Doctor of Nursing Practice

Kaplan University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses to thrive in today’s rapidly changing health care environment. With the shrinking number of primary care providers, the nursing shortage, and the increasing complexity of patient care, the field of nursing needs clinical experts and leaders with the highest level of scientific knowledge and expertise.  

Kaplan University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice fits into the schedules of busy advanced nurses, allowing them to earn a valuable health care credential while continuing to work. This degree could open the door to new opportunities for clinical and leadership positions in a variety of roles.*

At this time, residents of the following states may not enroll in the Doctor of Nursing Practice: Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia.

Program Outcomes

Our online Doctor of Nursing Practice is designed to prepare nurses to:

  • Analyze data and scientific research to improve nursing practice
  • Provide organizational and system leadership to continuously improve quality of health care and foster interprofessional collaboration
  • Evaluate ethical, legal, and social factors in shaping and developing health policies
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Clinical Practice Experiences

Candidates enrich and deepen their specialty practice by engaging in practice experiences. These experiences are designed to empower students to integrate practice and theory in the delivery of complex health care within their specialty areas. Each student will be guided by a DNP Faculty Mentor who is dedicated to his or her success.

All students must earn a minimum of 1,000 postbaccalaureate practice hours for degree completion.

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Scholarly Project

The program culminates in the successful completion of a practice-focused project that is completed over the course of several semesters. This project must demonstrate students’ ability to synthesize knowledge and develop new systems, and produce real-world outcomes in their practice settings. Students complete the scholarly project under the mentorship of a DNP Faculty Mentor.

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Sequence of Study

If you possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing, upon successful completion of the Master of Science in Nursing—DNP Path you will then complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is also open to individuals who possess a master’s degree in nursing. If your master’s-level population focus differs from your chosen doctoral-level focus, consider completing one of our post-master’s certificates prior to beginning Doctor of Nursing Practice coursework.

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Program Length

The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.

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Accreditation

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Kaplan University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is designed to prepares graduates to pursue clinical and leadership positions as advanced nurses in a variety of roles including nurse practitioners, nurse executives, expert clinicians, and faculty.

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

04

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 04, 2017

22

Mar

Online and Campus Start Date

March 22, 2017

07

Jun

Online and Campus Start Date

June 07, 2017

23

Aug

Online and Campus Start Date

August 23, 2017

08

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 08, 2017

Curriculum: All Tracks

  • Core

    Total Core Credits: 60

    Total Program Credits: 60

    • DN 703: SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATIONS FOR PRACTICE DOCTORATE Change

      In this course, students will examine the evolution of nursing science and the emergence of the DNP degree based on the utilization of evidence to influence the health of populations. Students will be introduced to advanced levels of systems thinking with a focus on designing programs to improve patient, population, and health system outcomes based on levels of evidence available. Students will appraise new practice approaches based on theories from nursing and other disciplines. During this course, students will identify a population focus for the DNP Capstone Project.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None
      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 713: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF POPULATION HEALTH Change

      This course focuses on comprehending, synthesizing, and applying emerging scientific knowledge specific to clinical prevention and population health. Students will synthesize trends among epidemiologic, biostatistical, and environmental data to derive solutions to tenacious or new health care problems based on existing health data sets and the scientific literature. Consideration will be accorded to social determinants of health in the processes of conducting risk assessment, intervention development and implementation, health care delivery planning, and evaluation. Models of clinical prevention and population health care delivery will be evaluated. This course includes a practicum experience of 20 hours focused on population health.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Corequisite: DN 703

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 723: DNP CAPSTONE PROJECT—ANALYTIC METHODS AND CAPSTONE PROPOSAL Change

      Students will analyze methods and tools for critical appraisal and application of empirical, reflective, and practice-based information to improve the quality of care and outcomes for specific populations. Students will analyze and appraise an identified issue within the population, such as outcomes of practice, practice patterns, policies, or organizational systems of care. The application of evidence-based practice is emphasized for designing and implementing an intervention to influence an identified issue. Methods for evaluating outcomes of the proposed intervention will be explored. Students will develop and defend a proposal for a DNP Capstone Project in this course. This course includes a practicum experience of 60 hours.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      DN 713

