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MSN to DNP Course Descriptions


Nursing  800 - Foundations of the DNP Role and Interprofessional Collaboration (3 cr.)


Course Description:

In this course students examine the roles and responsibilities of the DNP emphasizing effective practice and interprofessional collaboration. Theoretical concepts from nursing and other disciplines guide the exploration of health and health care delivery and are applied to the DNP role integrating practice inquiry and advanced practice.


Course objectives:


1.    Demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of the DNP role.

2.    Analyze the historical, socio-cultural, political, and professional factors affecting the development of the DNP role.

3.    Analyze models of interprofessional collaboration utilized for analysis of individual, unit based and organizational communication that promotes quality and culturally competent care.

4.    Analyze theoretical concepts from nursing and other disciplines that promote change in the health care system and create new practice approaches and health care delivery methods.

5.    Apply theoretical concepts and strategies that integrate practice inquiry and advanced practice.


Nursing  801 - Philosophical, Theoretical, and Ethical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr.)

Course Description:
Course will focus on inquiry into the philosophical and theoretical perspectives and foundations of the discipline. Paradigms in nursing will be examined in relation to advanced nursing practice.  Strategies for theory development will be addressed.  Advanced nursing practice will be studied in the context of complex clinical, business, legal, ethical, and system issues that confront individual recipients of care, families, health care professionals, organizations, and society.

Course pre-requisites:
A graduate level nursing theory course; graduate equivalent ethics content; or consent of instructor

Course objectives:
1.   Critically analyze the philosophical, theoretical and ethical foundations of advanced nursing practice.
2.   Critically examine nursing science from a global perspective.
3.   Synthesize theoretical and empirical evidence to translate, integrate and disseminate knowledge from across disciplines to advanced nursing practice.
4.  Advocate for social justice and ethical health policies considering
     environmental, community, legal, business, and healthcare systems

Nursing  803 - Advanced Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Population Health (3 cr.)

Course Description:
Epidemiologic research and concepts are synthesized and applied to clinical and population based health to best identify and analyze the determinants of health, health promotion and risk reduction strategies, and to evaluate the distribution of health conditions.  Epidemiological, bio-statistical, and other scientific approaches are used to analyze population data to better understand determinants of health and illness.

Course pre-requisites:
Graduate equivalent health promotion content; graduate equivalent basic epidemiology content; or consent of instructor

Course objectives:
1. Critically examine the historical evolution and applications of epidemiology in advanced nursing practice
2. Apply epidemiologic concepts, including the natural history of disease, models of disease transmission, levels of prevention, and causality, including environmental and genetic causes of disease in populations.
3. Critically assess the major determinants of health and ascertain their impact on the health of populations
4. Evaluate and propose solutions to factors that contribute to validity, reliability, and generalizability of epidemiologic studies.
5. Implement epidemiological principles and biostatistics for the advancement of nursing practice in population-based care.

Nursing 805 - Clinical Scholarship for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr.)

Course Description:
Course will focus on the elements of advanced clinical scholarship.  Content will include evidence-based practice processes, the translation of research into practice, the evaluation of practice, activities aimed at improving health care practice and outcomes, and participation in collaborative research.  Principles of information technology will be integrated and applied to advanced nursing practice.

Course pre-requisites:
    A graduate level research course; or consent of instructor

Course objectives:
1. Use analytic methods to determine and implement the best approaches to advanced practice nursing issues and challenges.
2. Design and evaluate quality improvement methodologies to promote safe, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care.
3. Apply relevant evidence-based findings to develop practice guidelines in order to improve the health care environment.
4. Integrate information technology and research methods to guide the collection, analysis, and evaluation of health care outcomes.
5. Disseminate findings from evidence-based practice and research to improve health care outcomes

Nursing 809 - Organizational Leadership and Health Policy for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr.)

Course Description:
Course will focus on the systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs to improve health care and inform future programmatic decisions.  Emphasis is placed on the strategies used in needs assessment and implementation of effective health care interventions, programs, and policies.  This course prepares the advanced nursing professional to respond to current realities and provide enhanced leadership for future policy development and professional practice.

Course pre-requisites or co-requisites:
Nursing 801 - Philosophical, theoretical, and ethical foundations for advanced nursing practice or concurrent; graduate equivalent of health policy content, or consent of instructor,

Course objectives:
1. Employ principles of business, finance, economics, and health policy to develop and implement effective plans for practice-level and/or system-wide practice initiatives that will improve the quality of care delivery.
2. Critically analyze the cost-effectiveness of practice initiatives designed to improve health care outcomes.
3. Analyze the design, influence and implementation of health care policies that frame health care practice regulation, access, safety, quality and efficacy.
4. Integrate leadership principles for the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international health policy.


Nursing  883 - Health Care Informatics (3 cr.)

