Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

DNP Program Curriculum

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program encompasses Post-Baccalaureate Primary Care Adult Gerontology and Family Nurse Practitioner programs of study leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a Post-Master’s DNP Program in Clinical Leadership or Health Systems Leadership.

The Post Baccalaureate DNP Program is designed for professional registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN).  Students will complete course requirements in Primary Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP) or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs and the DNP Clinical Leadership Program in blended and online formats.  

The Post-Master’s DNP Program in Clinical Leadership is designed for professional nurses practicing as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).  The Post-Master’s DNP Program in Health Systems Leadership is designed for professional nurses with master's degrees in areas such as nursing administration or education.  Both DNP Programs offer theory, research and leadership practicums culminating in a DNP scholarly project. Courses offered in the DNP Program are taught primarily online with weekend on-campus residency required periodically. Graduates of the DNP program are prepared to seek roles in direct clinical care delivery systems, organizational leadership within a healthcare delivery system, and the nursing academic workforce.

Transitioning from RN to APRN (Both A-GNP and FNP Students)
(3credits)

  • NUR 575: Advanced Role Development: BSN to DNP


Advanced Practice Nursing Courses (Both A-GNP and FNP Students)
(10 credits)
Note:  The three courses below are considered pre-requisites and must be successfully completed prior to Advanced Practice Specialty Courses

  • NUR 580: Advanced Clinical Pathophysiology
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 585: Advanced Clinical Pharmacology
    (
    3 credits)
  • NUR 595: Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
    (4 credits)


Advanced Practice Specialty Courses in Primary Care
(Both A-GNP and FNP Students)
(19 credits)

  • NUR 601: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner I: Health Promotion
    (
    3 credits)
  • NUR 602: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner I Practicum: Health Promotion
    (
    3 credits)
  • NUR 603: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner II: Adult Healthcare Issues
    (
    4 credits)
  • NUR 604: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner II Practicum: Adult Healthcare Issues
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 605: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner III: Older Adult Healthcare Issues
    (
    3 credits)
  • NUR 606: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner II Practicum: Older Adult Healthcare Issues
    (3 credits)

Additional Advanced Practice Specialty Courses in Primary Care for FNP students
(12 credits). Practicum hours: 300
FNP students also progress to Master's-prepared and licensed APRN 700/800 level coursework.

Note:  All Adult-Gerontology coursework must be successfully completed to proceed to FNP courses.

  • NUR 607: Family Nurse Practitioner Health Assessment: Pediatric Population
    (2 credits)
  • NUR 608: Family Nurse Practitioner Health Assessment Practicum: Pediatric Population
    (1 credit) Practicum hours: 75
  • NUR 609: Family Nurse Practitioner I: Pediatric Population Healthcare Issues
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 612 Family Nurse Practitioner I Practicum: Pediatric Population Healthcare Issues
    (1 credit) Practicum hours: 75
  • NUR 613: Family Nurse Practitioner II: Women’s Healthcare Issues
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 614: Family Nurse Practitioner II Practicum: Women’s Healthcare Issues
    (2 credits) Practicum hours: 150


DNP Course Level

Note: Both A-GNP and FNP Students and Post-Master’s DNP students complete the following courses.

Practice Leadership (16 credits)

  • NUR 700:  Immersion to the DNP Program
    (1 credit)
  • NUR 701:  Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 702:  Ethics, Policy, and Advocacy in the Health Care System
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 703:  Using Informatics for Quality Improvement
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 704:  Local and Global Population Based Health
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 705:  Leadership in Organizations and Healthcare Systems
    (3 credits)


Leadership Practicum (4 credits)

  • NUR 800:  DNP Leadership Practicum I
    (
    2 credits)
  • NUR 801:  DNP Leadership Practicum II
    (2 credits)
    

Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry (15 credits)

  • NUR 802:  Applied Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 803:  Translational Research
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 804:  Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry I
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 805:  Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry II
    (3 credits)
  • NUR 806:  Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry III
    (3 credits)

DNP Course Descriptions

NUR 575: Advanced Role Development: BSN to DNP
(3 credits)

This course is designed to bridge BSN graduates to the advanced Nurse Practitioner role. It explores the responsibility of the advanced practice nurse as expert population-health based clinician; inter-professional collaborator; developer of new practice approaches based on theory, evidence, and technology; and, competent leader in the practice environment. Historical, political, economic, and regulatory forces that have shaped the advanced practice role are examined. Factors that influence high-level competency in advanced practice such as quality-improvement skills in complex systems, ethical and legal practice, cultural competency, effective communication, and information technology skills are discussed and related to current clinical experience.

