Nursing Practice DNP

Overview

The Department of Nursing offers a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The program prepares nurses to assume leadership roles within health care systems in a variety of settings, to expand knowledge of the discipline of nursing, and to acquire the foundation for doctoral study and continued professional development. The ability to work collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team, provide patient-centered care, employ evidence-based practice, access information technology, and apply quality improvement strategies are basic competencies expected of all graduates of this program. The DNP program prepares graduates to provide primary care as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in one of two tracks: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Additionally, the program offers nurses with an earned Master’s Degree in nursing the opportunity to complete a post-MS DNP degree, either in primary care or as an executive nurse leader.

The DNP graduate curriculum includes nine core courses essential for all students that address the theoretical foundation of nursing care, professional issues and role development of APRNs, evidence based research utilization and practice, health policy and finance, ethics, health care informatics, quality of health care delivery, leadership of health care systems, genetics/ genomics, population-based health, biostatistics and epidemiology. Students apply core content to their DNP Program. Upon successful completion of program requirements APRN students are eligible to complete a national certification exam as either FNP or AGNP.

As a CNHS graduate nursing student, students are required to complete the CNHS mandatories prior to matriculating into the program. Students must keep these requirements current throughout their program: Immunizations, CPR, HIPPA/OSHA training, annual PPD, and RN License. Some clinical sites require a criminal background check as well. It is essential to be compliant with this process to participate in clinical courses/experiences. Complete details on CNHS Mandatories are available on the college website.

The following Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are being offered:

Direct Entry Program in Nursing (DEPN)

The Direct Entry Program in Nursing (DEPN) has replaced the Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN). This accelerated, alternative-entry program is for those who have not graduated from a nursing program, and who hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in another field. Upon successful completion of the accelerated pre-RN licensure year, students complete the national examination for RN licensure (NCLEX) and continue into the MS- CNL or the DNP- Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track. A certificate of completion is awarded for the successful completion of the pre-licensure year. A BS degree is not conferred. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program offers two entry options; one for registered nurses with a baccalaureate or higher degree (in nursing or another field), and another for post- MS applicants who wish to pursue the DNP.

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

For candidates who have earned a MS degree in Nursing and wish to pursue a DNP. Within the Post Master DNP there are two tracks: Primary Care DNP and Executive Nurse Leader.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice

The following criteria must be met to be considered for admission into the program:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, or Bachelor's Degree in another field for the Direct Entry into Professional Nursing Program (DEPN), or Associate Degree in Nursing with a Baccalaureate Degree in another field
  • Eligibility for licensure as an RN in Vermont
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (GRE scores within the past 5 years are required for DNP applicants. GRE is not required for post-MS DNP applicants with a MS degree in nursing)
  • College grade point average of 3.00 or higher
  • Undergraduate statistics course
  • Previous basic physical assessment course
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Practice experience preferred

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice

The following criteria must be met to complete your minimum degree requirements:

  • Completion of core, track, and elective courses
  • Completion of Comprehensive Examination
  • Grade point average of 3.00 or higher
  • Completion and implementation of DNP Project

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Post Master's DNP Nurse Practitioner and Post Master's DNP Executive Nurse Leader

  • Master's Degree in Nursing
  • Eligibility for licensure as an RN in Vermont
  • College grade point average of 3.00 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Practice experience preferred
  • An interview may be requested by the faculty

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Post Master's DNP Nurse Practitioner and Post Master's DNP Executive Nurse Leader

  • Successful completion of Core, track, and elective courses
  • Grade point average of 3.00 or higher
  • DNP Project

DNP Project

The project option is a capstone experience of the graduate program where students develop and conduct an innovative project/production relevant to advanced nursing practice with faculty supervision. Students are required to present and defend the project orally upon its completion.

To register for the project option, the student must have successfully completed the GRNU core courses and completed a Project Completion Form. They must then register for GRNU 390. In the semester when a student registers for their first Project credits, attendance is expected at the seminars for Thesis/Project Series.

Projects are usually completed during the last semester of the student’s program.

Comprehensive Examination

The Comprehensive Examination is conducted by the Graduate Program in the Department of Nursing. The examination is designed to allow the student to demonstrate analysis and synthesis of knowledge gained through the program. Students may take the examination any time after the majority of the core courses have been successfully completed, and must be completed prior to the final track courses and practicums. Students will be expected to orally present their DNP Project proposal, clearly articulating, synthesizing, and applying the DNP Essentials and the NP competencies and core content addressed throughout the program of study as they relate to their DNP Project.

The Comprehensive Examination is rated on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. In the event that the student does not achieve a satisfactory on the oral comprehensive exam, one opportunity to provide written evidence of satisfactory achievement of the goal of the comprehensive exam will be allowed and is to be submitted by two weeks following the oral attempt.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice, Post Master's DNP Nurse Practitioner, and Post Master's DNP Executive Nurse Leader

Meet all of the above criteria.