Jun 16, 2021  
Graduate Studies Catalog 2017-2018 
Graduate Studies Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Nursing

Dr. Mary Jane S. Hanson, Director DNP Program

The Department of Nursing offers course work leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The 30 credit DNP program is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The DNP program is designed to prepare graduates for independent practice in advanced practice nursing specialties.  The DNP graduate will possess enhanced organizational and leadership skills in health care delivery, expertise in the application of evidence-based practice to improve patient and health care outcomes, and the ability to lead inter-professional teams.            

DNP Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the DNP program, the graduate is prepared to:

1. Incorporate science-based theories from nursing and other disciplines to develop, implement, and evaluate practice approaches that improve health care;   2.  Utilize organizational and systems leadership to promote quality, cost effectiveness, and patient safety in the delivery of health care;  3.  Demonstrate leadership in the application and critical evaluation of evidence-based practice to improve patient and health care outcomes;  4. Apply information systems/technology to monitor and improve patient care and health care delivery systems;  5. Consistent with Jesuit values, advocate for health care policies that comply with ethical principles and address health disparities and vulnerable populations;   6.  Organize and lead inter-professional teams to improve patient and population health outcomes;  7. Analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, and environmental data to develop, implement, and evaluate clinical prevention and population health initiatives;  8. Function independently in an advanced nursing practice role to improve patient outcomes in a specialty area of practice;  9. Engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Program of Study

In addition to coursework, each student will complete an evidence-based scholarly capstone project with significant potential to positively change health care delivery or improve patient outcomes for vulnerable patients, families, communities, or populations.   Also, each student will complete clinical practice hours related to the scholarly project and /or to advance knowledge in the student’s area of specialization.  Advanced nursing practice students will be given credit for the clinical hours completed in their master’s specialty program and will complete additional hours to fulfill the 1000 clinical hours total required for the DNP program. The number of clinical hours required for each student will be divided between the two DNP Scholarly Project courses (NURS 780 and NURS 790). A minimum of 125 hours is required in each DNP Scholarly Project course. Additional hours above the 125 hour minimum will be dependent upon the student’s prior precepted clinical experience at the master’s level.

Admission Requirements

An applicant for the DNP degree program must possess a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program with preparation or certification in an advanced nursing practice specialty, have an MSN GPA of 3.2 or higher, and be licensed as a registered nurse. The applicant must submit three professional references and a three to four page essay describing current and past clinical practice, scholarly career achievements, and the proposed topic for the scholarly project. The topic may be a practice improvement issue or a clinical management problem. The paper should cite appropriate sources where applicable and follow APA format. An interview with the program director or a faculty member to clarify goals and objectives is required.  

Students are admitted to the DNP program for the fall semester only. For early consideration, completed applications should be received by May 1 of the year of expected enrollment.  Applications received after May 1 will be considered on a space available basis.

Health Requirements

The health requirements for the Department of Nursing are to assure that the student:

     1. maintains that level of health necessary to complete the course of studies and ultimately to perform the duties of a professional advanced practice nurse.

     2. is free of any illness or disease that may endanger the health and welfare of themselves and others.

The pre-clinical physical examination shall include a complete physical examination administered by a certified nurse practitioner or physician with verified evidence of the following:  current negative tuberculin skin test (PPD) within previous 12 months; immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis within the previous ten years; immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella OR documented laboratory immunity.  Influenza vaccine is required each year for the current flu season.  The deadline date to receive the influenza vaccine is October 31. In addition, students are required to submit proof of Hepatitis B immunization or sign a declination form.

The PPD skin test must be administered every 12 months while the student is in the clinical nursing courses.  Documented evidence of the test must be provided.  If the PPD test is positive or the student has a history of a positive PPD, a chest X-ray or Quantiferon Gold TB laboratory test is required. The PPD can be obtained at Student Health Services, which has a facility in the Roche Wellness Center at 1130 Mulberry Street.

In the event that specific agencies have further requirements, it is expected that students will meet the agency’s requirements.

Academic Regulations

DNP students are expected to conform to the regulations stated in both The University of Scranton Graduate Studies Catalog and the Department of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Handbook.

DNP students must receive a grade of Satisfactory in the scholarly project courses (NURS 780 and NURS 790). The grade is based upon both faculty and preceptor evaluations of the student’s ability to meet course objectives and demonstrate safe advanced clinical nursing practice. A grade of Unsatisfactory will result in the failure of the scholarly project course and may result in dismissal from the program.


The DNP program can be completed in 21 months.  Full-time students are admitted as a cohort in fall and graduate two years later in May.  Part-time students are also admitted in fall and may take up to 6 years to complete the program. Courses are taken sequentially and learning is cumulative, building to completion of the scholarly capstone project.  Full-time students are expected to take two courses (six credits) per semester for five semesters, which includes the summer between the first and second years. Students wishing to complete the program on a part-time basis should meet with the program director.


All DNP students are expected to satisfactorily complete and defend a scholarly project as the capstone experience and part of the graduation requirements.  

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Nursing