Doctor of Nursing Practice
Our complex healthcare environment benefits from advanced knowledge and practice expertise, which can positively affect healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations. Colorado Technical University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is designed for licensed RNs with a Master’s in Nursing who are looking to continue on to the Doctorate level, which is the terminal degree for nursing. Demand for nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree continues to grow as employers are quickly recognizing the unique contributions that expert nurses are making in the practice arena, reports the AACN.1
Highlights of the DNP Program:
- Developed using the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice
- Comprehensive practice-focused program requires 1,000 hours of documented, supervised post-baccalaureate clinical hours for graduation, 500 of which must be completed at CTU
- The program culminates in a project that allows you to translate evidenced-based practice and research findings into a practice change project using your area of advanced nursing practice.
- Our focused doctoral program offers you the opportunity to pursue a degree in 21-27 months2 without putting your life on hold.
Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Goals:
- To help students prepare for advanced nursing roles in systems leadership and administration, maximizing the application of evidence to improve healthcare outcomes.
- To expand the knowledge of the advanced registered nurse for a leadership position in the profession.
Relevant Institutional/Programmatic Accreditation
CTU is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission www.hlcommission.org
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program at Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
At CTU, we understand that licensed practicing nurses return to school with different knowledge and experience levels. Accordingly, we design our nursing curriculum using adaptive technology.
CTU’s nursing students use intellipath® adaptive learning technology, comparable to the computerized adaptive testing nurses use to enter the profession, focus on new knowledge development, and skip the content they already know. We infuse our faculty-led nursing courses with intellipath® assignments, writing assignments, discussion boards, virtual simulations, clinical experiences and journaling, among others.
Our students also experience interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical courses without worrying about participating in group project assignments. They also complete clinical experiences and a mix of traditional assignments.
No—The Doctor of Nursing Practice is not an advanced practice nursing program. The DNP program leads to a terminal degree that provides advanced nursing education in systems leadership and application of evidence-based practice to improve healthcare outcomes. It does not lead to a change in the scope of practice.
The DNP program is designed to allow the working nurse to advance in his or her DNP degree while continuing to work within the community. With an asynchronous (any time of day) classroom format, this allows students to formulate a study schedule that can be incorporated into their professional life. Instructors also provide synchronous chats to support varied adult learning needs.
The Clinical Coordinator will work with each student to identify a preceptor for the DNP practicum. Students may identify and submit a preceptor for review and approval if appropriate and in alignment with the structured doctoral project. Student engagement in the process is vital to securing a practicum placement that meets programmatic requirements and is fulfilling for the student.
Students must disclose if they are requesting to do their practicum within their current place of employment or health system. Students may not complete practicum hours in their current departments or with in-line supervisors. Students are required to complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours at CTU. The number of hours will vary depending on how many clinical hours the student completed in their MSN program. In addition to successful completion of all courses, all DNP graduates must have completed a total of 1000 post-baccalaureate hours to graduate from the DNP program. .
Information about the DNP Project can be found in the DNP Handbook which is in the Nursing Learning Center. Course faculty, the DNP Project Team, and the Clinical Coordinator are available for support.
- May 11, 2021
- June 22, 2021
- August 03, 2021
Estimate Tuition and Grad Date
Total tuition for this degree program will vary depending on your educational needs, existing experience, and other factors.Estimate your costs, potential savings and graduation date
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree for nurses who are interested in becoming a nursing practice expert. Applicants must hold a current, active and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States, as well as a programmatically accredited Master of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice is designed to build on the skills, talents and educational groundwork of a Master of Science in Nursing program and helps students prepare for advanced nursing roles in systems leadership and administration, maximizing the application of evidence to improve healthcare outcomes. The program provides instruction in healthcare delivery systems, health economics and finance, health policy, research methods, translation of evidence into practice, concepts in population health, and nursing leadership.
This program does not lead to additional licensure or certification. As such, CTU has made no determination regarding prerequisites for licensure or certification in any state or jurisdiction.
College of Nursing Mission Statement:
Through an innovative curriculum and student- centered teaching, the nursing faculty teaches, supports, and inspires students to become competent, caring, and accountable professionals who serve a diverse client population within a dynamic health care environment.