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 733: ETHICS, POLICY, AND ADVOCACY FOR POPULATION HEALTH Change

      This course will prepare you to design and implement culturally proficient health care policies with special consideration of issues of social justice and equity. Legal and ethical challenges encountered in practice leadership, decision making, and the implementation of systems and organizational change processes and policies will be explored. Ethics, health care policy, and advocacy specific to an individualized area of capstone problem focus will be emphasized. This course includes a practicum experience of 40 hours. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Prerequisite: DN 703; Corequisite: DN 723

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 743: CLINICAL DECISION MAKING FOR PRACTICE DOCTORATE Change

      In this course, students will analyze current and emerging aggregate-level clinical prevention and population health issues. Students will demonstrate and apply experiential, contextual, and evidence-based best practices, cost/benefits, and systematic plans for quality improvement benchmarks with the end goal of designing aggregate-level clinical prevention and population health interventions. This course includes a practicum experience of 40 hours.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      DN 733

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 753: TRANSFORMING THE HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION Change

      This course provides the student with evidence-based organizational and leadership knowledge and skills necessary to appraise practice leadership theories and organizational models.  The influence of economics, health policy, stakeholders, information technology, and interprofessional collaboration upon health care organizational operations will be explored.  Each student will identify a practice leadership model that will inform a capstone project focus. This course includes a practicum experience of 40 hours.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Prerequisite: DN 733; Corequisite: DN 743

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 803: DNP PROJECT DEVELOPMENT―DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING Change

      In this course, you will appraise systematic experiential, contextual, and best evidence-based practice, and the use of information technology and data to design the DNP Project. In-depth work with experts from nursing and other disciplines will be incorporated to offer opportunities for meaningful student engagement and networking in the health care environment. You will acquire the skills and knowledge essential to process and manage information systems/technology resources in a variety of health care settings. Through assignments and discussions, you will retrieve and critically analyze digital data essential to heath care quality improvement. Informatics tools for data extraction, organization, and interpretation will be compared. This course requires 120 supervised practice hours which may be applied to the doctoral project.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      DN 753

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 813: DNP CLINICAL SCHOLARSHIP IMPLEMENTATION Change

      The DNP Capstone Project provides the student the opportunity for in-depth analysis, synthesis, and application of a chosen topic that contributes to an area of scholarship in advanced nursing practice. The DNP Capstone Project will be developed and implemented and the outcomes will be evaluated and disseminated across three sequential courses. DN 813 is the second course in the series. In this course, the student will implement the Capstone Project in the practicum setting with oversight provided by the preceptor, faculty, and the DNP Capstone committee. This course has a practicum component of 120 hours.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      DN 803

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • DN 823: DNP CAPSTONE PROJECT—DISSEMINATION Change

      The DNP Capstone Project provides you with the opportunity for in-depth analysis, synthesis, and application of a chosen topic that contributes to an area of scholarship in advanced nursing practice. The outcomes of the DNP Capstone Project will be developed and implemented and the outcomes will be evaluated and disseminated across three sequential courses. This course is the third and final course in the series. In this course, you will disseminate the outcomes of the Capstone Project in a written paper suitable for publication and a formal presentation. This course has a practicum component of 80 hours.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      DN 813

      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.
    • 3 TO 12 CREDITS OF INDEPENDENT STUDY COURSES (IF REQUIRED) Change

      Credits:

      12

      Prerequisites Required:

      N/A
      The actual number of credits required for graduation may range from 48 to 60 credits depending on the number of supervised practice hours you bring into the program at the time of enrollment. Independent study options are available for those students who need additional coursework to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of postbaccalaureate practice as part of a supervised academic program prior to graduation. Please reference the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Nursing practice.

Curriculum: Concentration

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