NUR 580: Advanced Clinical Pathophysiology
(3 credits)
This course builds on basic pathophysiology principles and explores the principles of normal body function and pathophysiological changes through a system-focused approach. Alterations in health will be explored at the genetic, cellular and organ system level in the context of physiologic change resulting from disease. An overview of the management of common health problems and disease will be emphasized. Integrates best current practice evidence to provide a foundational basis for clinical decision-making and the management of health problems across the lifespan.

NUR 585: Advanced Clinical Pharmacology
(3 credits)
This course prepares students as nurse practitioners to prescribe and incorporate pharmacotherapies for management of common and chronic health care problems in a safe, high quality, cost-effective manner. The focus is on safe prescriptive practice, client education and monitoring therapeutic response to pharmacological agents in primary care settings.

NUR 595: Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
(4 credits)

This course is designed to provide advanced practice students with knowledge and skills to refine health history and physical assessment techniques and clinical decision making. Diverse approaches are used in expanding proficiency in conducting comprehensive and focused health histories and physical examination skills in clinical laboratory settings. Health assessments that are sensitive to cultural, developmental, and psychosocial needs of clients across the lifespan are explored. Skills in diagnostic reasoning and data interpretation are developed to address client needs, problems, and risks which provide the basis for advanced clinical practice.  This course includes 45 laboratory hours in clinical diagnosis and interventions.

NUR 601: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner I: Health Promotion
(
3 credits)
This course provides the student the opportunity to utilize previous learned knowledge in the application of preventive health concepts and health promotion principles. The emphasis is on theories and research to promote and preserve wellness lifestyles in client populations using epidemiological principles, disease risk appraisal and reduction, and other tools.  The use of Healthy People 2020 and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines is emphasized.

NUR 602: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner I Practicum: Health Promotion
(3 credits)
This supervised advanced practice practicum focuses on health promotion and provides a foundation for clinical practice in population specific primary care settings. Students synthesize health promotion and risk reduction principles into primary care settings. Emphasis in this course is the impact of political, ecological, economic and cultural factors on individuals in primary care settings.  

NUR 603: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner II:  Adult Healthcare Issues
(4 credits)
This course offers theoretical and practicum foundations of acute problems encountered by adults in a primary care setting. A holistic approach to health promotion, disease prevention, early detection, and management of common acute and chronic health conditions of adults are emphasized. A focus on pathophysiology of the condition, etiology, incidence, clinical findings, and differential diagnosis is emphasized.  Evidence-based research will drive healthcare decision making, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical management to promote health of adults in primary care settings. Includes 45 laboratory hours. 

NUR 604: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner II Practicum: Adult Healthcare Issues
(3 credits)
This supervised advanced practice practicum focuses on health promotion, clinical management of health concerns and special needs of adult clientsStudents will diagnosis, plan, implement and evaluate therapeutic regimens for patients with conditions commonly encountered in primary health care settings. Emphasis in this course is on culturally appropriate evidence-based practice, consultation, research, and evaluation. 

NUR 605: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner III: Older Adult Healthcare Issues
(3 credits)
This course builds on the management of acute and chronic illness to focus on the health care needs of the older adult with chronic illness in the primary care setting. A holistic approach to promoting wellness, maintaining function, and self-care is emphasized. Evidence-based research will drive healthcare decision making, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical management to promote quality of life with older adults. Ethical dilemmas that impact the care of older adults such as palliative care measures, supportive measures, and family care giving at end of life are integrated.  

