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Our Transition from MSN to DNP

The post-BS Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a 3 year program that prepares students to be Advanced Practice Nurses in one of the following areas of specialty:
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP
  • Adult Gerontology Primary NP
  • Family NP
  • Pediatric NP
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health NP
Starting in the summer of 2017, the post-BS DNP program replaced the MS and MS/DNP programs. Now, in one degree (the post-BS DNP), students earn their terminal clinical nursing degree AND become Advanced Practice Nurses.
Why did we change Nurse Practitioner education from a master’s level to a DNP level program?
• Our transition falls into accordance with the national movement in nursing education to push nurses towards higher levels of education:
    - The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recommended that APN education transition to the doctoral level by 2015.
    - The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that nurses should achieve higher levels of education.
    - The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) (2015) endorsed the DNP as the degree for NP education.
• The DNP is a doctoral degree that prepares nurses with the knowledge and competencies for fully accountable care across settings and over time.
• The DNP applies a model of comprehensive and continuous care.
• The DNP prepares APRNs who analyze and interpret evidence as the basis for health care choices, have knowledge about individuals’ health care needs across the lifespan, and engage the patient in a collaborative relationship in the provision of continuous, coordinated services that include health promotion, disease prevention, and definitive disease management.
• The DNP degree represents the highest academic preparation for nurse clinicians.
• The DNP creates a synergy of clinical experience, scholarly activities, and seminars.
What are the differences between the curriculum of the post-BS DNP and the retired MS programs?
• The new curricula merges the specialty course modules—didactic, clinical and seminar—with the support doctoral core courses.
• Curricular revisions were made to strengthen the courses and to reduce content redundancy.
• Important new cornerstone modules in comprehensive care were added to the curriculum and are currently under development.
• The DNP includes a 2-semester residency/integrative practicum in the final year of the program.