Post-Bachelor‘s DNP: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

Program Contact: Susan D'Agostino 203-582-8882

The Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program prepares qualified professional nurses to practice at an advanced level in primary care settings. The curriculum follows the standards set by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. It provides 720 hours of precepted practice, thereby enabling graduates to diagnose and manage most common illnesses, and to assume the responsibilities commensurate with prescriptive authority and advanced nursing practice. Working independently and collaboratively with nurse practitioners and other members of the health care team, graduates are prepared to provide high-quality, cost-effective and holistic primary care across the lifespan of adults. A total of 80 hours of interprofessional education are required across the program resulting in interprofessional distinction listed on the transcript. The remaining 240 hours of fieldwork are part of the DNP Project in which students complete a quality improvement project. Graduates are eligible to take a national examination for certification as adult gerontology nurse practitioners.

Course Listing

DNP: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program (68 credits)

NUR 514Epidemiology and Population Health3
NUR 516Health Policy and Organizational Systems2
NUR 520Advanced Health Assessment3
NUR 520LAdvanced Health Assessment Lab2
NUR 522Advanced Pathophysiology3
NUR 524Principles of ECG Interpretation1
NUR 528Principles of Radiography2
NUR 530Advanced Pharmacology3
NUR 600Evaluation and Synthesis of Scientific Evidence for Practice2
NUR 602Principles of Ethical Theory in Nursing1
NUR 610Clinical Scholarship and Inquiry in Nursing2
NUR 610PBLDNP Project I2
NUR 612Leadership and Collaboration for Change in Health Care2
NUR 612PBLDNP Project II2
NUR 630Advanced Holistic Diagnosis3
NUR 630LAdvanced Holistic Diagnosis Lab2
NUR 631Introduction to Clinical Practicum and Seminar1
NUR 632Health Promotion and Advocacy3
NUR 633Clinical Simulation1
NUR 634Reproductive Health Problems in Primary Care3
NUR 636Common Problems in Primary Care3
NUR 637Clinical Fellowship4
NUR 638Laboratory Diagnosis2
NUR 640Special Topics in Adult and Geriatric Psychopharmacology1
NUR 641Adult Health Practicum and Seminar I3
NUR 642Complex Problems in Primary Care3
NUR 643Adult Health Practicum and Seminar II3
NUR 647Adult Health Practicum and Seminar IV3
Total Credits65

Curriculum Note:

The semester-by-semester Learning Pathway for this program is available in the School of Nursing.

The curriculum for this program is subject to modification as deemed necessary by the nursing faculty to provide students with the most meaningful educational experience and to remain current with professional standards and guidelines.

Admission Requirements

An applicant to the DNP program must be a registered nurse or NCLEX eligible nurse and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another field. An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required. Applicants should submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. A completed admissions application including a resume and a personal statement addressing the following:
    1. professional goals and motivations
    2. a nursing experience that has influenced or shaped your practice
    3. a health care problem that interests you for potential doctoral study
  2. Official transcripts from all schools previously attended.
  3. Official recent results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or (IELTS) International English Language Testing System for international applicants.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from persons with authority to evaluate your professional ability.
  5. Proof of current licensure or eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Connecticut.

Candidates applying for full-time admission for the fall term must submit a completed application by May 1. Candidates may be on a wait list for the fall in the event a space becomes available. However, acceptances are not deferred and wait listed candidates need to reapply for the following fall. Exceptions may be made in rare circumstances by the chair of the graduate nursing program.

All accepted students also will be required to complete a background check and urine drug screen following acceptance and before the start of classes. Acceptances will be conditional until satisfactory completion of both.

Progression Requirements

Students are expected to take courses in the order they are presented on the curriculum pathways. Any student wishing to take a course out of sequence must seek permission from the graduate program chair. To preserve quality in our clinical placements, we are not able to accommodate a change in program specialty except on a space-available basis. If a change is desired, students should speak with the graduate program director early in the curriculum to check on any opportunities for change and be placed on a waiting list, if necessary.

According to Quinnipiac University policy, all graduate students are expected to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Full-time graduate students are required to achieve a 3.0 GPA each semester. Part-time graduate students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 upon completion of 9 credits and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 thereafter. The grading scale of the Graduate Nursing Program is consistent with that of the university.

