DNP Program

DNP Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

A doctorally prepared nurse practitioner translates evidence-based knowledge into practice and in turn improves health care outcomes. A University of Louisville DNP will prepare students to be outstanding clinicians and will also prepare them to be leaders and change agents in the field of nursing. If you want additional information about whether to pursue the PhD degree or DNP degree based on your scholarly interests, please see PhD or DNP – Which is Right for Me?

Do you know of a process in your hospital that could be more efficient? Do you know of a practice that has been shown in the literature to have no improvement in outcomes but is still being done? Do you want to be the one to change it? Then the Doctor of Nursing practice degree is for you!

The University of Louisville DNP will prepare students to:

  • Synthesize and apply knowledge to improve population outcomes
  • Collaborate with other disciplines to improve the delivery of health care
  • Assume clinical, leadership, executive, public policy and/or teaching roles
  • Affect health policy through the application of knowledge

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The University of Louisville Doctor of Nursing Practice program can be entered with either a BSN or MSN degree. The BSN to DNP is designed for RNs who are seeking nurse practitioner certification. We currently offer five specialties. The degree requires a total of 75 to 78 credit hours to complete depending on the selected specialty. These credit hours are completed in three years of full-time study with part-time study options available.

The MSN to DNP option is for practicing nurse practitioners who are interested in taking a more scholarly approach to practice, developing leadership skills, and advocating for health systems changes. In the Louisville program you will use current evidence and your health care experience to create an innovative practice program, develop a quality improvement project, impact health policy, or write an evidence based practice guideline. The project will be based on your scholarly interests and will take you involvement in the health care system to a new level. The MSN to DNP requires a total of 35 credit hours which can be completed in 2 years of part time study with the exception of 2 semesters where a full-time load is required.

Clinical Hours
Students in the BSN to DNP program will complete 1000 hours of clinical work. This includes the population specific nurse practitioner clinicals as well as clinical work towards the completion of the DNP project. Students in the MSN to DNP program will complete a minimum of 330 clinical hours acquired during the completion of the DNP project.

Delivery of Course Materials
Our DNP program is structured in a hybrid format. Students are required to attend class on campus 4 to 6 times a semester. Classes are typically scheduled on Thursdays and the student should plan to be in class or otherwise engaged in academic activity from 9:30am to 8:00 pm on those days. The remainder of the class content will be delivered in an online format. A variety of online and distance learning techniques are used to facilitate the program and enrich the students’ learning experience. The majority of coursework will be asynchronous. Synchronous activities will be scheduled by the faculty and will be listed in the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester.

The DNP Project
The culmination of the practice doctorate is the successful completion of the DNP Project that demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s experiences. The DNP project will be reviewed and evaluated by a faculty chair and the doctoral academic affairs committee. The chair will be a member of the University of Louisville School of Nursing faculty with doctoral preparation and who has experience relevant to the student’s topic of interest. Successful completion of the DNP project demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s coursework and practice application and culminates in a final manuscript and public presentation.