Doctor of Nursing Practice
About the DNP Program
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is offered as a full-time- or part-time program for individuals holding a BSN or MSN-CNL degree or MSN degree and an advanced practice degree. There are two semesters lasting 20 weeks and a shorter summer semester that some concentrations require students to attend. Students are required to be on campus three times yearly for a week. A student's first two terms consist primarily of core courses, and the last two or more terms focus on courses in the student's area of specialization, as well as a resident practicum. Resident work is arranged by the student in conjunction with a UTHSC faculty member, and students typically complete the residency requirement in the area they currently live.
The length of the program depends on the student's qualifications and area of concentration. For example, the program length for a student entering with a BSN or MSN without advanced practice certification will take approximately 3 years, full-time to complete. The program length for a student entering with a MSN with a nurse practitioner certification will take a minimum 1.5 years of full-time study to complete.
- Coursework is presented primarily online, with 3 weeks of required on-campus times yearly.
- Designed to offer students flexibility in determining their own living arrangements, schedule of study, and timing of engagement in coursework.
- On-campus time is for face-to-face meetings, classes, exams, seminars, discussion groups, etc.
- On-campus schedules will vary from term to term depending on classes and concentration.
DNP graduates will likely seek practice leadership roles in a variety of settings:
- Management of quality initiatives
- Executives in healthcare organizations
- Directors of clinical programs
- Faculty positions responsible for clinical program delivery and clinical teaching
- Policy positions (legislatures, advocacy groups, volunteers)
- Numerous positions at the CDC and local/state health departments
Students are assigned to work closely with a faculty advisor/mentor within the faculty advisors program of practice.
Upon completion of the DNP program the graduate will be able to:
- Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment/scholarship in nursing practice;
- critically analyze complex clinical situations and practice systems;
- evaluate and apply conceptual models, theories, and research in order to improve health care of diverse populations;
- systematically investigate a clinically focused area of nursing in order to advance health care;
- analyze the social, economic, political, and policy components of health care systems which affect care planning and delivery;
- assume leadership roles in the development of clinical practice models, health policy, and standards of care;
- integrate professional values and ethical decision-making in advanced nursing practice.