Doctor of Nursing Practice

Program Overview
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the practice-based terminal degree within the nursing discipline with focus on the most advanced level of nursing practice. Advanced nursing practice includes nurses with a commitment to clinical practice including but not limited to nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists, along with nurses in leadership and management positions. The DNP gives those with commitment to clinical practice an opportunity to achieve the highest degree in nursing practice while focusing on a specific area of practice improvement. Graduates of the Spalding University Post Master’s DNP Program will be prepared to synthesize scientific, theoretical, and policy data from a variety of sources to improve healthcare systems and health outcomes for individuals and populations while collaborating with other disciplines within the healthcare system. Additionally, DNP graduates will be prepared to take leadership and advocacy roles in quality improvement initiatives within the healthcare system while utilizing evidence-based best practice findings as a basis for change.

DNP Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the coursework for the DNP, graduates will:

  • Integrate scientific underpinnings including knowledge from biological, social, and analytical sciences as the foundation for the advancement of nursing practice;
  • Synthesize scientific, theoretical, and policy data from a variety of disciplines to improve health care systems and health outcomes for individuals and populations;
  • Incorporate evidence-based practice regarding innovations, technology and scholarship in nursing practice, health care delivery and community projects;
  • Demonstrate competency in utilizing informational systems and in determining best practices in regard to use of technology in the care of individuals, populations and community based health planning;
  • Assume a leadership role in projects involving community partners, health care systems, advocacy campaigns or legislative action that leads to healthcare improvement;
  • Demonstrate skills in the multidisciplinary approach to resolving healthcare needs of individuals and populations with focus on collaborative efforts with members of the health care team; and
  • Incorporate principles of health promotion, disease prevention and population health that lead to acquisition of high level advanced nursing practice skills.

Admission Requirements

  • A master’s degree in nursing or a related field (MPH, etc.)
  • A cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale).
  • A current unencumbered RN license.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study must be provided.
  • Three letters of reference, one of which is preferably from faculty in applicant's previous program of graduate study.
  • Documentation of clinical hours accrued during attainment of master's degree (see the Post-Baccalaureate Verification of Clinical Hours Form).
  • Submission of an essay delineating understanding of the DNP role with a brief description of a proposed idea for an advanced practice nursing quality improvement project (500 word limit).
  • A telephone or personal interview is not required, but may be requested.

Requirements for Earning the Post Master’s DNP Degree

  • Completion of the DNP program of study.
  • Grade of B or greater is required in all coursework. However students may remain in the program after obtaining one C, but will be considered on academic probation. Students who obtain more than one grade of C in any coursework will be dismissed from the program as will students who earn a grade of D or F in any coursework..
  • Completion of the program within a six year time frame with removal of all conditions and incomplete grades.

Program Sheet
Doctor of Nursing Practice