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 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 effect 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 8206 - Clinical Project II

Focuses on the continued development of an evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, quality improvement project designed to implement and evaluate a practice or systems change in a healthcare context. Students apply principles of outcomes research while refining, developing, completing, and defending the DNP clinical project proposal. Students work independently with the guidance of the faculty advisor and agency project sponsor. Course includes formal project proposal defense and Human Subjects review and approval.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8207 - Clinica Project III

Focuses on implementation, evaluation, completion, and successful final defense of an evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, quality improvement project designed to effect a clinical practice and/or systems change in a healthcare context. Students work independently under the guidance of the faculty advisor and agency project sponsor to implement goals and objectives, collect and analyze data, and evaluate project outcomes. Course includes a final project defense to a committee of faculty.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8213 - Evidence-Based Practice

Prepares students with foundational skills and competencies for practice inquiry and the critical appraisal of evidence to improve health quality, safety, and outcomes. Emphasizes the essential elements of evidence-based practice, including formatting clinical questions in advanced practice nursing roles, searching and appraising evidence, integrating evidence into practice, and evaluating outcomes.

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. Emphasizes principles and techniques of data collection, communication, and physical examination. Explores and applies health promotion concepts based on patient’s age, culture, and setting. Explores basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Lab meetings required.

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 NSG 8430 - Health Care Informatics

An introduction to the concepts of health care informatics. Explores the use of information technology applications used by health care professionals to support health in clinical practice, education, research, and administration.

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 8605 - Theorizing Nursing Practice

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

Expand and Collapse NSG 8610 - Theories of Human Development Across the Lifespan

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 8614 - Health Care Policy

Investigates the role of the nurse in influencing health policy. Explores application of change and systems theories to the process of health policy development.

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

Integrates organizational and management theories within the context of change management processes and applies them to the delivery of nursing services in a variety of settings and systems. Analyzes the role of the advanced practice nurse at various levels of management and emphasizes the requisite core abilities of the DNP-prepared APRN. Investigates factors that affect dynamic changes in the health care system including delivery of nursing care.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8671 - 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 8675 - Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Introduces key concepts to identify research methods and study designs within epidemiology. The student will explore various forms of biostatistical analysis in research.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8677 - 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 Concentrations

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

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 NSG 8221 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8222 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8320 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8638 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8639 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8683 - Primary Health Care Management II

Focuses on knowledge and skills necessary for prevention, diagnosis, and management of acute and chronic illnesses in adolescents, adults, older adults, and their families. Addresses underlying pathophysiologic and psychosocial bases for occurrence and detection with emphasis on management of common acute and chronic illnesses.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8684 - Advanced Practicum III: Adult

Practicum course that develops the competencies and clinical expertise necessary for nurse practitioner application of prevention and management skills for acute and chronic illnesses in adolescents, adults, older adults, and their families. 180 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8687 - Nurse Practitioner Preceptorship

Focuses on health promotion, disease prevention, and clinical decision making for adults/ older adults and their families, who are living with chronic/ complex illness. Explores the business and quality management of independent nurse practitioner practice.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8688 - Advanced Practicum V: Older Adult/Family

Practicum course that develops the competencies and clinical skills necessary for nurse practitioner application of health promotion interventions, disease prevention, and clinical decision making for adults/ older adults and their families, who are living the chronic/ complex illness. 180 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse Family Nurse Practitioner (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 NSG 8221 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8320 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8323 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8681 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8682 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8683 - Primary Health Care Management II

Focuses on knowledge and skills necessary for prevention, diagnosis, and management of acute and chronic illnesses in adolescents, adults, older adults, and their families. Addresses underlying pathophysiologic and psychosocial bases for occurrence and detection with emphasis on management of common acute and chronic illnesses.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8684 - Advanced Practicum III: Adult

Practicum course that develops the competencies and clinical expertise necessary for nurse practitioner application of prevention and management skills for acute and chronic illnesses in adolescents, adults, older adults, and their families. 180 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8687 - Nurse Practitioner Preceptorship

Focuses on health promotion, disease prevention, and clinical decision making for adults/ older adults and their families, who are living with chronic/ complex illness. Explores the business and quality management of independent nurse practitioner practice.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8688 - Advanced Practicum V: Older Adult/Family

Practicum course that develops the competencies and clinical skills necessary for nurse practitioner application of health promotion interventions, disease prevention, and clinical decision making for adults/ older adults and their families, who are living the chronic/ complex illness. 180 clinical hours.

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

Expand and Collapse NSG 8323 -

Expand and Collapse NSG 8520 - Assessment and Management of Psychiatric Disorders in Adults

Explores the diagnostic criteria and treatment modalities for major categories of psychiatric illness. Articulates and develops the content areas and competencies necessary for entry-level, advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, including psychiatric interviewing, DSM-5 differential diagnosis, and comprehensive psychiatric assessment and holistic management of individual, adult clients with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders and/or common mental health problems.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8521 - Psychiatric Practicum I: Adults

Develops the competencies and clinical skills necessary for entry-level, advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, including psychiatric interviewing, DSM-5 differential diagnosis, and comprehensive psychiatric assessment 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. 135 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8525 - Groups in Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing

Examines the structure, functions, processes, and developmental course of groups in human life and health care practice. Explores theoretical principles of group psychotherapy and synthesizes the theory and practice of group psychotherapy in advanced practice psychiatric nursing for the development of skills needed to function as a novice group therapist/ facilitator.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8526 - Psychiatric Practicum II: Groups

Application of theoretical principles and techniques of group psychotherapy to a practicum experience with diverse group members with a wide range of psychiatric and mental health problems. Focuses on the development of skills needed to function as a novice, advanced practice group facilitator/ therapist with clients from a variety of sociocultural contexts. 135 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8550 - Assessment and Management of Psychiatric Disorders in Children/Adolescents

Explores the diagnostic criteria and treatment modalities for major categories of psychiatric illness related to children and adolescents. Cultivates and develops the content areas and competencies necessary for entry-level, advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, including interviewing psychiatric patients and their families, DSM-5 diagnosis, comprehensive psychiatric assessment, and holistic management of patients and their families.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8551 - Psychiatric Practicum III: Child/Adolescent

Focuses on the development of skills necessary for holistic management of common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Emphasizes psychiatric evaluation using DSM 5 criteria and comprehensive care based on pathophysiologic, psychotherapeutic, spiritual, and developmental data. Includes psychoeducation as well as psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic approaches. Traditional and non-traditional community practice sites are used. 135 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8590 - PMHNP Transition to Practice

Further develops the role of the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) as a holistic, direct provider of primary mental health care to psychiatric clients and their families across the lifespan. Focuses on content and processes necessary for the transition to independent practice including the requisite competencies, licensing and certification as an advanced practice provider, prescriptive authority, and adherence to mental health statutes and the profession’s code of ethics and standards of care.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8591 - Psychiatric Practicum IV: Practice Transition

Implements the role of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner as a 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 including comprehensive psychiatric assessment, DSM-5 diagnosis, case formulation, medication management, laboratory monitoring, individual and/or group psychotherapy, and overall case management. 180 clinical hours.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8662 - Adv Prac Psych-Mental Hlth NSG

Introduction to the theories, concepts, models, and 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 8605, 8610, 8675.

Expand and Collapse NSG 8678 - Psychopharmacology

Focuses on the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of psychotropic drugs used across the lifespan. 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. Requires 45 hours of observational experience with a prescriber of psychiatric medications.

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