About This Program
Nurses in advanced practice roles need to have forward-thinking clinical expertise and leadership skills at their command to promote the application and implementation of evidence-based practices linked to original scientific research. Accomplishing this goal requires linking health policy, informatics, population health, and business practices to the care of individuals, families, and communities. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Wilmington University is a terminal degree designed to prepare advanced nurses to meet the nation's increasingly complex health care needs. Graduates with requisite work experience are eligible to take the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) examinations offered by the American Organization of Nurse Executives as well as the Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) and Nurse Executive, Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC) certifications offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Outcome competencies for the DNP program are derived from The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006). Upon completion of the DNP program, graduates will be able to:
WilmU's DNP program delivers an innovative curriculum emphasizing healthcare engineering and interdisciplinary collaboration among clinicians, educators, health systems, community leaders, and policy makers. Students learn to utilize both theory and evidence-based data to promote the highest level of professional practice.
To best serve working nurse professionals, WilmU offers flexible schedules that enable students to balance work, personal, and educational commitments. The DNP program can be completed in 28 months, culminating with a 9-credit, year-long, doctoral project. Core courses are offered in seven-week blocks, experiential engagement courses are offered in 15-week semesters, and DNP Project courses are offered in 15-week semesters.
Interested candidates must have a masters degree and be actively employed in an area of advanced nursing practice (i.e. informatics, executive leadership, health policy, or population health). National board certification (i.e. NE-BC, NEA-BC, CNML, CPHIMS) for nurse leaders is recommended, but not required.
The DNP program is offered 100% online to provide the most flexibility for students. However, two optional online synchronous course meetings are available during each course to facilitate student and faculty interaction. There are no on campus residency requirements and students have the option to present their final doctoral project virtually or on campus.
Cohorts begin every Fall and Spring. Summer cohorts are offered based on student interest.
Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate, and the program must be completed within seven years.
The DNP curriculum builds upon masters preparation for nurses prepared in an advanced nursing practice specialty. All students take eight core courses taught by scholar practitioners in preparation for a year-long DNP project designed to bridge the gap between original research and clinical practice. Experiential engagement experiences afford students the opportunity to integrate and synthesize the AACN DNP Essentials and AONE Nurse Executive Competencies into their practice. Nurse leaders are required to complete 45 credits and 1,000 experiential engagement hours.
DNP 7000 Bioethics for Advanced Nursing Practice
DNP 7101 Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice
DNP 7102 Population Health I (28 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 7103 Population Health II (28 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 7104 Politics and Policy in the Healthcare System
DNP 7105 Healthcare Economics and the Business of Practice
DNP 7106 Healthcare Informatics
DNP 7107 Applied Evidence-Based Practice
DNP 8000 DNP Project I (148 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 8001 DNP Project II (148 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 8002 DNP Project III (148 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 9001 DNP Experiential Engagement I (125 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 9002 DNP Experiential Engagement II (125 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 9003 DNP Experiential Engagement III (125 experiential engagement hours)
DNP 9004 DNP Experiential Engagement IV (125 experiential engagement hours)
Experiential Engagement Hours
The DNP is a rigorous, practice-leadership focused degree. Experiential engagement experiences afford students the opportunity to synthesize and utilize theory and research data to promote the highest quality of care at an advanced level of professional nursing practice. Leadership students will complete one thousand (1,000) experiential engagement hours aligned with the AACN DNP Essentials and AONE Nurse Executive Competencies. Doctoral faculty will provide oversight and guidance while students work closely with an experiential engagement mentor.
The DNP program exists within a framework of professional, academic rigor that culminates requires planning, implementing, and evaluating an evidence-based doctoral project. The DNP Project highlights the scholarly contribution of DNP-prepared nurses to the ever-changing health care landscape. Within the framework of evidence-based practice, students identify a pertinent topic to further study, most commonly within their workplace. The project begins in DNP 8000 and culminates with completion in DNP 8002. A majority of the experiential hours are devoted to the doctoral project; however, other courses do incorporate experiential academic engagement hours. The final project manuscript details the nature and scope of the project, and students are required to disseminate their findings to the health care community. Students are encouraged to individualize their project toward their career focus as a DNP prepared nurse and will be assigned to a DNP faculty advisor who will serve as the DNP Project Chair, providing guidance throughout the three sequential semesters of project completion. The DNP Project Team will be mutually agreed upon between the student and faculty advisor.