A A Email Print Share

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

School of Nursing Fact Sheet

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree enables the graduates to transform the health care delivery system and design new systems to improve the context in which health care is offered. Nurses prepared at the DNP level will function from a strong evidence based foundation, effectively assessing health care policy, organizational effectiveness, and economic trends in health care to design new models for patient care services. The practice doctorate is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice, and offers an alternative to research focused doctoral programs.

Nursing DNP Scholarship 2014-2016

Congratulations to this year's Scholarship Winners:

  • Patricia Lewis
  • Christa Pontani
Curriculum

DNP Curriculum

New DNP curriculum

Program Outcomes

DNP Program Outcomes

The graduate of the DNP program will:

  1. Demonstrate effective clinical judgment in the interpretation, application, and evaluation of multiple sources of data and evidence.
  2. Promote and model interprofessional collaboration.
  3. Empower colleagues, patients, families and communities to act on behalf of justice.
  4. Design, implement, and evaluate strategies to transform processes and systems to enhance patient care services and outcomes.
  5. Create collaborative learning environments and relationships to advance patient comfort and safety.
  6. Foster the exploration of knowledge for translation in the delivery of health care services.
  7. Establish culturally competent environments and systems of care that respect diversity.
  8. Model ethical decision making in all aspects of practice with self, patient/family, community, and health care delivery systems.
  9. Lead change to transform cost, quality and access to health care services.
  • Portfolio is the outcome of the signature courses.
  • Practice thesis is the outcome of the role immersion courses.
  • A transformational leader in practice and health care delivery systems is the outcome of the entire program.
AACN Synergy Model

The Synergy Model for Patient Care, developed by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, has been adopted by the faculty and integrated into the undergraduate and graduate nursing curriculums.  The core concept of the Synergy Model: the needs or characteristics of patients and families influence the characteristics or competencies of the nurse.  Synergy results when the needs and characteristics of a patient, clinical unit or system match those of the nurse.

The Synergy Model describes eight patient characteristics (needs) and eight nurse characteristics (competencies); patient needs drive nurse competencies.  Each individual characteristic is further delineated by levels of complexity or intensity.  The core competencies of the nurse include clinical judgment, advocacy, clinical practices, collaboration, systems thinking, response to diversity, clinical inquiry and facilitation of learning.  These eight competencies provide the basis for program and level outcomes in the undergraduate program.  An additional ninth program/level outcome focuses on the synergy between the nurse’s competencies and patient characteristics as it relates to patient outcomes.  Similarly, the graduate program outcomes are based on these same nurse characteristics but at a higher level. Underlying all competencies is the unique contribution of nurses to provide safe passage for patients and their families through the health care environment.

The table below illustrates the relationship between nurse competencies of the Synergy Model and the MSN program outcomes.

Nurse Competencies

Program Outcomes

Clinical Judgment Integrate clinical judgment skills when implementing care for individuals, families, groups, and community.
Advocacy Justify one’s practice through the implementation of the role of being a moral agent.
Caring Practices Display a caring attitude in all aspects of one’s practice.
Collaboration Initiate collaborative efforts for the improvement of care to individuals and for improvement in the health care delivery.
Systems Thinking Demonstrate the ability to utilize integrated systems analysis for the personal and professional navigation of the health care delivery systems.
Response to Diversity Integrate cultural sensitivity in caring for individuals/families of diverse populations.
Clinical Inquiry Engage in evidenced-based practice.
Facilitation of Learning Incorporate teaching into all aspects of one’s practice.
Impact of “synergy” nurse/patient characteristics and patient outcomes Evaluate the interrelationship of nurse competencies and the patient characteristics to patient outcomes.