The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a professional degree with a focus on advanced practice in clinical or organizational settings. A rigorous program of study, the DNP curriculum provides students with opportunities for advanced study at the doctoral level in areas such as evidence-based practice, organizational and systems leadership, health policy and theoretical foundations for advanced practice. New cohorts will be admitted in Fall semesters.
The mission for the DNP program is to prepare expert practitioners to meet the needs of the complex healthcare environment, utilizing the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes.
The purposes of the DNP are to prepare graduates at the highest level of nursing practice to provide complex hospital and community-based care for patients and families; to redesign and evaluate nursing and health care systems and to address the dire shortage of clinical nursing faculty to mentor and educate future nurses.
The major objectives of the DNP program are to provide a more educated workforce to meet the needs of the recipients of health care and health care employees; to bolster the number of doctorally-prepared faculty credentialed to teach in nursing education programs; and to expand educational options for masters prepared nurses.
Students are admitted as a cohort into the DNP program. BSN to DNP cohorts begin in both the Fall and Spring semesters; post-MSN cohorts begin only in the Fall semester. Didactic courses in the program are offered online. Students are required to participate in on-campus activities immediately prior to the start of the program and at the conclusion of the program when presenting synthesis projects, however. In addition, there are several courses in the curriculum (residency courses) with practicum requirements.
In addition to the general admission requirements of the UL Lafayette Graduate School, admission to the DNP Program requires the following:
For all applicants (both BSN to DNP applicants and Post-MSN applicants):
- Evidence of current, unencumbered U.S. RN nursing licensure (no restrictions).
- A current resume or curriculum vitae.
- A formal letter of application and a statement of purpose (typed, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, no longer than 3 pages in length) that provides the following:
- The applicant's goals for doctoral study which are congruent with DNP Program goals. (See The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, which can be accessed at www.aacn.nche.edu/publications/position/DNPEssentials.pdf).
- The applicant's focused area of interest for a synthesis project.
- The applicant's understanding of how acquiring the DNP degree is important to fulfillment of his or her career goals.
- The application's potential contributions to the DNP program.
- Three recommendations from individuals who can attest to the applicant's capacity for doctoral study.
- One recommendation must be from a former faculty member in a nursing program, a current or former nursing supervisor or nursing leader.
- One recommendation must be from someone who can attest to the competencies and expertise of the applicant at the Advanced Practice level.
- The third recommendation may be from an individual of the applicant's choice; however, the letter should address the applicant's ability to successfully complete doctoral education in nursing.
- A telephone interview with the DNP Program coordinator.
- Students should be proficient with methodologies utilized in distance education and must possess computer equipment and technology which is compatible with university learning management systems such as Blackboard and Moodle.
- Prior to enrollment in residency courses, students will be required to submit to background checks, drug and alcohol screening, and must meet program health requirements. These screenings will be conducted at the student's expense.
- Prior to NURS 801 - Biostatistics, students must provide evidence of completion of a graduate level statistics course. This graduate level statistics course must be both current and approved by the DNP Program Coordinator.
Additional requirements for BSN to DNP applicants only:
- A minimum undergraduate grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- A satisfactory GRE score.
- Completion of a physical assessment (across the lifespan) course or evidence of physical assessment skills.
Additional requirements for post-MSN applicants only:
- Evidence of current, unencumbered U.S. APRN Nurse Practitioner nursing licensure (no restrictions).
- A master's degree from an accredited university in one of the following areas of advanced nursing practice:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Administration/Leadership
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale on all master's level coursework.
Office Phone: 337/482-5601
Office Fax: 337/482-5650
Office Location: V.L. Wharton Hall, Room 307
To earn the Doctor of Nursing Practice, the student must adhere to the following degree plan requirements.
All DNP students must:
- satisfactorily complete a DNP Synthesis Project
- attain a minimum of 1,000 hours of post-baccalaureate supervised academic program practice hours in DNP residency courses
- earn no less than a "B" grade in all coursework
Note: Students who earn less than a "B" grade in a course will be required to repeat that course. A course may be repeated only once. Courses with a grade of "C" may not be applied toward the degree requirements.
In addition, BSN to DNP students must:
- complete a minimum of 70 graduate credit hours in the DNP program
In addition, Post-MSN students must:
- complete a minimum of 39 graduate credit hours in the DNP program
A student's ability to progress in the curriculum is dependent upon adherence to the following curriculum. Please note that some courses are only taught once each year and many have pre-requisites.