The Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (or practice doctorate) prepares post-baccalaureate and postgraduate students in a specific advanced nursing role at the highest level of nursing practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is offered in conjunction with the MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Our DNP program is distance mediated, providing online coursework with minimal on-campus visits (generally once per year), ideal for the working professional. Students may select from part-time or full-time plans of study to meet individual student needs.
Primary Entry Pathways
The DNP program at Mizzou includes three entry pathways.
Post-Baccalaureate — For registered nurses who have completed a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing degree. Post-baccalaureate students may choose from five or six-year part-time plans of study or four year full-time plans of study.
Post-Master’s Entry With Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty — For advanced practice nurses who have already obtained a master’s degree. Post-masters students with advanced practice degrees may choose from three-year part-time plans of study or two year full-time plans of study depending upon specialty area.
Post-Master’s Entry Without Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty — For post-masters students who have completed a Master’s in Nursing degree but are not prepared or practicing as an advanced practice nurse. Post-masters students without APRN specialty may choose from three and four-year part-time plans of study or full-time plans of study may be available depending upon specialty area.
Five areas of study are offered for individuals pursuing the DNP degree:
- Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health Care
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 the 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.
The DNP curriculum is based upon current practice standards incorporating content related to direct and indirect patient care practices with an emphasis on evidence-based practice, program evaluation, improvement of health care outcomes and the cultivation of expertise in health policy and organizational and systems leadership.
Unique aspects of our program include a focus on rural and underserved populations and the opportunity for students to select from a variety of electives including but not limited to coursework in family dynamics, financial management, leadership, nursing education, public health, or symptom management.
Each emphasis area is supported by specific curricular standards and recommendations as suggested by the affiliated credentialing bodies and professional organizations including:
- The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006)
- Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs (National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education [NTF], 2016)
- Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education (July 2008)
Standards of Practice
Specific standards of practice for clinical specialty areas and core competencies are also integrated into program curricula depending upon specialty area including:
- Practice Doctorate Nurse Practitioner Entry- Level Competencies (AACN, 2006)
- Population-Focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, 2013)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist Core Competencies (National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, 2010)
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2014)
- Pediatric Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners & Society of Pediatric Nurses, 2015)
- Nursing Administration: Scope and Standards of Practice (American Nurses Association, 2016)
- Nurse Executive Competencies (American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2015)
Graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree gain employment in a variety of healthcare settings including acute, primary, and tertiary care settings, academia, community agencies, private and public corporations, state institutions, and non-profit agencies. Our graduates have a 100 percent employment rate within one year of graduation, demonstrating the outstanding preparation of our students into the various advanced practice roles.
Completion of coursework and clinical hours in specific emphasis areas prepares graduates to apply for national certification in specific Advance Nursing Practice roles and population foci (e.g. Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist).
Students may also be eligible for other national certifications in Nurse Leadership/Executive, Nurse Educator, and Care Management pending completion of specific coursework and expertise as required by specific accrediting and certifying bodies.