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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

The accredited† Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is designed for master’sprepared nurses who want to move into administrative positions, nurse administrators who want to expand their leadership responsibilities, or nurse leaders who want to design and implement health care delivery programs. The curriculum emphasizes effective health care delivery; patient advocacy; and health care policy development, implementation, and reform. Throughout the program, learners assess and apply theory, build therapeutic relationships, design and implement therapeutic interventions, and lead and manage in the health care environment. Upon successful completion of this degree program, learners are prepared to apply the knowledge and skills needed to meet diverse patient needs and improve health care delivery. The DNP degree program is not designed to prepare advanced practice registered nurses for roles as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, or certified nurse anesthetists. Registered nurses who have a master’s degree in nursing or a field other than nursing may pursue Capella’s DNP.

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Practicum Requirement(s):

Minimum of 1,000 supervised practicum hours. See the Practicum section, below, for more information.

 

Thirteen Required Courses

 

52 quarter credits

NHS8002
Collaboration, Communication, and Case Analysis for Doctoral Learners

This course prepares learners for doctoral-level coursework in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Throughout the course, learners analyze and evaluate how the scholar-practitioner model provides guidance for developing competencies in effective and ethical health care leadership, including professional and interprofessional collaboration, communication, inclusion, and decision making. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NHS8040
21st-Century Health Care Improvement

Learners in this course build foundational knowledge and skills needed to shape the future of health care. Through the lens of a 21st-century health care leader, learners use critical thinking, analysis, and creative insights to examine a problem, gap, or opportunity for improvement within a health care or public health delivery system. Learners also complete a culminating project charter to further develop a coherent quality improvement plan for 21st-century health care. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NHS8070
Evaluation and Interpretation of Data in Health Care

In this course, learners examine underlying concepts and reasoning involved in the collection, preparation, and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data in health care research. Learners apply appropriate analytical techniques using commonly used software and/or best practice guidelines. Learners also interpret and report the analytical results. For DNP learners only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS8010
Executive Leadership in Contemporary Nursing

Learners in this course analyze and evaluate interrelationships within complex health care delivery systems, including organizational stakeholders; executive power structures; and population, fiscal, and policy issues. Learners apply this knowledge as well as executive leadership skills to professional practice and recommend policy changes that support system-level strategic priorities. For DNP learners only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS8012
Nursing Technology and Health Care Information Systems

Learners in this course apply information technology and research methods used within the health care environment. In particular, learners evaluate the use of technology in health care information systems for the purposes of monitoring outcomes of care and assessing quality improvement.  For DNP learners only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS8014 *
Global Population Health

In this course, learners evaluate global health issues and propose and evaluate culturally sensitive interventions to address global health concerns. Throughout the course, learners build the knowledge and skills necessary to lead the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, national, or international health care initiatives. For DNP learners only. Prerequisite(s): NURS8010. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS8035
Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

In this course, learners apply the steps of the evidence-based practice process to a health care challenge, evaluate qualitative research methods and results, and interpret the results and practical significance of qualitative health care data analyses. Learners also assess their own strengths and weaknesses in relationship to writing as a doctoral professional. For DNP learners only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS8045 *
Doctoral Writing and Professional Practice

Learners in this course write as doctoral professionals, including crafting a compelling argument and creating a literature review that supports a possible intervention or process change. Learners also obtain approval for their practicum site and preceptor and complete the related paperwork. For DNP learners only. Prerequisite(s): NURS8035, completion of or concurrent registration in NURS8012. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS9100 *
Defining the Nursing Doctoral Project

In this course, learners finalize a project charter to address a clinical or organizational problem or take advantage of an opportunity for improvement within a health care or public health setting. Learners also meet a high standard for ethical, interprofessional practice. Learners begin precepted practicum hours in this course. For DNP learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. NHS8040, NHS8070, NURS8010, NURS8012, NURS8014, NURS8035, and NURS8045. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS9901 *
Nursing Doctoral Project 1

Learners in this course obtain university approval to begin the implementation phase of their project. At the completion of the course, learners associate project outcomes with a quality/performance improvement framework and formalize the project implementation plan. This course requires completion of practicum hours. For DNP learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): NURS9100. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS9902 *
Nursing Doctoral Project 2

In this course, learners implement their projects and reflect on the process and lessons learned. Learners also conduct an exhaustive search of the literature, critically appraise the evidence, and develop a coherent interpretation and synthesis of the main themes and relationships among sources. This course requires completion of practicum hours. For DNP learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): NURS9901. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS9903 *
Nursing Doctoral Project 3

Learners in this course begin the process of documenting their project in a scholarly manner. Throughout the course, learners evaluate data, incorporate evidence, draft analysis, and develop the first part of their report on their doctoral project. This course requires completion of practicum hours. For DNP learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): NURS9902. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NURS9904 *
Nursing Doctoral Project 4

In this course, learners complete the final report and apply knowledge and experience gained during the doctoral project. Learners also create a presentation on the purpose, intervention, and results of their project to develop dissemination skills. This course requires completion of practicum hours. For DNP learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): NURS9903. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

52 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

† The BSN, MSN, and DNP degree programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

Alabama residents are not eligible to enroll in this program.

This program does not prepare graduates for licensure as an RN or APRN.

Learners enrolled in the DNP degree program are required to maintain a current, unrestricted RN license throughout their program.

GuidedPath courses and FlexPath courses fulfill the program requirements and prerequisites for each delivery model. 

 

Practicum

Learners enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program must have 1,000 documented hours of post-bachelor’s, hands-on practicum experience as a requirement of their program. The practicum experience requires learners to synthesize and expand the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program by applying evidence-based methods to practice. Learners are responsible for finding an appropriate preceptor to oversee the practicum experience. With their preceptors, learners then engage in in-depth work within a practice environment that is the focus of their final project. The environment for the practicum experience is a professional site at which learners, with the support of program faculty and their on-site preceptors, design and participate in a practice change initiative such as a pilot study, program evaluation, quality improvement project, evaluation of a new practice model, or consulting project. Learners use the practicum experience to help them achieve the DNP program outcomes and competencies and the learning objectives related to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.