The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a professional degree designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice. As an alternate to research-focused programs, it is a clinical doctorate designed to develop health care leaders who maximize quality, reduce cost, and increase access to health care. Changing demands in the nation’s health care environment requires nurses to have the highest level of scientific knowledge, practice expertise, and organizational skills in order to assume clinical leadership positions within health care organizations. In addition, DNP graduates are prepared to fill the national need for more doctorally-prepared nursing faculty.
The Madonna University DNP curriculum is based on the AACN (2006) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice, that builds on current nursing master’s programs by deepening knowledge in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking, among other key areas. A highlight of the DNP program is completion of a DNP role immersion experience in which new knowledge is applied within real-world settings, culminating in a scholarly project.
Madonna’s post-master’s DNP program is designed for those nurses who hold advanced-practice credentials, are working in clinical practice, and for those in positions that support clinical practice such as nursing administration, organizational leadership, or health policy. The 36-semester-hour program uses a combination of teaching and learning approaches, including traditional classroom and online modalities. It can be completed in two calendar years.
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) granted accreditation to the DNP program at Madonna University and the program was noted to be in compliance with all accreditation standards.