Curriculum | Bachelor's to DNP

Program Overview

The DNP is an advanced-practice nursing program based on the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006) guidelines for the curriculum, and reflects a inter-disciplinary design incorporating appropriate graduate-level courses from other disciplines. 

The BS to DNP Program educates professional nurses for advanced practice in nursing in the following specialty areas:

  • adult/geriatric nurse practitioner
  • family nurse practitioner
  • adult/family psychiatric nurse practitioner

Doctoral-level courses are integrated throughout the advanced-practice nursing curriculum and prepare the future DNP to expand their knowledge and practice options. Students can opt for a dual track of study by adding a gerontological specialization to any of the advanced practice tracks.

The BS to DNP option is offered in a hybrid format consisting of online courses supplemented with minimal on-campus meetings. Students who wish to complete the program on a full-time basis should not work more than 0.6.

This advanced-practice nursing program is designed to guide nursing professionals in the development of a higher level of skill at the organizational and systems level of practice for improving healthcare outcomes that focus on the following essential elements:

  • Scientific Underpinngs for Practice
  • Organizational and System Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking
  • Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Information System/Technology and Patient Care Technology for the improvement and Transformation of Health Care
  • Health Care Policy for Advocacy in Health Care
  • Inter-professional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health outcomes
  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving the Nation's Health
  • Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Systems Change
  • Leadership in Health Care

Learning Outcomes

Students in the BS to DNP program will be prepared to:

  • Synthesize knowledge from nursing science and related disciplines as a basis for advanced nursing practice.
  • Design roles of advanced nursing practice responsive to changing environmental forces.
  • Use leadership skills, teaching, and collaborative strategies to create appropriate change in policy and systems which augment individual and population health.
  • Facilitate the investigation of nursing problems with the dissemination and integration of findings into practice.
  • Integrate knowledge of political, economic, and social issues; ethics and jurisprudence in decision-making processes to resolve dilemmas of practice
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the advancement of professional nursing and to the professional growth of self and peers.
  • Evaluate care delivery models and/or strategies using concepts related to community, environmental, cultural, socioeconomic and ethical dimensions of health.
  • Assume leadership roles in professional teams involved in the development of clinical practice models, practice guidelines, quality improvement processes, health policy and standards of care.
  • Analyze multiple sources of client outcome data through information technology and research methods for application to healthcare delivery, program development, practice guidelines, and problem solving processes.
  • Evaluate interventions to improve health status, access patterns, and/or gaps in care of populations within a community of focus, particularly those who are rural or culturally disadvantaged.
  • Design and implement evidence-based, cost-effective strategies that influence healthcare outcomes positively for individuals or populations.
Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Required Courses

Expand and Collapse BIO 5777 - Independent Study

Advanced Pathophysiology is a course intended to broaden and deepen the students' knowledge of the normal and abnormal functional processes of the human body. The subject of study assumes a prior understanding of basic physiologic principles that is, in turn, built upon knowledge of cellular function and biochemical mechanisms. The ultimate goal of the course is to prepare students to visualize the mechanical functioning of the body in health and disease so that they may better understand the principles of prevention and treatment.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6605 - Theorizing Nursing Practice

A critical investigation of concepts, middle range theories, and family theories used by advanced practice health care providers in health promotion and disease prevention interventions with clients and families to achieve health outcomes.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6609 - Continuing Enrollment

Continuation of NSG 8205. Designed for students who do not complete their DNP clinical project within the designated time frame. Students register for continuing enrollment each semester while completing their work. The fee for continuing enrollment equals the tuition for one graduate semester credit. Prerequisite: NSG 8204.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6610 - Theor Hum Dev Across/Lifespan

This course explores theories of human development across the life cycle from psychoanalytic, relational, interpersonal, sociocultural, cognitive, biological, and evolutionary perspectives. Emphasis is placed on the application of these theories to health promotion in advanced nursing practice in a multicultural society.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6627 - Health Assessment Adult

Advanced physical, psychological, social and developmental skills necessary for primary care practice with adult clients. Principles and techniques of data collection, communication and physical examination are emphasized. Basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures are explored. Web-based course on campus seminars, 45 laboratory hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6671 - Rural Health

