Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Lead the way forward. Nurses advancing clinical practice are vital to the continued health and well being of our society – your expertise and experience raise the standard of care across all patient populations and influence health care policy for the next generation. Hospitals and health care organizations nationwide need nurse executives and advance practice nurses like you, with the scientific training and leadership skills needed to guide the industry into the future.

Wilkes University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is grounded in applied research and clinical practice. The 30-credit DNP curriculum focuses on the latest scientific knowledge, information technology advances, and evolving public health policy.

Our DNP program is designed to produce clinical leaders who can translate evidence-based research directly into practice. All Wilkes online DNP students also complete a mentored capstone Scholarly Project in a clinical setting.

If you’re ready to become a leader in your field, you’re ready for Wilkes DNP.

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Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to meeting all of the objectives and requirements for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online degree program, successful DNP candidates will also demonstrate the ability to:

  • Synthesize nursing science to manage complex health problems and improve health outcomes in advanced nursing practice
  • Develop and evaluate knowledge and skills in organizational and systems leadership to improve health care practice and policy
  • Critically analyze information technology, research methodology, and quality improvement methodology to implement the best evidence based practice
  • Design and analyze patient care technology and information systems to enhance quality of health care delivery
  • Evaluate health care policies to improve health care policy outcomes at the local, state, and national levels
  • Employ specialized knowledge and leadership skills when collaborating and leading other inter-professional health care teams in complex health care delivery systems
  • Analyze health disparities, cultural diversity, environmental, and societal needs in the care of individuals, aggregates, and populations
  • Develop, demonstrate, and sustain advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking and accountability to implement and evaluate evidence based care disparities, cultural diversity, environmental and societal needs in the care of individuals, aggregates, and populations.

 

 

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Courses

Wilkes University’s DNP program is a 30 credit-hour online program and will result in a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. With scheduled breaks, the DNP program can be completed fully online in 24 months.

The DNP curriculum is offered in the following sequence of classes. Please note that NSG 608a and NSG 608b are capstone courses consisting of an original Scholarly Project* completed over the last 32 weeks of the program (see below).

Doctor of Nursing Practice Courses
34 credits
NSG 600 (3)
Nursing Informatics
Students use information systems to analyze patient data, perform research, and evaluate project outcomes. The course will include applications in computer-based patient records, database management systems, e-health, distance education, and research. Legal and ethical issues associated with computer use are examined.
NSG 601 (3)
Biostatistics
Statistics is the science whereby inferences are made about specific random phenomena on the basis of relatively limited sample material. It is widely used in biological, health, and social sciences, etc. Biostatistics is the branch of applied statistics that applies statistical methods to medical and biological problems.
NSG 602 (3)
Ethical Principles for Advanced Nursing Practice
This course will analyze a broad range of ethical principles that impact the health professions, from euthanasia and abortion to informed consent and behavior control. Examination of the ethical, moral, and legal obligations within selected decision-making frameworks will be completed. Strategies to assist in the resolution of ethical dilemmas will be developed through the application of selected theories and concepts. Interaction between ethical, legal, and political events that affect advanced practice nursing will be explored.
NSG 603 (3)
Application of Nursing Research
This course analyzes research methods to appraise research literature for application to practice and evaluate practice outcomes in varied settings. Application of relevant research findings are used to generate practice guidelines, design evidence-based interventions and examine patterns and predict outcomes. The collaborative role of the DNP in research is discussed.
Prerequisite: NSG 601
NSG 604 (3)
Epidemiology and Environmental Health
The purpose of this course is to examine the concepts and methods of epidemiological and environmental health analysis and their application to advanced nursing practice. The student will be able to integrate this knowledge into nursing practice in a variety of health care settings through research, program development, health policy and advocacy.
NSG 605 (3)
Collaboration in Health Care Delivery
This course focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to promote collaboration with all members of the interdisciplinary health care team. Content will include exploration of the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies for effective health care delivery.
NSG 606 (3)
Diversity and Social Issues
This course focuses on cultural and social issues affecting members of a global society. A critical appraisal of health care disparities is emphasized, and strategies for quality improvement are analyzed.
NSG 607 (3)
Leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice
This course provides an opportunity for students to analyze theories of leadership and management as they relate to the multifaceted role in advanced nursing practice. The health care environment, with its ongoing changes in organization and financing, is impacted upon by changes in health policy, regulatory processes, and quality measures. The understanding of this content will prepare the student to provide quality cost-effective care, to participate in the design and implementation of care in a variety of health care systems, and to assume a leadership role in the managing of human, fiscal, and physical care resources.
NSG 608a and NSG 608b (6)
Scholarly Project*

Completed over the last 32 weeks of the DNP program. In this capstone course, the student, under the guidance of a selected faculty member, will analyze and synthesize theoretical and empirical research relevant to a clinical practice issue. Students will design a comprehensive and holistic approach to this problem using evidence-based presentation. This course provides opportunity for additional clinical practice needed for the development of advanced nursing practice competencies. Required clinical hours for DNP clinical competency are dependent upon educational / clinical background. This could vary from 500 to 1000 hours.
Prerequisites: NSG 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606, and 607.

* Scholarly Project
DNP students are required to complete a Scholarly Project that demonstrates mastery of program content through the completion of a clinical pilot study. The Scholarly Project is 6 credits and is completed over the last 32 weeks of the program. Each Scholarly Project is unique and directed at making a practice or policy change. To qualify, a Scholarly Project must: 1. Be clinically focused 2. Have NO control group; and 3. Use outcome data to support a practice or policy change. Scholarly Projects are overseen by a Scholarly Project Chairperson at Wilkes University plus an onsite clinical mentor of the student’s choosing. The Chairperson will validate that the student has completed the required clinical hours for the project. The final project is presented to the Scholarly Project Committee via webcam or onsite at the university.

NSG 609 (2)
DNP Program Practicum I (elective)**

This course provides students pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree the opportunity for achieving additional clinical hours as required for meeting program outcomes. The focus will be on preparing students as experts in a specific area for advancing nursing practice, for the final scholarly project. The student will develop a PICO statement for the scholarly project which will guide this intense practice immersion experience. The student will collaborate with an identified clinical mentor.

(Elective; Clinical hours total: 150 hours/8 weeks/2 credits)

NSG 610 (2)
DNP Program Practicum II (elective)**

This course provides students pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree the opportunity for achieving additional clinical hours as required for meeting program outcomes. The focus will be on preparing students as experts in a specific area for advancing nursing practice, for the final scholarly project. The student will begin to bridge knowledge gained from the intense practice immersion experience through application to a scholarly project implementation plan. The student will collaborate with an identified clinical mentor.

(Elective; Clinical hours total: 150 hours/8 weeks/2 credits)

 

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Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Wilkes University:

  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Professor of Nursing
  • Health Care Administrator
  • Health Care Policy Analyst
  • Nurse Manager
  • Clinical Research Specialist
  • Public Health Educator