The DNP Program features online learning with both synchronous and asynchronous experiences. Each student is assigned an individual faculty advisor/mentor throughout the program as well as faculty, staff and program support to help navigate the program. In addition, an on-campus orientation allows for initial face-to-face meetings with faculty, staff and other students. The translational project is another feature of the program that provides the student with a unique learning opportunity.
The DNP: Nursing (MSN to DNP) program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing is a program of doctoral study for the nurse desiring specialty education in advanced levels of nursing practice. The DNP emerged from recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and leaders in health care. Embracing those recommendations, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) advanced the concept of the DNP and recommended that by 2015 all new applicants for advanced practice certification should have a DNP degree. The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is to provide a rigorous education to prepare advanced practice nurses who translate science to improve population health through expert leadership. The program was designed using the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice specified by the AACN. The DNP program curriculum for most post master's students will be a minimum of 34 semester credits. As a component of the DNP program, the student will develop and implement an evidence-based innovative translational project that could solve a significant health-care problem. With the student's faculty advisor/mentor, he/she will develop and present a scholarly project. Students will also complete additional clinical requirements to meet the mandated minimum of 1,000 Post-baccalaureate hours of specialty training that is one of the distinctions of a DNP graduate. Post masters students are permitted to apply a maximum of 500 of their post baccalaureate clinical hours to the 1,000 minimum mandate.
DNP: Nursing: Nursing Administration
The DNP: Nursing: Nursing Administration (BSN or higher to DNP) curriculum is designed to accommodate students who have completed their BSN, or have a Master’s Degree in another field. Course work can be completed on a full time or part time basis. Students entering with a BSN are required to take between 64-67 credits to achieve the DNP. Students entering the program with a Master’s degree in another field will be evaluated individually and given appropriate credit for courses completed at the Master’s level.
The DNP curriculum focuses on developing the knowledge and skills to effectively lead in complex clinical environments. Core courses provide a foundation in informatics, evidence based practice and research, finance, organizational theory, resource management, nursing theory, and nursing research. This knowledge is then expanded upon through courses in leadership in complex system, epidemiology, health policy, and clinical systems analysis and design. To achieve the 1,000 clinical hours required for the DNP, students will complete a clinical healthcare practicum followed by a clinical residency during which the student completes a Translational Project under the guidance of a DNP committee.
The DNP: Nursing Administration Systems allows students interested to continue on and complete the Masters of Business Administration (MBA). If students remain continuously enrolled following the required program of study, they can count up to 15 hours of the DNP: Nursing Administration Systems business courses toward their MBA.