Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is offered in conjunction with the MU Graduate Studies and is part of a long tradition in graduate education at the University of Missouri. As the flagship campus of the University of Missouri system and the only public research-intensive university in the state, the Sinclair School of Nursing provides an exceptional educational experience at an outstanding economic value. Furthermore, we strive to be a leader in graduate nursing education as evidenced by graduating our first master’s prepared Family Nurse Practitioner cohort in 1980. We continued this tradition of excellence by offering the first BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the state of Missouri in 2010. The DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Due to the rapidly changing demands of this nation's complex healthcare environment and the critical need for improved quality, safety, and healthcare outcomes, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommended to move the current level of preparation necessary for advanced practice nursing from the master’s degree to the practice doctorate-level by the year 2015. The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to a research-focused doctoral program (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). A comparison of the DNP versus PhD is outlined in the attached document.
Preparation at the practice doctorate level includes advanced preparation in nursing, based on nursing science, and is at the highest level of nursing practice. Our DNP program will deepen the knowledge and skills of nurses preparing for an advanced nursing practice role and includes content regarding direct care provided to patients, with an emphasis on evidenced-based practice, as well as the evaluation of practice to improve health care outcomes and the cultivation of expertise in health policy and organizational and systems leadership.
Research and research utilization are integral parts of evidence-based nursing practice and our DNP curriculum. Nurses prepared at the DNP level provide leadership for evidence-based practice in nursing and translate evidence-based nursing research in their own practice. They are expected to disseminate and integrate new knowledge. DNP prepared nurses also participate as members of a research team or conduct translational research projects.
The DNP program at Mizzou prepares leaders in the advanced nursing practice roles of Pediatric & Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health Care. Our program strengths include a strong clinical focus and a well-developed trajectory for the development of clinical scholarship. Unique aspects of our program are a focus on rural and underserved populations and the opportunity for students to select electives in family dynamics, financial management, nursing education, or symptom management.
The DNP program at Mizzou includes three entry pathways:
- Post-Baccalaureate The post baccalaureate entry point is designed for registered nurses who have completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree and desire to expand their scope of practice by becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in either the clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner role. While obtaining a terminal degree in nursing practice, they will develop the knowledge, skills, and expertise to become clinical scholars, transformational leaders, and function at the highest level of nursing practice .
- Post-Master's Entry With Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty The post master’s entry point is designed for nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists (with a master’s degree) who want to develop the knowledge, skills, and expertise to become clinical scholars, transformational leaders, and function at the highest level of nursing practice while obtaining a terminal degree in nursing practice.
- Post-Master's Entry Without Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty: This post-master’s entry point is designed for registered nurses who have completed a Master’s in Nursing degree but are not prepared or practicing as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. Likewise, APRNs who want to add an additional specialty may take this entry pathway to the DNP. Individualized plans of study are developed for students in this entry pathway depending upon prior coursework.
The DNP program is a distance mediated program offered over the World Wide Web through Blackboard, a web course platform accessible to students from their homes. The online courses utilize a variety of teaching strategies to meet the varying learning styles of students. These strategies include asynchronous discussions using a web board that can be accessed at any time as well as synchronous (real-time) chats using a variety of technologies.
The faculty believe that face-to-face interaction between students and faculty is essential to ensure quality educational experiences for students. To that end, students are required to come for a mandatory on-campus 5-day N7087 Leadership and Technology Institute the first summer of enrollment in early June and a 3-day N9087 Leadership and Transformational Role Institute which occurs in the final spring semester. In addition, on-campus experiences are required to augment learning opportunities and allow for individualized faculty evaluation of educational competencies. On-campus requirements vary by specialty area of study.
DNP Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the DNP program, the learner will:
- Integrate advanced knowledge of nursing theories, methods of inquiry, humanities, and related sciences in the delivery of care to rural and other underserved populations.
- Serve as leaders, in collaboration with multiple disciplines to improve quality of health care outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems.
- Systematically evaluate a defined area of nursing using technologies in order to advance cost-effective health care delivery.
- Appraise scientific data from various domains in order to translate best evidence into nursing practice and health care delivery.
- Analyze the social, economic, cultural, environmental, political, and policy components of health care to advocate for improved health outcomes and reduce health disparities.