Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice Program ranked #33 in The U.S. News and World Report 2023 Rankings of Top Nursing Programs.

The College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a clinical practice-oriented leadership curriculum that focuses on evidence-based practice for the improvement of clinical care delivery, program evaluation, patient and population outcomes, and health system leadership/management.

All classes have an online component; some classes require a one- to two-day intensive session on campus. There are no more than three intensives on campus per academic year.

The DNP Pathways:

  • The BS to DNP Program provides individuals with a Bachelor's in Nursing with a single path to a DNP degree.
  • Students may also advance a current Master’s degree through the Post-Graduate DNP pathway.

There are five different tracks that students may pursue in either of the DNP pathways. Each track has a focus.

  1. The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (DNP-APRN) pathway prepares individuals with Master's Degrees in Nursing and a specialty certification for leadership roles in the clinical setting.
  2. The DNP-PHN Program is for individuals who hold a Master's Degree in Public/Community Health and desire leadership roles in the public health sector.
  3. Individuals with a nursing masters in a specialty other than public health can earn both a Master's in Public Health and a DNP Degree with the DNP/MPH Dual Degree Program.
  4. The Post-Graduate DNP Health Systems Leadership Program prepares nurse leaders across the continuum of care (i.e. primary care, acute care, long-term care, school nursing, home care, etc.).
  5. The Veteran and Military Health Care Leadership DNP program prepares nurse leaders to care for our veterans and their needs. Contact Dr. Mona Pearl Treyball. View the VMHC Leadership DNP Plans of Study (PDF).

Nationwide, the award of the DNP requires 1,000 post-baccalaureate academically-supervised clinical practicum hours as defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Your transcript will be evaluated to determine the number of clinical hours required for the DNP program.

  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 DNP student at the College of Nursing, you will be required to complete credit hours in a clinical setting under the supervision of a nursing professional. These clinical experiences are an integral part of our mission as a college and provide students with a comprehensive education, functioning as integration of practice and coursework. Students have a wide variety of clinical settings and nursing environments in which to complete their clinical hours. Instructions for signing up and more information on the clinical experiences are available in the student clinical education section.

Please note, that all students completing clinical hours must meet very specific requirements concerning immunizations, background checks, etc.​​​​​

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

  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Clinician-Scholar
  • Developer/Evaluator of Health Care 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.
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