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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program builds on the student’s knowledge and expertise to strengthen advanced nursing practice, augment healthcare delivery, and improve patient outcomes. The program’s coursework covers a range of topics, including healthcare policy and advocacy, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, information systems/technology, advanced nursing practice, and organizational and systems leadership.
Prospective Washington students: Walden University is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to provide practice experiences in Washington State for a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing; Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, Leadership and Management, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; as well as the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. For more information, go to the following website: https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/NursingCommission/NursingEducation/NursingPrograms.
At the end of this program, students will be able to:
- Translate research findings to direct evidence-based nursing practice.
- Develop organizational system changes for quality improvement in healthcare delivery in response to local and/or global community needs.
- Apply optimal utilization of healthcare information technology across healthcare settings.
- Advocate for the advancement of nursing and healthcare policy through sharing of science-based knowledge with healthcare policy makers.
- Demonstrate leadership to facilitate collaborative teams for improving patient and populations health outcomes.
- Utilize advanced nursing practice knowledge to implement methodologies to improve population health outcomes.
- Establish a foundation for lifelong learning for continual elevation of contributions to the field of nursing through active involvement in professional organizations and/or other professional bodies.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
- Foundation course (1 cr.)
- Core courses (46 cr.)
- Field experience (up to 6 cr., for students with fewer than 500 documented clinical hours)
- Completion of DNP project
- DNP Project Mentoring course (0 cr.; taken concurrently with courses starting with NURS 8110 through the practicum courses: NURS 8410, NURS 8400, NURS 8500, and NURS 8510)
- DNP Project Completion course (3 cr. per term until completion)
- Optional: Complete a DNP intensive retreat in Term 3 (NURS 8410) or beyond
Foundation Course (1 cr.)
Field Experience (up to 6 cr.)
Students with fewer than 500 documented clinical hours take up to 6 credits of field experience (see Determining Clinical Hours for Admissions section).
Students undertake courses in the following sequence.
*Note: NURS 8400, 8410, 8500, and 8510 are a series of four courses in which students develop and complete their DNP Project.
**Note: NURS 8700 is taken concurrently with the practicum series courses specifically for working on DNP doctoral scholarly project.
***Note: NURS 8701 is taken after completion of the practicum courses specifically for DNP doctoral scholarly project completion.
^Note: In general, students are continuously registered in the doctoral project course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
Determining Clinical Hours for Admissions
To determine how many clinical hours students have upon entering the program, students must submit a letter from their previous master’s in nursing program. It must be sent from the program director, associate dean, or dean of their previous institution.
The letter must include all of the following items:
- Student’s full name
- University name, department, school
- Name and title of authority sending the letter (must be the program director or above), and contact information for follow-up if necessary
- Program director, associate dean, or dean’s signature
- University letterhead
- Date and title of degree earned
- Specialization earned
- Total number of preceptor verified field experience hours
The signed letter will be submitted as an element. Admissions will determine how many documented clinical hours students have completed prior to DNP entry and how many they will be required to complete in the DNP program (NURS 8600 - DNP Field Experience).
Doctoral Writing Assessment
Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.
8-Year Maximum Time Frame
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements in the student handbook). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.
The Baccalaureate Degree Program in Nursing (BSN), Master’s Degree Program in Nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE). Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.For students, accreditation signifies program innovation and continuous self-assessment.
Note on Field Experience and Relocating
Students who are considering relocating are advised to contact their student success advisor prior to any decision to relocate in order to determine how relocation may impact progress in their program. Advisors can provide information and guidance on how relocating may result in possible changes, restrictions, and/or additional requirements affecting field experience. Each Board of Nursing and Higher Education Authority governs the field experience rules and regulations in their respective states, and students may be unable to complete field experience in the state in which they plan to relocate. While Walden is committed to working collaboratively with students to secure field sites across the United States, it is imperative that students contact their student success advisor immediately when considering relocating.