Converse with mountains and text overlay with academic year and Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Requirements

Download PDF


  • Ronda Lucey, Program Director
  • Sheryl Steadman, Dean

View Doctor of Nursing Practice Courses


The post-graduate Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed to prepare graduates with advanced skills, and abilities that are important to clinical practice; including an increased knowledge in leadership, clinical experience, and the business of health. Graduates are prepared for a variety of nursing practice roles and equipped with the abilities to assume leadership roles within complex healthcare organizations.

The post-graduate DNP program will use a hybrid executive format model similar to other graduate programs at Westminster University. Nationally recognized standards and competencies were used to develop the curriculum which will integrate online learning with traditional residency learning. The curriculum consists of 32 credit hours offered over 3 full-time semesters (6 part-time semesters) and taught by qualified faculty from a variety of disciplines. A doctorate level scholarly project will be required to demonstrate the student’s ability to synthesize doctoral level concepts presented throughout the program.

Program Goals

  • Prepare advanced nursing practice leaders to analyze and evaluate scientific knowledge to improve outcomes and ensure quality in health care systems.
  • Prepare advanced nursing practice leaders in the education of social justice and to promote culturally relevant health care to reduce health disparities.
  • Prepare advanced nursing practice leaders to utilize technology and information literacy to improve health care.
  • Prepare advanced nursing practice leaders with increased knowledge, skills, and expertise in communication, scientific foundations, leadership, and health care systems.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate leadership to influence healthcare policy, regulation, financing, ethics, and delivery.
  • Influence health and social policy for diverse populations resulting in improved access and quality of care in systems.
  • Evaluate and implement current research to guide evidence-based patient care across populations.
  • Integrate appropriate technologies for knowledge management to improve health care.
  • Apply knowledge of organizational practices, complex systems, and collaboration to improve health care delivery.
  • Evaluate the ethical consequences of decisions.

Program Requirements

  • Students must enter with an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) degree at the master’s level from a regionally accredited graduate program. (Master’s program must include advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology.)
  • 1000 clinical hours are required for degree.
    • Students may transfer in 700 clinical hours from their master’s program.
    • At least 300 doctoral level clinical hours are required regardless of number of clinical hours in master’s program.
    • Additional clinical hours may be required if total clinical hours in NP program was less than 700.
  • A total of 7 credit hours will be required for completion of the scholarly project development/scholarly project.
  • Students must earn at least a B grade in all courses to continue progression in program.
  • A minimum of 32 semester hours is required for graduation. The acceptance of transfer credit, up to 9 hours, is individually evaluated. The minimum number of clinical practice hours for the program is 300 hours.
Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 32  
DNP 710 Epidemiology/Population Health 3  
DNP 715 Health Care Policy and Economics in Clinical Practice 3  
DNP 720 Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Theory, Design & Methods 3  
DNP 725 Leadership and Role Development in Advanced Nursing Practice 3  
DNP 730 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Practice (Biostatistics) 3  
DNP 740 Advanced Theory and Ethical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice 3  
DNP 745 Informatics in Health Care Systems 3  
DNP 750 Quality and Safety Across Healthcare Settings 3  
DNP 760 Scholarly Project Development 2  
DNP 765 Scholarly Project II 3 DNP 760
DNP 770 Scholarly Project III 3 DNP 765
DNP 799 DNP Continuing Registration 0  
Total Hours for Post Graduate DNP Program 32  

Recommended Plan of Study

Recommended Part-Time Plan of Study