DNP Program Requirements

DNP Curriculum

All students pursuing the DNP degree must complete a minimum of 72-74.5 credit hours of graduate coursework. Credit hours required vary depending upon the students’ emphasis area. Up to 38 credit hours of previous graduate-level credit hours from another institution may be accepted toward the total hours required for the DNP degree depending upon transcript review and applicability to the specific area of study.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 in order to graduate.

DNP Clinical Hours

All DNP students must complete a minimum of 1000 faculty/preceptor supervised academic clinical hours. Post-master’s students may transfer in clinical hours completed in their previous master’s degree pending approval of their academic advisor. Total number of clinical hours may vary depending upon the student’s emphasis area, proof of national certification in an advanced practice role, and previous graduate clinical coursework completed.

DNP Scholarly Project

The DNP Residency project is a faculty-guided scholarly experience that provides evidence of the student’s critical thinking and ability to apply research principles through identification of a significant practice problem, systematic appraisal of relevant scientific literature and outcome data; design of cost-effective, evidence-based, therapeutic interventions or programs; successful implementation of the selected interventions or program, and comprehensive evaluation of specific, measurable, and appropriate outcomes. The project will reflect the culmination of knowledge and skills developed during the DNP program.

DNP students must complete a DNP Residency Project, write a scholarly paper or executive summary, present an electronic poster to peers, committee members, and stakeholders, and support the project results with their DNP Project Committee.

Characteristics of Well-Designed Residency Projects:

  • Setting/population specific
  • Grounded in clinical practice and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Independent, sustainable projects led by the student
  • Designed to solve practice problems and inform practice directly
  • Developed in conjunction with a committee and a clinical preceptor/mentor
  • Conducted according to ethical principles

The MS(N) and DNP and Graduate Certificate Student Handbook provides a complete description of the DNP scholarly project .

Dual Emphasis Area Option

Students enrolled in the DNP program may also choose to apply for dual emphasis among the APRN program offerings. Students can incorporate an additional 11.5-21.5 hours of coursework (depending upon the specific emphasis areas), which would allow them to apply for dual certifications post-graduation.

Dual emphasis enrollment is an attractive option students who want to apply for jobs in the acute and primary care setting or who want to broaden their range of eligible positions upon graduation. Please note only two dual emphasis areas may be combined/awarded.

Process for Dual Emphasis Area

  • Identify your dual emphasis areas when applying to program or current students can complete the change of program form to indicate the addition.
  • Students must work with their faculty academic advisor to develop a plan of study.
  • The number of credit hours will depend on what emphasis areas are chosen. Specific credit hours and clinical hours for each emphasis area will be required in order to meet certification and graduation requirements. Credit hours vary depending upon emphasis area and 510-600 clinical hours are required per emphasis area.