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

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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal professional degree representing the highest level of clinical nursing competence.

The DNP program is designed to provide students the opportunity to assimilate and utilize in-depth knowledge of nursing, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical and organizational sciences, with sophisticated informatics and decision-making technology to develop collaborative strategies that optimize the health of individuals, families, communities and systems.

Grounded in the Mercy and Jesuit traditions, the DNP program emphasizes the student’s development as an expert clinician with strong leadership capacity, a commitment to service and skills to act as change agents, translating clinical research into improved health care.

The post-master’s DNP curriculum is designed to admit master’s prepared certified APRNs in the following clinical specialties: nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist and MSN prepared nurses in specialty areas such as nurse administration, executive leadership and nursing informatics. In addition, the post-master’s DNP curriculum offers an Organizational Leadership bridge for those individuals with non-APRN master’s preparation (nursing education and clinical nurse leader). The Organizational Leadership bridge is a 6-credit hour bridge designed to prepare the master’s prepared nurse with advanced nursing practice grounding in leadership. The DNP program curriculum is based upon the AACN (2006) Essentials of Doctoral Education.

The DNP builds upon the master of science in Nursing degree and requires 36 credits (42-credit hours for individuals entering the Organizational Leadership bridge). The curriculum includes formative course work that culminates in a capstone clinical practicum and a doctoral project. The post-master’s DNP is designed for part-time or full-time study.

The program is offered as a hybrid model, with a blend of online and face to face meetings.  Classes are held on the same day of the week and scheduled in the late afternoon/early evening. We have an online virtual classroom that also supports student participation from remote locations.

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    Post Master's DNP-Specific Admission Criteria

    1. A Master of Science in Nursing or Nurse Anesthesia from an accredited school** with a graduate degree GPA of 3.2 or higher
    2. Current unencumbered Michigan Registered Nurse license and privilege to practice as a registered nurse that is not limited in any way by an employer.
    3. National Board Certification in an area of clinical specialization, if applicable.
    4. Recognized in Michigan (or State of residence) by the Board of Nursing with Specialty Certification as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) if applicable.
    5. Evidence of current practice.
    6. Three professional recommendations are required (available in the online application). Recommendations should include at least one from a professional who can attest to the applicant’s clinical performance. This should be someone in a position to evaluate the applicant’s work. And one from a professional who can assess the applicant’s academic potential for professional doctoral study (such as a dean or faculty from the previous graduate degree program). Recommendations from doctorally prepared professionals are preferred.
    7. All official transcripts sent directly from each institution of higher education since high school.
    8. Professional portfolio including Curriculum Vitae or Resume.
    9. An essay (500 - 1000 words) addressing the applicant's goals for doctoral study and focused area of clinical interest for the doctoral project.
    10. An interview with DNP faculty. 

    **Applicants may require prerequisite coursework to meet the master’s level essentials in Nursing.


    Program Objectives

    1. Engage own professional role practice consistent with the competencies of the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
    2. Formulate innovative theoretical and conceptual frameworks that ensure optimal health care quality and patient safety outcomes.
    3. Translate evidence to produce innovative models of care that integrate informatics, health care technology and interpersonal collaboration to affect population health, outcomes and support health care policy initiatives.
    4. Lead health care systems and policy innovation with a focus on preventative care, quality improvement and patient advocacy.
    5. Integrate the Mercy and Jesuit traditions in providing culturally competent, compassionate, holistic and person-centered care with a commitment to human dignity in the contemporary world.

    Sample Program Plan

    Semester 1

    • NUR 7000 - Advanced Theory & Knowledge Development for Clinical Nursing Practice - 3cr.
    • NUR 7500 - Evidence Based Nursing Practice: Theory, Design & Methods - 3cr.

    Semester 2

    • NUR 7300 - Transformational Leadership & Innovation in Advanced Clinical Practice - 3cr.
    • NUR 7450 - Analytic Methods for Evidence-Based Practice - 3cr.

    Semester 3

    • NUR 7400 - Information Management and Decision Support - 3cr.
    • NUR 7800 - Project Proposal Development - 3cr.

    Semester 4

    • NUR 7200 - Epidemiology & Population Health - 3cr.
    • NUR 7350 - Business Management to Ensure Quality in Health Care - 3cr.

    Semester 5

    • HLH 7100 - Health Care Policy, Economics & the Law in Clinical Practice - 3cr.
    • NUR 7900 - DNP Practicum and Project - 3cr.

    Semester 6

    • ETH 7010 - Ethical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice - 3cr.
    • NUR 7920 – DNP Doctoral Project - 3cr.

    Organizational Leadership Bridge

    • NUR 5170 – Management & Leadership in Nursing - 2cr.
    • HLH 5040 – Accounting & Financial Management for Nursing Leadership - 4cr.

    Required Courses

    • NUR 7000: Advanced Theory and Knowledge Development for Clinical Nursing Practice (3 Credits)
    • ETH 7010: Ethical Issues in Advance Nursing Practice (3 Credits)
    • HLH 7100: Health Care Policy, Economics and the Law in Clinical Practice (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7200: Epidemiology and Population Health (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7300: Transformational Leadership & Innovation in Advanced Clinical Practice (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7350: Business Management to Ensure Quality in Health Care (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7400: Information Management and Decision Support (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7450: Advanced Statistics for Clinical Practice (3 Credits)NUR 7500: Evidence-Based Practice: Theory, Design and Methods (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7800: Project Proposal Development (3 Credits)
    • NUR 7900: DNP Practicum and Project Implementation (3 Credits, 1 credit clinical seminar and 2 credits clinical practicum)
    • NUR 7920: DNP Doctoral Project (3 Credits)

    Required Courses for Organizational Leadership Bridge

    • NUR 5170: Management & Leadership in Nursing (2 Credits)
    • HLH 5040: Accounting & Financial Management for Nursing Leadership (4 Credits)