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

30 practice hours. 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. 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.

30 practice hours. This course addresses the responsibilities and activities of a DNP prepared nurse around health policy, ethics, and equity, ethical imperatives and implications. Course will address the responsible conduct of research, scientific freedom and social responsibility, collaboration and negotiation, interdisciplinary research, policy and advocacy work. Analysis and evaluation of philosophical and empirical research in health care policy, ethics, and equity, with consideration of human diversity and vulnerability, with an emphasis on future directions. The student will complete CITI training in this course.

30 practice hours. This course focuses on understanding and applying concepts of descriptive, relational, and interventional research design and statistics. Statistical methods for describing and making inferences from data are discussed. Introduction to statistical computing packages will be explored. Students evaluate and critique study designs and statistical methods used to describe health care phenomena.

30 practice hours. This theory course will review doctoral level practice scholarship and the principles of evidence-based practice with the goal of supporting engagement and innovation through application of translation science. Students will employ theory, concept analysis and models for change as they parse out practice gaps and support them with appropriate methods using critical analysis and based on clinical expertise, best current evidence, patient values/preferences/goals, and available resources.

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.

60+ practice hours. Under the guidance of the DNP faculty and project mentor, the student has synthesized, integrated, and translated newly acquired knowledge and skills to implement the DNP project, manage the project processes and data collected.

60+ practice hours. Under the guidance of the course faculty, DNP project chair, and external advisor, the student analyzes the project data to obtain results, complete the project write-up, and disseminate the project findings.