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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQ
What is a DNP Degree?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepares nurses for the highest level of practice in a complex healthcare environment. In this time of major healthcare reform and concerns about the quality and safety of care, the DNP prepared nurse will be leading the way to promote improved quality, safety and access to healthcare for people across our state and nation. The TTUHSC SON DNP graduate has the scientific knowledge and practice expertise to advance quality outcomes and create access to healthcare across a multitude of settings from rural health clinics to major urban health systems.

What is a Capstone?

The capstone incorporates evidence-based strategies for implementing and achieving health care outcomes such as a significant pilot study, a program evaluation project, a quality improvement project, or a practice change initiative derived from translational science and the DNP role. The capstone serves as a foundation for future scholarly practice and is reviewed and evaluated by an academic community.
Examples of DNP Capstones are available at: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/son/doctorate/capstone.aspx

Can I apply if I have a master's degree in another field?

Yes, BSN prepared nurses who have earned a Masters in a field outside of nursing may apply to the DNP Program. However, the Department Chair for Leadership Studies will review the graduate-level transcript to determine additional courses which must be taken in addition to meeting the DNP degree requirements.

How do you define healthcare leadership experience?

Healthcare leadership experience is broadly defined as a formal position in some type of role well beyond an entry level nursing position such as nursing director, chief nursing officer, vice president of nursing, program director or coordinator, or community or government agency coordinator or director. We encourage applicants with a variety of experiences across the spectrum of healthcare including acute care systems, community settings, public agencies, and the healthcare insurance and product industry.

What kinds of jobs are available for DNP graduates?

Individuals with practice doctorates are the most highly educated and qualified practitioners in their fields. Instead of focusing primarily on research and teaching, those with practice doctorates use their education and expertise in leadership roles on the front lines of their professions. They are also highly qualified to teach the next generation of clinicians and leaders.

Can I be a part-time DNP student?

Yes, a part-time study degree plan is available for those DNP students who determine the part-time plan is best suited for their particular situation.

Is it possible to work full time and complete the DNP program as a full-time student?

Yes however it is important to be aware that the DNP program is very challenging and requires typically up to 30 or more hours per week of study time. It is important to have a supportive network including your supervisor during your time in the DNP program.

When can I start the DNP program?

DNP classes begin in June of every year.

Are there online classes or distance-learning opportunities?

Classes are both on-line and in "executive sessions" over 3 - 4 days on-campus at 3 times during the semester.  Class dates are usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can expect to travel nine times a year.

I am looking for a program that will prepare me to become a nursing faculty member. Is this the program for me?

If you are seeking doctoral preparation because your primary goal is to become faculty in a nursing program, the TTUHSC School of Nursing DNP curriculum may not be the best fit for you but we would encourage you to discuss your particular situation and goals with a program advisor.

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