OHSU

Program at a Glance

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The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) represents the highest degree in nursing practice. Graduates receive not only additional clinical preparation designed to expand practice in breadth or depth, but also coursework and mentorship to facilitate leadership and clinical inquiry in their professional career.  The DNP program was implemented at OHSU School of Nursing in 2007 and celebrated its first graduates in 2009. The DNP program educates nurses prepared in advanced practice nursing (NP, CNM, CRNA, and CNS) or organizational/health systems to provide leadership in clinical inquiry, policy, and innovation in health care. The DNP program builds on the advanced practice nursing masters programs and prepares leaders in a culture of innovation and inquiry. For more information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice, please visit the American Association of Colleges of Nursing website.

The DNP offers two foci: an advanced practice clinical focus and a health systems/organizational leadership focus.  The clinically focused DNP prepares expert clinicians in the critical analysis of ethical and equity concerns as well as  health systems and policy in order to optimize health outcomes. The health systems focused DNP prepares organizational leaders to engage in contextual and systematic analysis of clinical phenomena in order to optimize health systems in the delivery of high quality care. The spirit of innovation and inquiry is foundational to graduating DNP practitioners prepared in leadership to identify, develop, and evaluate solutions to health care’s most troubling challenges. In addition to the competencies for the MN degree and specialty, DNP students are expected to meet DNP program outcomes. Accordingly, the DNP graduate is prepared to:

  1. Engage in advanced nursing practice in a professional, evidence-based, skilled, and ethical manner;
  2. Influence health and health outcomes of individuals, groups, and populations through clinical inquiry; and
  3. Influence health policy and systems of health care in the local, regional, state, and international forums.
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DNP Students

The DNP may be earned through four avenues, according to the applicant's previous level of education:

1) The accelerated baccalaureate to PMHNP or Nurse-Midwifery (MN/DNP) program requires a bachelor's degree in a related field, and acceptance into the PMHNP or Nurse Midwifery program. Successful program progression includes: earning the BS degree in nursing and obtaining RN licensure, earning the MN degree in the PMHNP or NMW specialty (previously described) and completing benchmarks that include obtaining pertinent national certification and state licensure, before completing the final year of courses, practicum, and inquiry to earn the DNP degree.

Accelerated baccalaureate degree
Master's degrees

2) The post baccalaureate program (MN/DNP) requires a bachelor's degree in nursing and RN licensure. Successful program progression includes earning the MN degree in an advanced practice specialty (previously described) and completing benchmarks that include obtaining pertinent national certification and state licensure, before completing the third year of courses, practicum, and inquiry to earn the DNP degree.

Master's degrees

3) The post master's certificate option (PMCO/DNP) is for those students who seek to obtain a second specialty and to earn the DNP. A previous master's degree in nursing is required for clinical specialties whereas a master's degree in nursing or in a related field is acceptable for the Health Systems & Organizational Leadership specialty. In addition to completing the requirements of the new specialty, students complete the DNP courses offered within the MN program and the benchmarks that include meeting pertinent national certification and state licensure expectations, before completing the third year of the DNP program to earn the degree.

Master's degrees

4) The post-master's DNP (DNP) program is for advanced practice nurses that are currently certified and/or licensed and have at least one year of active practice experience in their specialty. The DNP courses for this program are offered online, and the DNP courses, practicum, and inquiry project are required for the degree.

Post-master's DNP