A student who earns less than a B minus grade in any nursing course will not progress into the next semester. The student is allowed to repeat the course once at Quinnipiac University provided that the course and the subsequent curriculum sequence are offered and must achieve a B minus or better. The student must achieve a minimum grade of a B minus in all subsequent nursing courses. Failure to meet this requirement will result in dismissal from the program. A student who earns unsatisfactory grades (grade of less than B minus) in two or more nursing courses in any semester is not eligible to repeat the courses and will be required to withdraw from the program.

In clinical practica, students must receive a grade of B minus or better on the final faculty and preceptor clinical evaluations in order to pass the course and progress into the next semester. If a student is not performing satisfactorily in clinical according to the preceptor and/or faculty site visitor, a final faculty visit and evaluation of clinical performance will be made by a full-time faculty member, and this final grade must be B minus or better to pass the course.

A student who receives a grade of Incomplete (I) in any nursing courses or practica must meet all course requirements for conversion to a grade before the start of the subsequent semester.

For post-master’s students, transfer students, or students returning from an elective leave of absence during their course of study, selected courses must have been completed within a specified period of time. For Pathophysiology, credit will be recognized if the course was taken during the previous five years. For Advanced Health Assessment, Pharmacology and any program specialty course, credit will be recognized if the course was taken during the previous three years. For any of these courses which do not meet the specified period of time, the course must be re-taken for credit. Students may be asked to audit courses if the interruption to the continuity of their curriculum plan has been significant.

At the end of each semester, the chair of the graduate nursing programs reviews the cumulative GPA and academic record of graduate nursing students. The graduate nursing program chair will notify both the associate dean and the student in writing, of the student’s failure to meet the academic requirements. Students who are performing at an unsatisfactory level will be: a) placed on probation; b) suspended; or c) dismissed. Students placed on academic probation remain in their program but must take specified corrective action to meet program performance standards. Students should meet with their advisers to identify learning strategies to help them accomplish these goals and the student should draft a list or narrative of these strategies, which will serve as a learning contract. A copy of this contract will be placed in the student’s folder and should be reviewed periodically with their adviser. Students must demonstrate a significantly increased GPA at the end of that semester in order to continue in the program. Students placed on suspension may also need to take specified actions as directed by the academic dean, graduate nursing program chair or academic adviser.

Appeal Process

  1. A student wishing to appeal a progression decision must write a letter to the chair of the graduate nursing program within one week of receiving notice of his/her inability to progress.
  2. Appeals will be considered by a Faculty Appeals Committee and results will be communicated in writing to the student.
  3. A student wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the grade appeal process.

NUR 514. Epidemiology and Population Health.3 Credits.

This course introduces epidemiologic principles, methods and data used in advanced nursing practice. Population health concepts are coupled with risk analysis statistics to critique evidence for holistic public health approaches. The use of data to assess acute and chronic population health problems, to implement effective interventions addressing these problems, and to examine outcomes is emphasized.

Offered: Every year, Spring and Summer

NUR 516. Health Policy and Organizational Systems.2 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to various social and political policy environments impacting advanced nursing practice and health care systems. Students examine issues that inform health care policy, organization and financing. Nursing's advocacy role in shaping policy in organizational, social and political venues is emphasized.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Summer

NUR 520. Advanced Health Assessment.3 Credits.

This course presents the principles of performing a comprehensive health assessment and reporting the findings in a professional format. Attention is given to assessment and physical examination across the lifespan within diverse communities. The processes underlying diagnostic decision making are introduced. A laboratory component enables the student to master the techniques of performing a holistic health assessment.

Corequisites: Take NUR 520L.
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 520L. Advanced Health Assessment Lab.2 Credits.

This lab must be taken with NUR 520. (2 lab hrs.)

Corequisites: Take NUR 520.
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 522. Advanced Pathophysiology.3 Credits.

Essential concepts of pathophysiology are emphasized. Selected disorders are studied especially as they relate to homeostatic and defense/repair mechanisms. Where appropriate the course includes clinical correlations of disease states with symptoms and physical findings.

Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 524. Principles of ECG Interpretation.1 Credit.

This course provides a directed approach to understanding the principles and basic interpretation of electrocardiography as applied in advanced practice nursing. Intended for students in the adult-gerontology and family nurse practitioner tracks.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 528. Principles of Radiography.2 Credits.

The basic principles of radiologic and imaging techniques, recognition of common abnormal findings, indications and contraindications for various tests including cost analysis and availability factors are considered. Intended for students in the adult-gerontology and family nurse practitioner tracks.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 530. Advanced Pharmacology.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to pharmacological management across the lifespan and provided with advanced knowledge of pharmacokinetics. Selected categories of drugs commonly prescribed for management of health care problems and health promotion within diverse communities are presented. Controlled substances and the potential for abuse are discussed. The responsibilities and legalities of prescriptive authority in advanced practice are defined.

Offered: Every year

NUR 600. Evaluation and Synthesis of Scientific Evidence for Practice.2 Credits.

Students review selected processes to identify current best scientific evidence including formulation of asking an answerable question. Students also conduct a review of the literature, critically appraise individual studies, and synthesize the evidence collected. Various methods to evaluate statistical analyses and scientific rigor are emphasized. Discussions focus on strengths and limitations of existing evidence, and application to direct and indirect practice. Iterative writing is a major component of this course.

Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 602. Principles of Ethical Theory in Nursing.1 Credit.

This course facilitates the student's formulation of a theoretical basis for ethical judgment at an advanced level of practice. Students analyze ethical theory and debate responses to ethical problems in advanced nursing practice.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Summer Online

NUR 610. Clinical Scholarship and Inquiry in Nursing.2 Credits.

This course focuses on improvement methods used to identify organizational systems' process problems affecting practice (direct and indirect care). Building on prior knowledge of evidence-based practice, students learn how to critically appraise scientific evidence, evaluate additional relevant information, and consider cost implications to create sustainable innovations intended to improve systems.

Offered: Every year, Spring Online

NUR 610PBL. DNP Project I.2 Credits.

This seminar provides an opportunity for students to identify a health organization or system's opportunity for process improvement based on available aggregate data. Students develop a substantial and meaningful scholarly DNP Project Proposal that is innovative and evidence-based, reflects the application of credible research findings, financially sound, feasible, sustainable and demonstrates value to the organization and population(s) served. There is a minimum of 120 fieldwork hours associated with this course. The course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Corequisites: Take NUR 610.
Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 612. Leadership and Collaboration for Change in Health Care.2 Credits.

This course focuses on developing advanced practice nursing leaders who are able to generate pragmatic responses to health care policy, systems and practice inquiry problems through a collaborative approach.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 610.
Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 612PBL. DNP Project II.1-2 Credits.

Students continue experiential learning to create and sustain change through implementation of the approved, scholarly DNP Project Proposal using appropriate leadership concepts, interdisciplinary team collaboration, and change theory. Post-implementation and evaluation of Project outcomes are disseminated to applicable fieldwork site stakeholders, peers in a professional forum, and in a digital repository. There are 120 fieldwork hours associated with this course the first time it is taken. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis. The course may be repeated for one credit until the DNP Project is completed.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 610 NUR 610PBL.
Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 630. Advanced Holistic Diagnosis.3 Credits.

This course expands on assessment across the lifespan with attention to complex systems. The processes underlying diagnostic decision making are explored and a variety of simple office procedures such as suturing and splinting are taught.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 520 NUR 520L.
Corequisites: Take NUR 630L.
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 630L. Advanced Holistic Diagnosis Lab.2 Credits.

This lab must be taken with NUR 630. (2 lab hrs.)

Prerequisites: Take NUR 520 NUR 520L.
Corequisites: Take NUR 630.
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 631. Introduction to Clinical Practicum and Seminar.1 Credit.

This course introduces students to clinical practice and includes an online seminar. Students apply advanced health assessment skills to assess patients across the adult lifespan. Students are expected to perform focused and full histories and physicals, formulate differential diagnoses, order appropriate laboratory testing and begin to develop treatment plans. Presentation of patient cases, appropriate clinical documentation, and the DNP role are emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 630 NUR 630L.
Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 632. Health Promotion and Advocacy.3 Credits.

