diversity and globalization to improve health across levels.