DNP Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (DNP-APRN)

Admits in fall and spring

The DNP Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) program prepares advanced practice nurses to improve healthcare within diverse patient populations and systems across the globe. Curriculum is based on the DNP Essentials (AACN, 2006) and includes coursework to elevate APRNs to a new stage of leadership, advocacy, and clinical scholarship within their chosen specialty.

BS-DNP — Choose this pathway if you have a BS in nursing and want to earn both the master's and the doctor of nursing practice degrees in a continuous program.

DNP (post-master’s) — If you already have an MS in nursing with a certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), or Nurse Practitioner (NP), this is the pathway for you.

  1. Lead interdisciplinary teams to improve the quality and safety of healthcare delivery strategies.
  2. Formulate scientifically based, ethical, caring and culturally sensitive healthcare delivery strategies that meet current and future healthcare delivery system needs.
  3. Integrate patient care technologies to evaluate complex healthcare questions in specific practice settings, populations or systems.
  4. Integrate theoretical frameworks to guide the development and evaluation of healthcare delivery strategies.
  5. Implement evidence and evaluate outcomes for the improvement of health in specific practice settings, populations or systems throughout Colorado and beyond.
  6. Act as a healthcare policy advocate in Colorado and beyond.​​​​​

As a part of the DNP Project series of courses, all DNP students must complete practicum credit hours in a clinical site aligned with their practice specialty. Practicum experiences consist of leading a DNP Scholarly Project over four semesters. Approved hours include meeting with stakeholders, mentors, and advisers, implementing small cycles of change, collecting data, evaluating interventions, and analyzing project results.

Practicum Note: Students must complete 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical practicum hours to graduate with a DNP degree. As APRN students complete 500 clinical practicum hours, these are applied to the degree. The DNP Scholarly project series provides a total of 540 practicum hours to meet the 1,000 hour requirement.​​​​​

The DNP prepares advanced practice nurses to assume such roles as:

  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Clinician-Scholar
  • Developer/Evaluator of Healthcare Programs
  • Healthcare Entrepreneur/Executive
  • Clinical Administrator

Graduates of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) track in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (this includes all Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, and CNS specialties) are eligible to apply for national certification by examination. APRN certification is required for licensure in each state, including Colorado, and both national certification and state licensure is required for practice. You can learn more about the requirements for APRN licensure by visiting the Colorado Board of Nursing APRN application forms page There are certification options for other Doctor of Nursing Practice Program tracks; however, certification is not required for practice.

Please see the following notice: Nursing Certification Disclaimer

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