Health promotion, advocacy and mental health problems encountered in primary care settings are considered. A holistic approach to clients from adolescence to senescence is emphasized. Evidence-based guidelines and research are integrated to develop nursing strategies for health promotion and prevention.

Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 633. Clinical Simulation.1 Credit.

This course is designed to enhance nurse practitioner students' clinical examination and documentation skills. Students participate in individual and group simulated case scenarios and document appropriate notes for faculty review. Discussion of cases in a seminar setting is included. Emphasis is placed on the holistic assessment of individuals and/or families according to their needs. Low faculty-to-student ratios allow for individualized instruction to improve clinical assessment skills and documentation. The course is conducted five hours per day for three days prior to the start of the fall semester.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 643 or NUR 653.
Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 634. Reproductive Health Problems in Primary Care.3 Credits.

Gender-related problems in primary care across the lifespan are the focus of this course. Selected alternative and complimentary therapies are included.

Corequisites: Take NUR 520 NUR 520L.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Summer

NUR 636. Common Problems in Primary Care.3 Credits.

This course considers diagnoses of common problems encountered in primary care settings. Evidence-based, multidisciplinary management approaches to selected health problems also are discussed. Assessment and management of the selected problems include attention to cultural traditions, alternative treatments and socioeconomic policies that affect the delivery of care. The course is grounded by a holistic approach to care; case studies are used to promote clinical reasoning.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 631.
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 637. Clinical Fellowship.4 Credits.

This intensive clinical experience allows for deepened clinical practice in a flexible timeframe. The 240-hour requirement can be completed in six weeks as a full-time practice, or in two- or three-day practice allotments throughout the summer. This course comes at the end of the student's sequence of clinical courses. A clinical seminar prepares students for the national certification exam and future clinical practice. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 647 or NUR 657.
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 638. Laboratory Diagnosis.2 Credits.

This course introduces students to selected laboratory tests, including cardiac and pulmonary testing. Students discuss the use and interpretation of diagnostics in a variety of primary care problems. Attention to financial considerations in the selection of diagnostics is emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 522 NUR 630 NUR 630L.
Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 640. Special Topics in Adult and Geriatric Psychopharmacology.1 Credit.

The perspective of psychiatric neuroscience addresses the actions and interactions of drugs on the brain, the impact in the central nervous system, and interprets the behavioral consequences of psychiatric medications. Common psychiatric medications seen with adults and geriatric patients in primary care settings are considered. A holistic approach to adult and geriatric patients is emphasized. Evidenced-based guidelines and research are integrated to develop nursing strategies for best practices in psychopharmacology.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 647.
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 641. Adult Health Practicum and Seminar I.3 Credits.

This course integrates the principles of primary care nursing and includes a mentored practicum with a clinical seminar. Students apply advanced practice skills to manage acute and chronic health problems across the adult lifespan. Appropriate clinical documentation, case presentation and use of web-based clinical resources are emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 631.
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 642. Complex Problems in Primary Care.3 Credits.

This course focuses on selected complex, urgent or less frequently encountered problems of primary care across the lifespan from adolescence to senescence. An opportunity to refine differential diagnosis and management of challenging health concerns in diverse populations is provided by the use of case studies.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 636; and NUR 641 or NUR 651.
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 643. Adult Health Practicum and Seminar II.3 Credits.

This course includes a mentored practicum with clinical seminar and provides further opportunity for advanced nursing practice with diverse adult populations. Students refine primary care skills including appropriate documentation, differential diagnosis, case presentation and technology utilization with attention to cost-effective and evidence-based approaches to care.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 641.
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 647. Adult Health Practicum and Seminar IV.3 Credits.

This course includes a mentored clinical practicum with a clinical seminar, and provides continued opportunity for holistic nursing practice with families at an advanced level. Students are expected to manage the process of patient care with increasing confidence, efficiency and accuracy. Cost-effectiveness, evidence-based practice, ethical dilemmas, cultural sensitivity and preparation for entry to licensed practice are emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 645.
Offered: Every year, Fall