Doctor of Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is for nurses who are interested in assuming an advanced practice role as a family nurse practitioner (FNP).  DNP graduates are prepared as experts in the delivery of primary care, with a focus on critical thinking, leadership, and public policy skills needed to advocate for and create changes in healthcare practice at all levels. 

Courses are delivered in an online format allowing students to reside in their home communities. The DNP program also includes a minimum of 1000 clinical hours, 80% of which are completed in primary care settings. Approximately 20% of the total hours are completed in specialty settings or during the DNP scholarly project. Students complete most clinical hour requirements in their home communities, but may need to travel for specialized clinical experiences (e.g. rural health care settings) or graduate program student intensives (GPSI).

The mission of the DNP program is to prepare experts in advanced practice to utilize specialized knowledge and evidence-based nursing to influence and deliver primary care to diverse populations.  Graduates translate scientific findings, evaluate programs and outcomes, produce clinical scholarship, and transform healthcare systems and policies.

The goals of the DNP program are to prepare graduates to:

  • Assume clinical leadership roles in service and academic settings.
  • Influence health policy and systems of healthcare in local, state, regional, and national forums.
  • Use information technology and analytic methods to evaluate multiple sources of outcome data. 
  • Utilize current practice guidelines and policies, care delivery models and strategies to impact health outcomes.
  • Develop therapeutic approaches to reduce disparities in the care of families, communities, and populations.
  • Design evidence-based, ethical, safe, and cost-effective strategies that improve healthcare outcomes for individuals or populations. 
  • Incorporate strategies to stay abreast of healthcare policies and issues.

DNP Expected Student Learning Outcomes (ESLOs)

Upon graduation with a DNP degree, students are be able to:

  • Integrate advanced knowledge of nursing theories, science-based knowledge, methods of inquiry, humanities, and related sciences in the delivery of care to individuals, families, and communities. (Scientific Foundations)
  • Assume organizational and system leadership in the analysis, delivery, and management of nursing care. (Leadership; Health Delivery Systems)
  • Critically analyze complex primary care clinical situations and healthcare systems to promote optimal outcomes. (Quality; Health Delivery Systems)
  • Demonstrate clinical reasoning through an understanding of science and evidence-based practice. (Practice Inquiry)
  • Incorporate knowledge of current and emerging health technologies to improve care delivery and organizational systems. (Technology and Information Literacy)
  • Design evidence-based, ethical, safe, and cost-effective strategies that improve healthcare outcomes for individuals and/or populations. (Independent Practice)
  • Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies in healthcare. (Ethics)
  • Initiate changes in healthcare systems through the design and implementation of health policies that strengthen the healthcare delivery system. (Policy; Leadership, Health Delivery Systems)
  • Facilitate intra- and inter-professional collaboration to address health disparities and to improve healthcare quality across diverse populations and cultures. (Independent Practice; Ethics)
  • Lead practice initiatives that influence population healthcare outcomes with a focus on underserved individuals, families, and communities. (Independent Practice)
  • Employ the highest level of advanced nursing care to facilitate in the delivery of high quality, cost-effective outcomes for diverse patient populations. (Quality)

Application Process