Doctor of Nursing Practice

Chairperson: Lin Murphy
Professors: N. Crogan-Pomilla, S. Norwood
Associate Professors: N. Beckham, A. Dupler
Assistant Professors: D. Abendroth, M. Gorski, L. Miklush, L. Murphy, J. Ramirez, J. Tiedt
Senior Lecturer: D. Smith
Lecturers: J. Derzay, J. Garrity, S. Harrison, K. Manion, J. Miller,  V. Navarro, D. Ogorek B. Senger, L. Tochterman

Introduction

The Department of Nursing offers a post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program that is consistent with the mission of Gonzaga University and the overall mission of the Department of Nursing, which is to prepare nurses for leadership in the service of others. Graduates of Gonzaga's DNP program are prepared to engage in systems thinking to solve complex problems, translate evidence to improve health care practices and population health, lead quality improvement and change initiatives, and demonstrate effective intraprofessional collaboration.

This online program is available to Registered Nurses who have earned a master's degree in a nursing specialty area and want to advance their practice, such as nurse practitioners or nurses in leadership/management positions. The DNP courses are offered in a distance delivery format in fall, spring, and summer sessions.

Program Overview

The post-master's DNP requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours. The total number of credits a student must take in order to complete degree requirements depends on the courses and practicum hours completed in the student's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. If an applicant was not required to complete an Evidence-Based Practice course or a biostatistics or inferential statistics course during his or her master's program, these courses must be completed either prior to beginning the DNP program, or they can be taken at Gonzaga during the first semester of the DNP program. The number of practicum hours that each student must complete is individualized based on the number completed in the student's MSN program so that each student meets the required 1,000 practicum hours by program completion (including practicum hours from the student's MSN program). This means that a student may need to complete 36 or more total credits.

The program requires one on-campus immersion. The student must participate in an immersion prior to enrolling in the first DNP practicum course. It is a 3-day orientation to the program and includes a discussion of expectations for practicum, the scholarly project, composition of the Scholarly Project Committee, Institutional Review Board requirements, the proposal defense, and an introduction to faculty and their specific research interests.

The four practicum and seminar courses prepare the student to complete a scholarly project that is aimed at improving some aspect of clinical or leadership practice, depending on the student’s focus and expertise as either a nurse practitioner or health systems leader. The student has the option of presenting his or her proposal defense and final defense to faculty and students either in person or electronically. The final version of the student’s scholarly project is either a bound document or an abstract that is submitted for either a podium or poster presentation at a major conference and a publishable manuscript.


Admission Requirements

Registered Nurses who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to the post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice program:

  1. A master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students who will be completing a master’s degree during the semester when applications are due are also eligible to apply.
  2. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) from master’s-level nursing courses of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. If the GPA is below a 3.3, the applicant must include a statement explaining why the GPA is lower than required.
  3. Official transcript posting MSN or MN degree with documentation of an Evidence Based Practice (EBP) course. If the student has not had an EBP course, he or she can still be fully admitted, but will be required to complete an EBP course during the first semester of DNP course work. Gonzaga offers this course and it is available online to DNP students.
  4. Official transcript of a three semester credit graduate-level inferential statistics or biostatistics course within the last five years with an earned grade of C or better. If the student has not had a statistics course, he or she can still be fully admitted, but will be required to complete a statistics course during the first semester of DNP course work. Gonzaga offers this course and it is available online to DNP students.
  5. Verification form documenting supervised practicum hours earned in a master’s program (from graduate program unless the hours can be determined from the transcript).
  6. An unencumbered RN license from the state where practicum courses will be completed.
  7. Must be able to pass background check which will be completed upon acceptance into the program.
  8. Must have taken the MAT or GRE for master’s level admission and be able to provide scores.
  9. An interview via phone or Skype may be requested.

To be considered as an applicant for the DNP Program the following application items are evaluated:

  1. Curriculum vitae (CV).
  2. Three letters of recommendations.
    a.    Two must be from a colleague/supervisor who is able to evaluate current competency in nursing and the candidate’s potential for nursing practice (clinical or leadership depending on the area of practice) at the most advanced level.
    b.    Applicants are strongly encouraged to have one letter from a former college/university nursing professor who can attest to the candidate’s potential for academic success in a doctoral program.
  3. A 1000 word scholarly essay that describes:
    a.    The candidate’s reasons for pursuing a DNP at Gonzaga University and how the program will prepare the candidate to meet his/her professional goals.
    b.    Experiences and background that have prepared the candidate to be successful while pursuing a doctoral degree.
    c.    Clinical issue/problem to be addressed in a scholarly project:      
           i.   An in-depth description of the identified clinical problem or issue
           ii.  How the problem was identified
           iii. The population that is adversely affected
           iv. What change the candidate proposes to implement.
    d.    How the candidate envisions that improvement in the practice problem/clinical issue will make a difference in the quality of our national healthcare system.
  4. Official transcript(s) posting MSN or MN degree from granting institution or courses completed at time of application if has not yet completed degree.
  5. Copy of current unencumbered RN license.
  6. Verification of practicum hours completed in MSN program.
  7. In addition, nurse practitioner applicants must provide documentation of:
    a.    Unencumbered license as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) in the state where practicum courses will be completed.
    b.    Certification in the area of specialization.
Degree Requirements

The DNP program requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester credits.

NURS 563

Evidence-Based Practice (if not taken in master’s degree program)

3 credits

NURS 700

Theoretical Foundations for Doctor of Nursing Practice

3 credits

NURS 708

Inferential Statistics (if not taken within previous 5 years)

3 credits

NURS 710

Population-Focused Care

3 credits

NURS 720

Evidence Synthesis for Practice

3 credits

NURS 730

Clinical Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

3 credits

NURS 740

Quality Improvement, Information Management, and Leadership in Health Care

3 credits

NURS 750

Health Policy and Advocacy

3 credits

NURS 761

Integrative Application of Evidence for Advanced Practice Seminar I

2 credits

NURS 762

Integrative Application of Evidence for Advanced Practice Seminar II

2 credits

NURS 763

Integrative Application of Evidence for Advanced Practice Seminar III

1 credit

NURS 764

Integrative Application of Evidence for Advanced Practice Seminar IV

1 credit

NURS 701

DNP Practicum I: Application of Evidence-Based Practice

1-3 credits

NURS 702

DNP Practicum II:  Application of Evidence-Based Practice

1-3 credits

NURS 703

DNP Practicum III:  Application of Evidence-Based Practice

1-3 credits

NURS 704

DNP Practicum IV:  Application of Evidence-Based Practice

1-3 credits