Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP)

Graduate studies at the doctoral level place primary emphasis upon advanced professional nursing practice, theory, research, and leadership roles in advancing health care delivery systems and application of research into practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree represents the highest degree in nursing practice.

Program Information

The post MS Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is available for those who are certified in one of the four APRN roles (nurse practitioners [NP], nurse midwives [CNM], nurse anesthetists [CRNA], or clinical nurse specialists [CNS]). Since students in this pathway are already educated in a population focused advanced practice role, the program is designed to expand their knowledge and skills to interpret research, apply best practices, and incorporate clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence health care systems and policy.  The UAA DNP program received its initial accreditation 2016 from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The DNP program will be reviewed for re-accreditation in Fall 2021.

Students in the DNP program build on knowledge acquired in their advanced nursing practice MS degree program. The full-time plan of study requires 4 semesters. The part-time plan of study generally requires 6-7 semesters.  DNP courses are distance delivered using a synchronous or asynchronous approach.  Some courses may be offered in an intense half semester format. The program was designed to allow students to complete the degree in their own community within the state of Alaska. Student are asked to come to campus on three separate occasions: for a program orientation, for the DNP Project Proposal defense, and for the final DNP Project defense.

 

Major Requirements

Below are the required courses. Those with an asterisk (*) may be taken prior to acceptance in the program, based on space availability and faculty approval. Only 9 credits may be taken without formal acceptance to the program.

Required Courses

  • NSG A601A Genetics and Genomics in Advanced Pathophysiology (1)*
  • NSG A610A Pharmacology for Primary Care: Special Topics (1)*
  • NSG A613 Advanced Practice Informatics (2)*
  • NSG A614 Advanced Practice Ethics and Law (2)*
  • NSG A615 Health Services Organization and Finance (4)*
  • NSG A618a Advanced Nursing Leadership (2)*
  • NSG A619a Health Economics (2)*
  • NSG A634 Epidemiology for Advanced Practice (2)*
  • NSG A628 Practice Inquiry II: Design and Methods (3)
  • NSG A629 Practice Inquiry III: Proposal Development (2)
  • NSG A696a Practice Inquiry IV: Capstone Project (2)
  • NSG A696b Practice Inquiry IV: Capstone Project (2)
  • NSG A696c Practice Inquiry IV: Capstone Project (2)
  • NSG A683 Clinical Immersion (3)
  • NSG A684 Clinical Concentration (4)
  • Elective Advisor Approved Elective (3)*

The post-MS DNP program has a total of 37 credits. A student may petition to waive up to 7 credits based on an evaluation of their MS transcripts. A DNP degree requires a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours; up to 700 hours may be waived based on documentation of supervised clinical hours earned in their MS degree program. DNP faculty advisors can provide assistance with petitions to substitute and waive courses.

 

DNP Clinical Hours

The DNP degree requires a minimum of 1000 supervised clinical hours. Clinical hours include direct care hours and clinical scholarship hours. Post MS DNP students can count up to 700 direct care clinical hours from their MS program. The actual amount will be determined by the SON Graduate Council after a GAP analysis is done on the MS transcripts.

Clinical scholarship hours are used for students to demonstrate mastery of the DNP Essentials. They may include scholarly activities, healthcare leadership skills, and professional development. These components are documented through written and clinical experiences in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the scholarly project.