NUR 606: A-GNP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner II Practicum: Older Adult Healthcare Issues
(3 credits)

This supervised advanced practice practicum focuses on health promotion, clinical management of  health concerns and special needs of older adult clientsStudents will diagnosis, plan, implement and evaluate therapeutic regimens for older clients with conditions commonly encountered in primary health care settings. Emphasis in this course is on culturally appropriate evidence-based practice, consultation, research, and evaluation.

NUR 607: Family Nurse Practitioner Health Assessment: Pediatric Population
(2 credits)
This course augments advanced assessment content to address the health problems of children and adolescents. Family oriented, culturally and developmentally sensitive approaches to obtaining a health history are addressed. Physical examination skills appropriate to infants and children are practiced in a laboratory setting. Diagnostic reasoning skills and data interpretation are focused on particular needs of children ranging in age from newborn to adolescent. 

NUR 608: Family Nurse Practitioner Health Assessment Practicum: Pediatric Population
(1 credit) Practicum hours: 75
This supervised advanced practice practicum augments assessment content to address the health of infancy to adolescence. Family oriented, culturally and developmentally sensitive approaches to obtaining a health history are practiced. Physical examination skills appropriate to newborn to adolescents are used in a variety of primary care settings. Diagnostic reasoning skills and data interpretation are focused on particular needs of children ranging in age from newborn to adolescents. 

NUR 609: Family Nurse Practitioner I: Pediatric Population Healthcare Issues
(3 credits)
This course centers on comprehensive principles of primary care health provided by the advanced practice nurse, which is focused on the infant, child, and adolescent populations.  Health promotion, acute and common chronic problems are addressed.  Emphasis is on evidence-based, holistic, approaches to care within the context of diverse health care systems. 

NUR 612: Family Nurse Practitioner I Practicum: Pediatric Population Healthcare Issues
(1 credit) Practicum hours: 75
This supervised advanced practice practicum focuses on health promotion, clinical management of health concerns and special needs of pediatric clientsStudents will provide evidence-based health care to infants, children and adolescents by assessing, diagnosing and managing their primary health care needs, developmental concerns, and acute and chronic health conditions in primary care settings. Emphasis in this course is on culturally appropriate evidence-based practice, consultation, research, and evaluation.

NUR 613: Family Nurse Practitioner II: Women’s Healthcare Issues
(3 credits)
This course focuses on women’s health promotion, wellness maintenance, early detection and prompt treatment of acute illness, and health restoration across the life span in the primary care setting.  Evidenced-based practice will drive health care decision-making, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment options, and inter-professional management.  Women’s roles in family and society will guide students to view health issues from a holistic perspective to integrate social, financial, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical health assessment and interventions. Ethical practice issues and closing the gap for health care disparities among women of all populations will be explored.

NUR 614: Family Nurse Practitioner II Practicum: Women’s Healthcare Issues
(2 credits) Practicum hours: 150
This supervised advanced practice practicum focuses on health promotion, clinical management of health concerns and special needs of women clientsStudents will diagnosis, plan, implement and evaluate therapeutic regimens for patients with conditions commonly encountered in primary health care settings. Emphasis in this course is on culturally appropriate evidence-based practice, consultation, research, and evaluation.  

NUR 700: Immersion to the DNP Program
(1 credit)
This on-campus immersion course provides an introduction to Franciscan values, ethical decision-making, and the concept of moral leadership. Program expectations and tools to navigate successful completion of the DNP Program are explored. Scholarly and clinical data-bases are reviewed, an electronic portfolio shell developed, and fundamentals of writing for scholarly projects are applied to bring focus to individual student success. 

NUR 701: Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
(3 credits)

This course introduces the DNP student to the world of contemporary nursing knowledge, as formalized in conceptual models of nursing and nursing theories applied to clinical practice.  The focus of the course is a critical investigation of concepts, middle range theories, and family theories used by advanced practice health care providers in health promotion and disease prevention interventions with clients and families to achieve health outcomes.

