Graduate Course Catalog 2011-2013

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DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE (DNP)/DOCTORATE

The DNP degree is the terminal practice degree for the profession of nursing.†Prospective students will obtain a terminal nursing degree with a focus in clinical practice.†The DNP is distinct from the more common PhD programs in nursing which are research-focused. The impetus for enhancing graduate education for practicing clinicians includes an increasingly complex healthcare environment, explosive growth in knowledge of science and therapeutics, quality and safety concerns, and financial pressures driving efficiency efforts. The practice focused doctorate in nursing builds upon advanced clinical skills with coursework focused on quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and systems approaches to meeting the health care needs of the public.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

There are a number of learning outcomes associated with the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. It is intended that students of the program will

  • Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics and the biophysical, psychosocial, analytic and organizational sciences as the basis for advanced nursing practice.†

  • Use analytic methods to critically appraise published research, benchmarking data, standards of practice, and clinical expertise to design, implement and evaluate best practices.††

  • Develop effective strategies to ensure safety and quality care for patients and populations.††

  • Analyze practice initiatives to improve healthcare outcomes in relation to benefit, risk, efficiency and effectiveness.†

  • Select, design and evaluate information and patient care technology systems to improve population and systems outcomes considering legal, ethical and regulatory issues.††

  • Employ consultative, collaborative and leadership skills to facilitate effective communication, enhance patient outcomes, and create change in systems impacting healthcare.††

  • Use advanced knowledge to influence legal, political and organizational policy to support access to care and social justice.††

  • Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability in the design, delivery and evaluation of evidence based care in complex situations.††

STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

Multiple entry points will be available for applicants to the DNP program. Students will have the option of completing requirements for FNP or ANP certification within the larger context of the DNP degree. Post-BSN nurses will have the option to enter the program, complete coursework and certification requirements as an ANP or FNP and continue to the DNP.†Additional options for student entry include those for masterís prepared nurses lacking certification in an advanced practice role, who may choose to complete coursework and certification requirements for the ANP or FNP and continue through the DNP.†Finally, advanced practice nurses who hold current certification may choose to enter directly into DNP coursework, and so complete the degree in a significantly shortened timeframe. These applicants may hold advanced practice certification as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists or clinical nurse specialists.

MULTIPLE ENTRY POINTS FOR DNP ADMISSION

Applicant Credentials Masterís Level CourseworkDoctoral Level CourseworkDegree Awarded
Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degreeAll Lewis masterís level coursework required for ANP or FNP specializationsDoctor of Nursing Practice courseworkDoctor of Nursing Practice Degree
Registered Nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing degree and advanced practice certificationDoctor of Nursing Practice courseworkDoctor of Nursing Practice Degree
Registered nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing degree without†advanced practice certificationLewis Adult or Family Nurse Practitioner coursework and certification requirementsDoctor of Nursing Practice courseworkDoctor of Nursing Practice Degree


ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Unless otherwise stated, application and admission requirements for the DNP will be identical to those for students seeking the Master of Science in Nursing degree.

Additional Requirements Include:

  • Post-masterís applicants to the DNP must hold current national specialty certification as an advanced practice nurse (CRNA, CNP, CNS, CNM).
    OR
  • Post-masterís applicants without national specialty certification as an advanced practice nurse may apply to the program and develop an individualized, approved curriculum plan to include course and clinical practicum requirements to meet eligibility for national specialty certification as an advanced practice nurse.
    AND
  • Applicants to the DNP must have two years of clinical experience.
  • Applicants must complete all requirements for admission prior to enrollment in the first course.
  • Applicants are required to have completed a three semester hour graduate level course in statistics, and a three hour graduate level course in epidemiology. If not previously completed, these courses will be in addition to the published hour requirement for the DNP.

TIME REQUIREMENTS

For post-MSN applicants with national specialty certification as an advanced practice nurse, the time limit for program completion is three calendar years.

For post-baccalaureate or post-masterís applicants, the time limit for completion is five calendar years. For post-master's applicants without national specialty certification as an advanced practice nurse, the time limit for completion is four calendar years.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The number of credit hours required for degree completion depends on the student entering the program:

Post-baccalaureate student Ė 83 credit hours required

RN with MSN and no Advanced Practice Certification Ė 70 credit hours required

RN with MSN and Advanced Practice Certification Ė 38 credit hours required