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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for students who are engaged in advanced nursing practice and want to improve health outcomes. St. Catherine's practice doctorate program educates master's prepared nurses to:
- develop advanced competencies for increasingly complex practice roles
- enhance knowledge that improves nursing practice and health outcomes
- assume leadership to strengthen healthcare practice, programs and policies
New to many healthcare facilities and academic settings, DNPs are prepared to take on leadership roles.
The DNP program at St. Catherine University educates scholar-practitioners who influence, implement, and evaluate needed systems and policy changes in challenging and changing times.
Practice-focused Doctoral Education
The DNP degree is championed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which has called for more highly educated nurses to meet the healthcare needs of a changing population.
Careers for DNP Graduates
DNPs can be expected to take on leadership roles in their specialty areas of practice, such as chief nursing executive, director of a primary care clinic, academic faculty or director of a system-wide quality improvement department.
DNP Plan of Study
The DNP program is offered on a part-time schedule, meeting on St. Catherine's campus in St. Paul, Minnesota, one weekend per month, and can be completed in 24-27 months. A full-time option is also available, which requires the completion of two classes per semester in the fall and winter, and can be completed in 15-18 months.
The degree requires completion of six (6) courses consisting of 19 classroom credits and 9 practicum credits. A systems change project is included in the course requirements. The program includes coursework in ethical leadership, social justice, interprofessional collaboration to improve population health, the knowledge of the discipline of nursing, informatics, evidence-based practice, organizational systems, healthcare economics and health policy.
The courses are innovative and interrelated including classroom, practicum and cohort experiences. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to improve healthcare outcomes among populations using evidenced-based practice innovations. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership in shaping healthcare policy, implementing changes in healthcare practice at the systems level, and demonstrating evidence-based decision making related to healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations.
In-class sessions are held on Friday evenings and Saturdays monthly. Clinical practicums will vary depending on site and learning needs and preference of the student and clinical site mentor(s).
This nursing education program is a candidate for accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Contact information for the NLNAC is: 3343 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Suite 500, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, phone: 404-975-5000.
A minimum of 19 classroom credits and 9 practicum credits. The overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. Students in the DNP program complete a systems change project prior to graduation. DNP students complete the program within four years of initial enrollment.
To progress in the program, students must receive a B grade in every course and comply with the DNP program student policies to remain in good standing. A Guided Improvement Plan is developed with students who do not fulfill these requirements.
There are six required doctoral level courses in the DNP program:
NURS 8500 Underpinnings of the Discipline of Nursing
NURS 8510 Information Systems and Technologies
NURS 8520 Advanced Evidence-Based Practice
NURS 8530 Organizations and Systems: Implications for Practice
NURS 8540 Health Care: Power, Policy and Politics
NURS 8600 Systems Change Project; (or 8610 and 8620)
There are no other required supporting, recommended or elective courses.
Students complete at least 450 advanced clinical practicum hours related to the systems change project. Students identify a site and site mentor for the systems change project, which may be conducted at the student's practice setting. Faculty collaborate with students to facilitate selection of mentors and clinical practicum experiences.