Focuses on rural health and rural health issues related to health care and health care delivery. The role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in the delivery of health care to rural populations is explored. Issues and trends in rural health and rural health care delivery are investigated.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6677 - Advanced Pharmacology

Focuses on the clinical application of advanced pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics across the lifespan for common disease conditions encountered in primary care settings. Uses a body systems approach and includes principles of altered pharmacodynamics related to age, race, and ethnicity. Explores principles of pharmacotherapeutics used by advanced practice nurses, including pharmacodynamics, client assessment, and decision-making processes for appropriate drug use, monitoring, and client education. Includes cost/benefit analysis of pharmacological intervention.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8000 - Leadership in Health Care Part I: Personal Dimensions

This course studies the various dimensions of leadership and how they apply to the health care environment. Includes theoretical models and their application to nursing models of practice, personal and organizational integration of values, key aspects of creating and sustaining a learning organization, and leadership as partnership and teamwork.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8200 - Outcomes Research

Knowledge and skill development in the evaluation of quantitative research studies and the translation of outcomes research into practice. This course emphasizes applying current theoretical models and research to clinical practice.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8201 - Clinical Project I

Focuses on developing a literature review, beginning needs assessment, and problem statement to prepare students to design an implementation and evaluation plan for an evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, quality improvement doctoral project designed to affect a practice or systems change. Students work with class colleagues and the course instructor to produce an integrated literature review and problem statement based on a needs assessment in a clinical area of interest.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8202 - Ethics in Health Care

Analysis of both empirical research and philosophical inquiry in health care ethics with due consideration for human diversity and social context. Exploration of current ethical issues, including relevant contextual factors, within the health care disciplines broadly, and within the student's area of clinical practice and scholarship specifically. Emphasis on the socially organized practices of responsibility that influence ethical decision-making and their implications for health care delivery within the professional domains of administration, clinical care, policy and education. This course focuses primarily on the ethical problems of nursing practice. It is designed to help students increase their knowledge of the domains of ethical experience, articulate the ethical issues they experience in practice, and justify the reasons for taking one course of action over another. Readings are taken from moral philosophy, bioethics, nursing, feminist theory, and social science.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8204 - Clinical Project II

Phase two in a two- phase process in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the DNP clinical project, culminating in completion of a sustainable system change, quality improvement, and outcomes-oriented, evidence-based, clinical project. Students apply principles of outcomes research in the clinical setting while refining and implementing the DNP clinical project proposed in NSG 8201. Students work with faculty to refine the project proposal (through a series of steps/assignments). Students will implement and evaluate the scholarly project independently under the guidance of a faculty advisor and with the assistance of a clinical expert/systems mentor. Course includes formal presentation, critique, and defense of the scholarly DNP clinical project.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8352 - Performance Management in Heal

Examines the concept of performance management and its application to the health care industry for both larger health care organizations and smaller health care settings. Issues related to the extreme pressure exerted by both purchasers and regulatory agencies for healthcare organizations to improve its performance will be analyzed.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8355 - Healthcare Finance

Covers finance issues related to healthcare organizations, such as: reimbursement analysis, understanding the nature of costs, service line profitability analysis, and preparation of operating and capital budgets. Students learn how to analyze financial statements and their relationship to organizational decision-making.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8420 - Organizational Behavior

Explores the behavior of people within organizations in terms of the factors that are most influential. Those include factors related to individuals, groups and the larger organization system. The course utilizes an experiential learning process that helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses as learners.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8420 - Organizational Behavior

Explores the behavior of people within organizations in terms of the factors that are most influential. Those include factors related to individuals, groups and the larger organization system. The course utilizes an experiential learning process that helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses as learners.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8470 - Health Program Evaluation

Focuses on evaluating health programs including the activities, characteristics, and outcomes used to draw conclusions about health programs. Students develop skills in health program planning and evaluation through discussion and analysis of literature and development of a health program evaluation plan.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8530 - Clinical Workflow & Process Re

This course is designed to provide healthcare and health information technology professionals with the theory and tools necessary to effect the clinical transformation required for the successful adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). EHR systems are significant investments that must be planned and implemented in a manner that ensures positive outcomes. EHR systems are not just financial, administrative, or operational systems that focus on healthcare departmental tasks, nor are they electronic means to achieve documentation. Instead, EHRs are knowledge management systems, directly impacting the way clinicians practice. As such, clinical processes must be understood and redesigned to take advantage of the support afforded by information technology.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8660 - Leadership in Health Care Part II: Organizational Innovations