Course Description:

This course will focus on developing the skills to effectively use and evaluate information technology to promote optimal outcomes for patients. Content is directed toward assisting students to understand the relationship between patient outcomes and information systems. The course focuses on navigating and interpreting the vast amount of electronic resources and examples of standardized nomenclature. Students will use this information to enhance their own knowledge as well as function as a practice specialist/consultant sharing that knowledge base with their patients and peers. Legal, ethical, regulatory, and cultural considerations are explored as they relate to information management and its use in health care.

Course objectives:

1.    Analyze patient care information technologies (PCIT) in the design and management of care in a variety of settings.

2.    Demonstrate proficiency evaluating data sets that evaluate health care outcomes.

3.    Utilize information technologies to participate in organizational and professional electronic communication among the interdisciplinary team.

4.    Make recommendations for improving individual and aggregate health care outcomes.

5.    Execute and evaluate data sets (PCIT) related to selected health care topics.

6.    Develop critical thinking skills along with writing skills to prepare thoughts, ideas, insights and discoveries effectively related to PCIT.

7.    Evaluate PCIT for safe practice for various populations.

8.    Provide leadership and resolution of legal, ethical, regulatory, and cultural issues related to information management and use in health care.




Seminars and Practica

Nursing 821 - DNP Seminar & Practicum I  (Seminar 2 cr., Practicum 2 cr., minimum clinical hours 224)

Course Description:
This is the first of two seminar/practica combining advanced nursing practice clinical/system focus and seminar discussion.  Seminar and practicum will focus on collaboration of inter-professional teams and the roles of advanced nursing within this collaboration.  Accountability for advancing leadership in advanced nursing clinical practice and contributing to the developing body of nursing practice knowledge will be emphasized.  Addresses advocacy at all levels of health care policy implementation.  This experience provides additional opportunities for practice expertise development and work with a target population and/or a complex health care environment. 

Course pre-requisites:
Nursing 809 - Organizational leadership and health policy for advanced nursing practice or concurrent;
Nursing 803 - Advanced epidemiology and biostatistics for population health; or consent of instructor.

Course Objectives:
1. Critically analyze emerging clinical patterns and problems within a practice setting, health care organization or community.
2. Using an inter-professional team approach, integrate advanced nursing practice philosophy, theory and ethics to determine the significance of the health care phenomenon of interest.
3. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and apply evidence-based practice with the system of interest.
4. Analyze comprehensive health and illness parameters in complex situations, incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive viewpoints.
5. Systematically evaluate advanced nursing practice outcomes.

Nursing 822 - DNP Seminar & Practicum II  (Seminar 2 cr., Practicum 3 cr., minimum clinical hours 280)

This is the second of two advanced nursing practice seminars and practica. The purpose of this course is to build upon knowledge and skills acquired and refined in DNP Seminar and Practicum I.  Students will refine leadership skills related to outcomes measurements and quality initiatives within the student's work environment. Seminar and practicum will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of culturally-sensitive approaches to improve health status/access patterns and address gaps in care of populations within local, national, or global communities.

Course pre-requisites:

Nursing 821 -  DNP Seminar & Practicum I

Course objectives:
1. Demonstrate leadership which has the potential to improve health care outcomes, address gaps in care, and promote delivery of high quality advanced nursing care.
2. Employ high level consultative and leadership skills with inter-professional health care teams to create change in the health care environment and nursing.
3. Synthesize the ability to apply evidence-based practice and evaluate health outcomes.
4. Advocate for advanced nursing practice within the health care environment.
5. Design and analyze strategies to promote advanced nursing, population health policy, and quality patient care outcomes.

DNP Capstone

Nursing  890 - DNP Capstone project (2 cr. project, 1 cr. clinical, minimum clinical hours 56

Course Description:
This is the culminating experience for the DNP student designed as a specialized advanced nursing practice field project. This project is designed as a clinical scholarship project allowing students to demonstrate expertise in practice and will be individualized based on student's prior experience and projected career goals.  The capstone project integrates the role of the DNP in a comprehensive health care environment that includes utilization of leadership, consultation, advocacy, and collaboration.  In-depth work with experts from nursing and other disciplines will be incorporated to provide opportunities for meaningful student engagement in the health care environment.

Course pre-requisites:

Nursing 801 - Philosophical, Theoretical & Ethical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice

Nursing 809 - Organizational Leadership & Health Policy for Advanced Nursing Practice

Nursing 803 - Advanced Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Population Health

Course co-requisite:

Nursing 805 - Clinical Scholarship for Advanced Nursing Practice


Course objectives:
1. Develop a project in phenomena of interest that focuses on advancing the nursing profession.
2. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability in the design, delivery, and evaluation of evidence-based practice to improve health care outcomes for the phenomena of interest.
3. Contribute to the developing body of advanced nursing practice knowledge.







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