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours NRSG810This course focuses on the scientific underpinnings of nursing practice to include the application of theory and interdisciplinary sciences to advance nursing practice. Scientific Underpinnings of Nursing Practice 4 NRSG812This course provides content and processes designed to offer the necessary skills to synthesize and apply evidence to an identified problem in order to improve health outcomes. This process emphasizes the application of original research by developing a feasible PICOT (population, intervention, comparison, outcome and time) question. Models of evidence-based practice are explored along with analysis of ethical challenges of the application of research to practice. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. Applying Evidence-Based Practice and Research to Improve Health Outcomes 4 NRSG815The focus of this course is on the use of technology and information systems to retrieve relevant scientific evidence, guidelines and protocols to apply to a practice change project. Information Systems and Advanced Nursing Practice 4 NRSG817The focus of this course is to increase students’ understanding of health policy and analysis of healthcare issues within the context of advanced nursing and inter-professional practice. Health Policy and Advancing Nursing Practice 4 NRSG825The focus of this course is on analysis and synthesis of disease prevention for populations and aggregates to include primary, secondary, and tertiary preventive best practices. Principles and application of epidemiology are included. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. Population Health and Epidemiology 4 NRSG830This course focuses on the application of organizational and leadership concepts to foster and promote healthcare systems by applying models of leadership designed to improve nursing practice and healthcare outcomes. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. Organization and Systems Leadership 4 NRSG831This course focuses on designing an evidence-based practice change initiative to improve health outcomes. Students will be required to use scientifically rigorous methods in the clinical practice and/or healthcare delivery environment to implement a change in practice in order to improve outcomes based on evidence for health promotion. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. DNP Project I: Design and Planning 6 NRSG832The focus of this course is on implementation of the evidence-based practice change in the practicum setting, providing opportunities to engage in increasingly complex organizational projects, and participate in implementation of evidence-based initiatives to improve health outcomes and system effectiveness. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. DNP Project II: Implementation of Evidence Based Practice 6 NRSG833The focus of this course is on scientific evaluation of an evidence-based change initiative using scientifically rigorous methods in the practice and /or healthcare delivery environment to improve outcomes. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. DNP Project III: Evaluation of Change 5 DNP Specialty Topic I 4 DNP Specialty Topics II 4 Total Credit Hours: 49
Students who have not completed the required 500 post-baccalaureate clinical hours must complete the DNP Transitions course/s prior to beginning their DNP Project courses.Credits
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours NRSG820The focus of this course is for students to build their portfolio of experiences to prepare for a successful practicum project. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. DNP Practice Transitions I NRSG821The focus of this course is for students to build their portfolio of experiences to launch into a successful practicum project. DNP Practice Transitions II NRSG822The focus of this course is for students to build their portfolio of experiences to prepare for a successful practicum project. Students must earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher in all core and concentration courses to pass the course in the program. DNP Practice Transitions III Total Credit Hours: 13
Courses- DNP Specialty Topic OptionsCredits
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours HCML870Health policy and regulations shape the operations of healthcare, in all sectors and in all delivery models. This course is designed to explain the construct of health policy and compare and contrast the effects that regulations have on healthcare. Students will examine health policy formulation in order to assess and understand what role healthcare leaders contribute to the process Health Policy and Regulations 4 HCML872This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive view of healthcare as a mix of capitalism and socialism and the emerging trends for payment of services. Economics and finance of healthcare organizations affects the efficiencies and effectiveness of that organization. Students will assess how economics influence a person’s health and how the patient’s health influences finance. The impact of financial matters on service delivery, reimbursement, performance, and quality will be examined. Economics and Financing of Healthcare Organizations 4 HCML874
Performance improvement measures are utilized in healthcare organizations to aid in strategic planning, to evaluate operational effectiveness, and to make improvements and evaluate those strategies implemented for improvements. This course will examine selection and use of measures designed to improve operations of the healthcare organization.
Continuous Improvement for Systems in Healthcare 4 HCML876
This course evaluates the advanced infrastructure of healthcare informatics including the application of healthcare information and management systems. Tools to develop, implement and evaluate informatics algorithms and technologies for improving healthcare delivery will be evaluated. Topics of discussion include current information systems being used in the healthcare industry as well as emerging health information systems and how to manage these within the healthcare environment.