Integration of organizational and management theories within the context of the nursing process to the delivery of nursing services in a variety of settings and systems. The role of the advanced practice nurse in various levels of management is analyzed and required core abilities required of the manager are emphasized. Factors affecting the dynamic changes in the health care system and delivery of nursing care are integrated.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8675 - Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Knowledge and skill development in the evaluation of quantitative research studies and the translation of outcomes research into practice. This course emphasizes applying current theoretical models and research to clinical practice.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8680 - Leadership Seminar

Facilitates the transition of graduate nursing students to advanced clinical practice. Emphasizes the concrete goals and tasks of the transition to practice as well as the transformation of identity from student to independent professional. Identifies the nature and scope of professionalism in the discipline. Provides an opportunity for networking with student colleagues statewide and for the creative visioning of an independent, nurse-run, multispecialty outpatient clinic for the delivery of collaborative primary care. Prerequisite: Enrollment during the semester in which graduation is scheduled.

Expand and Collapse Concentrations

Expand and Collapse Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (ANP/GNP)

Expand and Collapse BIO 5125 - Biology of Aging

Biology of Aging is a course designed to allow study and understanding of the principles of aging applied to the anatomical and physiologic systems of the body. The course is divided into three portions; (1) Examination of the basic principles of aging from the population level; (2) Events of aging seen at the cellular level; and (3) Events of aging observed at the system level of the body.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6639 - Hlth Care Mgt II: Frail Adult

Intensive clinical experience focusing on the application of evidence based guidelines in care management of the older adult with complex health needs in a variety of settings. Nursing care and the influence of support systems are evaluated for their impact on client outcomes. Includes monitoring and support of client physical and behavioral changes; modification of care for acute and chronic conditions in accordance with assessment, test findings and client responses; and assessment of adherence to pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions. Web-based course on campus seminars. 190 clinical hours. Prerequisite: Post-master's status or enrolled in master's program at CSS.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6683 - Primary Health Care Mgt II

Knowledge and skills necessary for prevention and management of acute and chronic illnesses in adults and older adults. Underlying pathophysiologic and psychosocial bases for occurrence and detection are addressed with emphasis on management of common acute and chronic illnesses. It is required that NSG 6627 be taken within one year of this course, otherwise remedial work will be required Web-based course on campus seminars. 180 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6605, 6610, 6627, 6677, 6681 (FNPs only), 8200, 8675, BIO 5777.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6687 - Nurse Practitioner Preceptrshp

Intensive clinical experience with a focus on prevention, health promotion, client education and illness management of individuals and families. Web-based course on campus seminars. 200 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6683, 6681, and 6685 (FNP).

Expand and Collapse NSG 8220 - Women's Reproductive Health Across the Lifespan

Introduction to the role of the primary care nurse practitioner in the promotion and management of women’s reproductive health across the lifespan. Covers well woman care including healthy pregnancy, lactation, pre-natal and post-natal care, and menopause along with frequently encountered problems in reproductive health care. Forty-five (45) clinical hours are required.

Expand and Collapse Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Expand and Collapse NSG 6681 - Primary Health Care Mgt I

Knowledge and skills necessary for prevention and management of common acute and chronic illnesses in infants, children and adolescents. Aspects of assessment, diagnosis, management and evaluation derived from pathophysiologic, psychosocial, spiritual and developmental data bases are addressed. This course must be taken the semester immediately following NSG 6629, or requires faculty approval. Web-based course, on campus seminars. Prerequisites: NSG 6605, 6627, 6629, 6677, 8200, 8675, BIO 5777; 145 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6683 - Primary Health Care Mgt II

Knowledge and skills necessary for prevention and management of acute and chronic illnesses in adults and older adults. Underlying pathophysiologic and psychosocial bases for occurrence and detection are addressed with emphasis on management of common acute and chronic illnesses. It is required that NSG 6627 be taken within one year of this course, otherwise remedial work will be required Web-based course on campus seminars. 180 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6605, 6610, 6627, 6677, 6681 (FNPs only), 8200, 8675, BIO 5777.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6687 - Nurse Practitioner Preceptrshp

Intensive clinical experience with a focus on prevention, health promotion, client education and illness management of individuals and families. Web-based course on campus seminars. 200 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6683, 6681, and 6685 (FNP).

Expand and Collapse NSG 8220 - Women's Reproductive Health Across the Lifespan

Introduction to the role of the primary care nurse practitioner in the promotion and management of women’s reproductive health across the lifespan. Covers well woman care including healthy pregnancy, lactation, pre-natal and post-natal care, and menopause along with frequently encountered problems in reproductive health care. Forty-five (45) clinical hours are required.

Expand and Collapse Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Adult and Family

Expand and Collapse NSG 6662 - Adv Prac Psych-Mental Hlth NSG

Introduction to theories, concepts and models, ethics relevant to the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner's role in the care of persons with mental illnesses and persons/populations at risk for mental illness. Emphasis is placed on neurobiological theories of mental illness as well as developmental and psychodynamic theories. Online course with on-campus seminars. Pre- or co-requisite: NSG 6605, 6610, 8675.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6678 - Psychopharmacology

Focuses on the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of psychotropic drugs used across the lifespan including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, psychostimulants, cognition enhancers, and miscellaneous psychopharmacologic agents commonly prescribed for the management of psychiatric and mental health disorders. A clinical component requires 45 hours of observational experience with a preceptor who can prescribe psychiatric medications. The art of prescribing is investigated through emphasis on practical issues such as starting, stopping, and cross-tapering medications; monitoring medications and their potential adverse effects; and providing the psychoeducation necessary for successful pharmacological management. Builds a foundation for safe, successful, collaborative, prescriptive practice for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners.

Expand and Collapse NSG 6691 - PMHNPPreceptorship

Further develops and implements the role of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner as a holistic, direct provider of primary mental health care to psychiatric clients and their families across the lifespan. Role components include integration of medical, nursing, and psychiatric interventions into a holistic plan of care; implementation of intervention strategies for at risk populations; and utilization of outcomes research in the delivery of primary mental health care. Practicum includes comprehensive psychiatric assessment, DSM-IV-TR diagnosis, medication management, laboratory monitoring, case management, and individual and/or group psychotherapy.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8215 - Lifespan Health Assessment

Advanced physical, psychological, social and developmental skills necessary for advanced nursing practice with patients across the lifespan. Principles and techniques of data collection, communication and physical examination are emphasized. Health promotion concepts based on patient’s age, culture, setting will be explored and applied. Basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures are explored. Web-enhanced course with face to face lab meetings.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8510 - Assess & Mgt Psychiatric

Clinical and didactic course that explores the diagnostic criteria and treatment modalities for major categories of psychiatric illness. Articulates and develops the content areas and clinical skills necessary for entry level advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, including psychiatric interviewing and assessment, DSM-IV differential diagnosis, and holistic management of individual, adult clients with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders and/or common mental health problems. Develops additional competencies in mental health promotion/disease prevention and psychoeducation, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacologic treatment. Meets the professional standards of ANA and AACN, as well as CSS graduate program outcome #4. (See the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook, page 4.) Prerequisites NSG 6662, NSG 6677, NSG 6678.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8535 - Assess & Mgt Psyc Dis Child

Development of skills necessary for holistic management of common and recurrent psychiatric symptoms/conditions of child/adolescent/family clients. Emphasizes initial contact and comprehensive, coordinated and continuous care based on pathophysiologic, psychotherapeutic, spiritual, and developmental data. Includes assessment of community mental health needs and psychoeducational as well as psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic approaches with child/adolescent/family clients. Examination of the knowledge base, roles, diagnostics and psychotheraptutics employed in advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing with child/adolescent/family clients. Diagnostic classification systems and treatment modalities related to psychiatric illness are explored. Aspects of health promotion and disease prevention in advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing are also explored. 135 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8540 - Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Nursing

Development of skills needed to function as a beginning advanced practice group leader/therapist with multicultural clients in a variety of socio-cultural contexts. Includes application of theoretical principles of group psychotherapy with clients experiencing psychiatric and mental health problems. 135 clinical hours.

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