Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused doctorate comparable to advanced clinical degrees in other health disciplines such as Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The degree represents the highest academic preparation for nursing practice, focusing on expanded scientific knowledge related to providing comprehensive direct care across all settings. Grounded in clinical practice, the DNP moves the focus of advanced practice nursing from the level of the individual patient to the population level by using a cross-population perspective to assess, manage, and evaluate common problems. The DNP is the preferred degree for advanced practice nursing (AACN, 2004). The DNP is expected to become the standard in advanced nursing practice.

The practitioner tracks prepare candidates to provide quality healthcare services to all members of the community, with an emphasis on meeting the unique healthcare needs of culturally diverse and underserved populations. Clinical experiences in a variety of hospitals and agencies in surrounding communities allow for synthesis of clinical judgment, assessment, diagnostic skills, and theory.

The Egan School has long been recognized for its commitment to individualizing instruction and educational experiences. Each student is assigned to a faculty advisor who works closely with students to mentor progression through the program. Academic counseling, individualized attention, and career planning are integral to the advisement process. Faculty members in the Egan School are exceptionally qualified by academic and clinical preparation. Many faculty are currently practicing in advanced practice roles.

For BSN-DNP students, we currently offer advanced practice specialties in family and psychiatric nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and nurse anesthesia. The BSN-DNP program requires 72-76 course credits for completion, depending on the selected track students enter. Students entering with a MSN are required to complete a minimum of 32 credits for the Advanced Practice DNP and 35 credits for the Executive DNP.

Note: A total of 1000 practicum/immersion hours is required for the DNP, with the exception of the Nurse Anesthesia program which requires a minimum of 2250 hours. For MSN to DNP students, these hours include documented hours of supervision in an MSN program.

Program Outcomes

A graduate of the Egan School DNP program will be able to:

  1. Independently provide culturally sensitive and evidence-based care to individuals and populations in a defined area of advanced nursing practice.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking at the highest level of practice and accountability in the management of healthcare systems, considering ethical, legal, and socially just patient-centered care.
  3. Translate research into practice through critique of existing evidence, evaluation of outcomes, and implementation of projects that contribute to the development of best practices.
  4. Integrate science and theory from nursing and related disciplines within a reflective practice framework to inform clinical judgments, resolve dilemmas in healthcare, and serve as a patient care advocate.
  5. Evaluate patient, population, and healthcare system outcomes using fiscal analysis and cost-effective strategies to achieve quality improvement.
  6. Analyze the use of healthcare information systems and patient care technology to assure quality healthcare outcomes.
  7. Lead collaborative interprofessional relationships and partnerships to transform healthcare delivery systems and improve health.
  8. Assume a leadership role in the analysis, development, implementation, and evaluation of policies to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

DNP Immersion Policy


DNP students in the FNP and PMHNP tracks who have exceeded the 200 required clinical practicum hours in any semester may be awarded Immersion credits (in increments of 50 hours) for time in the clinical setting that is focused on the development of clinical skills above and beyond those required for the clinical course objectives. Students would be required to pay for the Immersion credit(s). In order to receive Immersion credit at the end of the semester, students would have to obtain the following approvals before undertaking the additional hours:

  • Approval of the clinical Course Instructor, indicating that the student had met all clinical course objectives and had permission to accrue additional clinical hours for the purpose of developing additional skills.
  • Additional approval of the student’s DNP Advisor and their Track Coordinator.


Students in the Post-Master's DNP program are required to provide verification of their post-baccalaureate practice hours upon admission to the program. Letters of verification from the Master’s-granting University must be submitted on University letterhead. Effective Fall 2017, the Egan School will accept a maximum of 600 post-baccalaureate supervised practice hours from approved Masters’ level coursework. Applications for Post-Masters students with more than 1000 post-baccalaureate supervised practice hours will be considered on a case by case basis.