NUR 702: Ethics, Policy, and Advocacy in the Health Care System
(3 credits)

This course assists students to create a vision for themselves as leaders in the healthcare policy arena.  Students explore theoretical models to evaluate existing and proposed health policies.  An overview of issues in health care policy and planning, including socio-political and economic content of health and health-seeking behaviors is examined. Health care policy and planning at the local, state, federal and global levels are explored.  Ethical dimensions of public policy formulations and implementation are highlighted.

NUR 703: Using Informatics for Quality Improvement
(3 credits)

This course focuses on the integration of informatics to support culturally sensitive, evidence-based practice at a leadership level. Emphasis is on topics relevant to evidence-based practice in primary care settings that includes data capture, analysis and application for continuous healthcare quality management and performance improvement.

NUR 704: Local and Global Population Based Health
(3 credits)

Knowledge and skills in basic epidemiological concepts and applications are offered in this course. The use of epidemiology and evidence-based research to inform clinical prevention programs and policy solutions for population health disparities are emphasized. This course discusses behavioral and contextual factors that converge to impact the health of local and global communities in relationship to strategies that advanced practice nurses use to mitigate these factors. Major topics covered include sources of data, study designs, analytical strategies, and interpretation of data, disease causality and control of public health problems.

NUR 705: Leadership in Organizations and Healthcare Systems
(3 credit)
This course prepares advanced practice nurses for effective leadership within organizations. Organizational behavioral theories are explored within a framework to facilitate a transition from an advanced practice to a leadership role with oversight of care delivery in complex healthcare systems. Students evaluate and integrate evidence-based practice to effect improvements within the dynamics of systems to improve the delivery of healthcare services.

NUR 800: DNP Leadership Practicum I
(2 credits)

NUR 801: DNP Leadership Practicum II
(2 credits)
Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, the student will develop, implement, and evaluate a specific practice leadership experience concerning an area of clinical interest. 

NUR 802: Applied Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
(3 credits)

This course provides an advanced overview of the assumptions and applications necessary to analyze and interpret questions and research related to clinical practice. Students will acquire the knowledge and technological skills needed to manipulate quantitative data and use nonparametric and parametric statistics to answer research questions or test hypotheses. Students identify appropriate techniques for interpretation of results of research, and for presentation of results to improve clinical practice.  Analyses of clinical datasets using software programs such as SPSS will be practiced and mastered. 

NUR 803: Translational Research
(3 credits)
This course builds on students’ understanding of scholarly inquiry, knowledge generation, research designs, methods and research utilization as best practices in health care. Students will focus on developing competencies to translate evidence and accelerate the adoption of best clinical practice in primary care settings.  Emphasis will be placed on areas of translational research, evidence-based practice and inter-professional collaboration with identification of practice problems and issues, critical evaluation of extant research, development of evidence-based protocols and/or clinical research proposals, implementation, data analysis and evaluation culminating in dissemination of findings.

NUR 804: Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry I
(3 credits)
This is the first of a three-course series. Students apply knowledge of evidence based practice principles to an identified topic of interest and develop a project proposal. Students identify and analyze concepts relevant to their topic as they evaluate evidence and consider methods to translate the evidence into an identified practice environment for the improvement of clinical outcomes.   

NUR 805: Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry II
(3 credits)  

In this second of a three-course series, students work with a faculty mentor to refine the design and plan to implement a Scholarly Inquiry Project (SIP) to a population of interest within a practice setting.  Students formally defend the proposed scholarly inquiry project prior to initiating project implementation.

NUR 806: Evidence-Based Scholarly and Practice Inquiry III
(3 credits)
In this final of the three-course series, students work with a Scholarly Inquiry Project (SIP) facilitator to implement and evaluate a scholarly project specific to a population of interest within a practice setting.  A formal professional presentation is required.  This course includes an opportunity for students to reflect upon the moral, ethical and leadership dimensions of the advanced practice professional role.

Contact Us


Kelly Burr, M.Ed
Coordinator of Graduate Admissions & Student Services
School of Graduate and Adult Education
540 Upland Avenue
Reading, PA 19611
Phone: 610-796-8296
Fax: 610-796-8367
kelly.burr@alvernia.edu





doctor of nursing practice (dnp) program

1.888.alvernia
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