Post Master's Pathways


The Post Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed to prepare leaders to drive the application of evidence to promote excellence in nursing practice and health care. As a practice-focused doctoral program, innovation and inquiry are central to graduating DNP practitioners prepared in leadership to identify, develop, and evaluate solutions to the most troubling challenges found in clinical practice and health care.

Hallmarks of the DNP Program at OHSU School of Nursing include a scholarly approach to the discipline developed through doctoral level course work, DNP program benchmarks, and the DNP project. In addition, a commitment to the advancement of the profession is evidenced through leadership and innovation in practice, developed through course work and the integrative practice immersion reflected by the DNP practicum. The DNP curriculum and practicum are broadly shaped around the eight Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (DNP Essentials) found on the AACN website.

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

1. 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

2. The post-master's DNP (DNP) program is for master’s-prepared nurses that are currently licensed as advanced practice registered nurses or have a focus in health systems organizational leadership. One year of experience after the master’s degree is preferred. The DNP courses for this program are offered online, and the DNP courses, practicum, and project are required for the degree. Students who have not complete a minimum of 640 clinical hours in their master’s program will need to include additional hours in their DNP program.