Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Curriculum

Chamberlain’s DNP curriculum is grounded in eight essentials outlined in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing document, The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (DNP Essentials)1. Input from key constituencies, and several national documents and data are also incorporated into the program. These include, but are not limited to, the Institute of Medicine, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses and other national initiatives focusing on change and transformation to promote patient safety, nurse vitality and quality care outcomes in a culturally diverse society.

The DNP curriculum helps you develop and advance your practice to new levels. As a graduate, you will be prepared to work in leadership roles in a variety of healthcare delivery settings leading patient care services that result in quality improvement and patient safety.

The DNP degree program offers two specialty tracks:

  • Advanced Practice Leadership
  • Healthcare Systems Leadership

The Advanced Practice Leadership specialty track is designed for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) qualified to practice in one of four advanced practice areas: nurse practitioner, registered nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, and clinical nurse specialist. This track requires completion of 30 credit hours and 500 practicum hours. You can expect to complete two courses per semester over a total of five semesters.

The Healthcare Systems Leadership specialty track is designed for registered nurses with a master’s degree in nursing who are not APRNs, and requires completion of 32 to 40 credit hours and a total of 1000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours. You can expect to complete two courses per semester over a total of six semesters.

The DNP Project & Practicum Experience

Throughout the program, you will put your learning into practice during a project and practicum experience.  You will work closely with a practicum coordinator and a doctoral project committee, which includes Chamberlain faculty and a preceptor, an expert in the nursing field who provides guidance throughout the practicum experience. You are also encouraged, though not required, to include a mentor who has expertise in your project area. 

Chamberlain faculty members provide guidance and support as you determine your project and practicum focus, as well as an appropriate location and preceptor. At the conclusion of your first course you will attend a DNP Project & Practicum orientation session and then will meet with your DNP Project Advisor. This means you do not need to know the focus of your DNP project or your practicum location before you enroll. Your DNP project advisor, as well as your doctoral committee, will help guide and coach you as your progress through the program. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to identify, research, design and implement a practice or system change project.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree Course Descriptions

Download the DNP Curriculum Plan (PDF).

Core DNP Courses

NR-700: Scientific Underpinnings – 3 Credits

This course focuses on how the scientific underpinnings of knowledge assist the advanced practice nurse in understanding and applying theory to the highest level of clinical practice.

NR-701: Application of Analytic Methods – 3 Credits

This course offers a review of requisite scientific skills necessary to critically read, analyze and apply evidence to advanced practice nursing. Students will examine the synthesis of best evidence incorporating clinical expertise and client values to direct population-specific health improvement outcomes. An emphasis will be place on how clinical research questions are formed and ethical considerations that impact evidence-based practice as the IRB process is introduced in this class. Leading evidence-based practice models are reviewed to inform decision making that will effectively utilize healthcare data to produce practice change. 

NR-703: Applied Organizational & Leadership Concepts – 3 Credits

The focus of this course is on application of organizational and leadership concepts to foster and promote healthcare systems conducive to relationship-based care that improves patient outcomes. 

NR-704: Concepts in Population Health Outcomes – 3 Credits

This course provides an overview of epidemiological principles and further examines the impact of advanced practice nursing on vulnerable and high-risk populations with an emphasis on improving health outcomes for diverse populations. The promotion of healthy global populations with advanced practice innovations aimed at health restoration, maintenance and promotion is highlighted. The impact of biopsychosociopolitical and economic/environmental conditions on diverse populations is studied from the context of healthcare access, quality of care and cultural relevance. 

NR-706: Healthcare Informatics & Information Systems – 3 Credits

The focus of this course is the generation of data-driven decisions in nursing and healthcare delivery based on the assessment, planning, design and analysis of healthcare informatics and information systems. 

NR-708: Health Policy – 3 Credits

The focus of this course is on the process of public policy development at micro, meso and macro system levels. Students will analyze and evaluate health policy and legislative issues including but not limited to ethics, safety, healthcare economics, access to care, insurance status and quality of care. 

Advanced Practice Leadership Specialty Track Courses

NR-702: DNP Project & Practicum I – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on linking scientifically rigorous and clinically-significant evidence to an interventional clinical query in the selected healthcare delivery practicum setting. 

NR-705: DNP Project & Practicum II – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on designing an evidence-based practice change initiative using scientifically rigorous research methods in the clinical practice setting. 

NR-707: DNP Project & Practicum III – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on implementation of the evidence-based practice change project in the selected healthcare delivery practicum setting.  

NR-709: DNP Project & Practicum IV – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on scientific evaluation of the evidence-based practice change project in the selected healthcare delivery practicum setting. 

Healthcare Systems Leadership Specialty Track Courses

NR-702: DNP Project & Practicum I – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on linking scientifically rigorous and clinically-significant evidence to an interventional clinical query in the selected healthcare delivery practicum setting. 

NR-705: DNP Project & Practicum II – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on designing an evidence-based practice change initiative using scientifically rigorous research methods in the clinical practice setting. 

NR-707: DNP Project & Practicum III – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on implementation of the evidence-based practice change project in the selected healthcare delivery practicum setting.  

NR-709: DNP Project & Practicum IV – 3 Credits (Theory .5, Practicum 2.5)

The focus of this course is on scientific evaluation of the evidence-based practice change project in the selected healthcare delivery practicum setting. 

NR712: Topics in Healthcare Systems Leadership – 3 Credits

The focus of this course is specialty content related to healthcare systems leadership topics that are unique to the areas of nursing informatics, nursing leadership, health policy leadership, higher education administration, and executive healthcare practice. Content for the course is structured within the context of interprofessional collaboration. 

NR713: Indirect Care Perspectives in DNP Practice – 3 Credits

The focus of this course is indirect care perspectives related to healthcare systems leadership issues that are unique to the areas of nursing informatics, nursing leadership, health policy leadership, higher education administration, and executive healthcare practice. Content for the course is structured within the context of systems change theory.


Read more about the DNP admission requirements.


Call 877.751.5783 to speak with an admission representative or request more information.



1. http://www.aacn.nche.edu/publications/position/DNPEssentials.pdf

 
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“Chamberlain prepares APRNs to implement solutions for some of the most pressing issues they will confront in their professional roles.”

Patricia Fedorka, PhD, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CNE Professor, DNP Degree Program


DNP Curriculum

Download a sample curriculum plan for the online DNP degree program.