Informatics in Healthcare 4 LDR870This class is designed to help students understand themselves more fully in terms of their current leadership approach and their potential as a leader. Through self-assessment, 360° feedback, journaling, and other forms of self-discovery, students will work to develop enhanced understanding of themselves and their leadership style. They will engage in reflective learning to build their leadership capacity, and they will work to develop peer support structures and personal action plans to guide their ongoing growth and development. Self-Insight and Personal Development as a Leader 4 MGMT824This course is designed to develop and expand students’ ability to think strategically. This will involve various typologies and methods of exploration and an examination of heuristics and biases. Students will work to develop the capacity for concurrent action and ‘birds-eye’ perspectives of ongoing organizational activity. Strategic Thinking and Organizational Alignment 4 ODC870This course will explore the organizational dynamics, processes, and challenges inherent in analyzing and designing an organization to achieve business strategy. As leaders in organizational development and change, students will explore various methods and techniques of analysis and design, including methods of organizational change. This course will explore systematic management approaches for leading organizational design efforts ranging from problem identification, to design recommendations, and organization transformation. Organizational Strategy & Design 4 ODC872This course covers advanced topics in organizational development that help scholar-practitioners prepare for change leadership. Students will identify, assess and evaluate intentional and unintentional organizational change management processes. This course will cover topics in organizational development stakeholder involvement, change effort decision making, and current trends in organizational development leadership. Current Topics in Organizational Development 4 ODC874This course explores the theories associated with, and methods utilized to produce, large scale transformative change in organizations. This course delves into: conditions for and drivers of large scale transformative change, planning large scale change efforts, leading and/or facilitating large scale change processes, stakeholder participation in large scale change, the change processes catalyzing transformative change, cultural implications of large scale change, and organizational learning. Leading and Managing Large Scale Transformation 4 ODC876This course is a doctoral level analysis of research on models in contextualizing making connections among issues using systems thinking and decision making processes. Topics in this course will relate the concepts of decision process applied to issues in the areas of: strategy formulation and business planning, creating and sustaining a competitive advantage, ensuring organizational system alignment to strategy, options and reasoning for strategic actions, strategic planning in environments of uncertainty, and systems readiness for strategic growth. The essence of this course is designed to help leaders define systems and apply strategic approaches. System Thinking and Decision Making 4 PM874This course covers advanced topics in project, program, and portfolio management. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research focused on emerging project, program, and portfolio management trends. Course topics vary as determined by students’ interests and evolution of the discipline. Special Topics in Project Management 4 PM876
This course is designed to provide a systematic approach to program and portfolio quality and risk management by examining the applications of risk and quality management to evaluate a given situation. Students will have the opportunity to use risk management techniques and quality management tools related to program management. Using research, theory, experience, and shared best practices, students will have the opportunity to develop consultative and organizational design (OD) practitioner skills to solve organizational problems and issues and make recommendations.
Risk and Quality Management 4
Total Credit Hours: 49
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Admission to this program requires a current, active and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States. All students must maintain this licensure throughout the program of study.
Students must have graduated with a programmatically accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a regionally accredited institution. A minimum grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for acceptance into the program.
Prior to starting the nursing program all applicants must submit an unofficial or official copy of their college transcript from their MSN degree for review. Applicants to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program who meet all general admission requirements, but did not successfully complete a graduate level statistics course, may be granted provisional admission, until the completion of a graduate level statistics course with a B- or higher. Provisionally accepted students who do not complete a graduate level statistics course prior to NRSG812 Applying Evidence-Based Practice and Research to Improve Health Outcomes will be administratively withdrawn. CTU offers HCM671 Healthcare Statistics that fulfills this program requirement. Students who do not have prior graduate level statistics should consult with their Student Success Coach about options to satisfy this requirement.
The DNP requires a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. CTU may recognize up to 500 hours of supervised, documented clinical hours from your post-baccalaureate (MSN or Post Graduate Certificate) experience toward this clinical requirement.
Potential DNP students must have completed a minimum of 120 documented clinical hours at the post-baccalaureate level prior to admission to the DNP program. Students with 120 clinical hours or greater, but less than 500 clinical hours, will be scheduled for the DNP transitions course(s). This course can be taken at varying credit hours depending on clinical hours transferred into the DNP program. Verification of post-baccalaureate clinical hours completed in the MSN or Post Graduate Certificate program must be submitted on the Colorado Technical University Attestation of Supervised Clinical/Practice/Practicum form.
At this time, Colorado Technical University cannot accept inquiries for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program from residents of the states of Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Cost of this degree may be reduced based on one or more of the following:
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Classes start May 11, 2021!
1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, June 2017 http://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/DNP-Fact-Sheet
2. This doctoral degree program can be completed in 21-27 months, depending on the number of clinical hours that need to be completed; however, many factors will impact your time to completion, including course loads, proficiency and/or, transfer credits and breaks.
This program is not a Nurse Practitioner program or a PhD and is designed for students with a current, active, and unencumbered RN license in the US. Applicants must also have a programmatically accredited Master of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution