Nursing: Doctor of Nursing Practice — DNP

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the terminal practice degree for advanced nursing practice. The DNP degree program at Auburn University College of Nursing is a post-master's program designed for students who are advanced practice registered nurses and hold national certification in the advanced practice role prior to starting the DNP program.

The DNP program of study builds on the competencies acquired through studies at the master’s level, and provides additional specialized knowledge and skills to prepare nurses for the highest level of clinical nursing practice. Students gain enhanced leadership skills and transformation abilities to provide leadership in implementing evidence-based practice, translating research into practice and policy decision-making, and improving healthcare delivery and outcomes. Graduates of the DNP program are able to recognize trends in health care and population health, and implement strategies that will promote improved patient outcomes and safety while maintaining quality and value.

The DNP program is 39-credit hours and can be completed in 5 semesters of full-time study, including summers, or approximately 18 months. Courses are delivered primarily online, including synchronous and asynchronous web conferencing; students also are required to attend an on-campus orientation to the program, one to two days of on-campus course meetings each semester, and complete practicum requirements. Students complete a practice-focused scholarly project under the direction of a project team and 300 practicum hours during the last three semesters of study. Practicum hours provide opportunities to apply new knowledge and skills into practice and demonstrate competencies of the DNP-prepared advanced practice nurse. Consistent with The Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2006), at least 1,000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours must be completed in practice environments. All DNP students are required to provide official verification of academically-supervised clinical experiences completed in their master's/post-master's in nursing program and complete any remaining hours needed to satisfy the 1,000 hour requirement. Some students will need to complete more credits beyond the 39 credits required for graduation in order to meet the practicum hour requirement, and may repeat NURS 8540 Advanced Practice Practicum until the 1,000 hours are achieved.

Admission Criteria

  • Submission of all official transcripts to the Graduate School

  • Nursing GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in Master's program

  • Good academic standing from last university attended

  • Current unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the state in which student plans to participate in any clinical experience
  • A minimum of a master's degree from an accredited nursing program:  Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA).
  • Three professional references for recommendation
  • 500 word professional goal statement 
  • National certification and recognition or licensure as a nurse practitioner in the state where practicing

  • Resume or curriculum vitae

Semester I
NURS 8410Theory Application for Advanced Practice *3
NURS 8510Foundation for Evidence-Based Practice *3
NURS 8710Transitional Skills for DNP Practice *2
Semester II
NURS 8320Informatics and Management of Health Outcomes3
NURS 8420Population Health Outcomes3
NURS 8720Health Innovations and Clinical Outcomes Improvements *3
Semester III
NURS 8330Quantitative Methods for Evidence-Based Practice **3
NURS 8430Financial Management for Advanced Practice3
NURS 8930DNP Project Practicum I : Development (1 theory, 2 clinical)3
Semester IV
NURS 8440Leadership for Advanced Health Policy3
NURS 8540Advanced Practice Practicum2
NURS 8940DNP Project Practicum II : Implementation (1 theory, 3 clinical)4
Semester V
NURS 8950DNP Project Practicum III : Evaluation and Presentations4
Total Hours39

*Pre-requisite to NURS 8930: DNP Project I: Development

**Pre-Requisite or Co-requisite to NURS 8930: DNP Project I: Development

DNP Project courses I, II and III must be taken in sequence