Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Practice Nursing at its Highest Level

Revised admission requirements for 2014

The DNP is the terminal practice degree for the nursing profession. Distinct from the more common research-focused Ph.D. programs in nursing, Lewis' Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program prepares nurses for advanced nursing practice, by building upon their advanced clinical skills with coursework focused on quality improvement, evidence-based practice and systems approaches to meeting the healthcare needs of the public, including:

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

View specific admission requirements for our Doctor of Nursing Practice program today!

Lewis University's College of Nursing and Health Professions is an established leader in nursing education. The baccalaureate and master's programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

To learn more, contact a Graduate Admission Counselor at or call (815) 836-5610.