Post-Bachelor's DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner

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

The Family 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 840 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, program graduates are prepared to provide high-quality, cost-effective and holistic primary care across the lifespan. 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 family nurse practitioners.

Course Listing 

DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner Program (75 credits)

BMS 515Advanced Pathophysiology I3
NUR 500Biostatistics1
NUR 514Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Practice3
NUR 516Health Policy and Organizational Systems3
NUR 520LAdvanced Health Assessment I Lab2
NUR 520Advanced Health Assessment I3
NUR 522Advanced Pathophysiology II (BMS 516)3
NUR 524Principles of ECG Interpretation1
NUR 528Principles of Radiography2
NUR 530Advanced Pharmacology3
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 Health Assessment II3
NUR 630LAdvanced Health Assessment II Lab2
NUR 631Introduction to Clinical Practicum & Seminar1
NUR 632Health Promotion and Advocacy3
NUR 634Reproductive Health Problems in Primary Care3
NUR 636Common Problems in Primary Care3
NUR 637Clinical Fellowship4
NUR 638Laboratory Diagnosis2
NUR 642Complex Problems in Primary Care3
NUR 650Special Topics in Family Psychopharmacology1
NUR 651Family Health Practicum and Seminar I3
NUR 652Primary Care of the Child and Family I3
NUR 653Family Health Practicum and Seminar II3
NUR 654Primary Care of the Child and Family II3
NUR 655Family Health Practicum and Seminar III1
NUR 656Pediatric Assessment1
NUR 657Family Health Practicum and Seminar IV3
Total Credits75

NUR 514 and NUR 516 are offered online or on-ground (space available basis)

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. Nurse Anesthesia candidates can see the requirements on the website.
  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.

BMS 515. Advanced Pathophysiology I.3 Credits.

Essential concepts of pathophysiology are emphasized. Normal function and 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 500. Biostatistics.1 Credit.

This biostatistics course is an introduction to probability concepts and statistical tests currently used in the biological and health sciences. The course covers the application of statistics to data analysis. An emphasis is placed on inferential statistics, which includes estimation, confidence intervals, means, variances and proportions.

Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 514. Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Practice.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.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 500
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 516. Health Policy and Organizational Systems.3 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

NUR 520. Advanced Health Assessment I.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 I 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 II (BMS 516).3 Credits.

Concepts of pathophysiology are continued in this course, with an emphasis on selected disorders of the human system. Relationships between normal physiologic function, pathogenesis and pathology are discussed. The course includes clinical correlations of disease states with physical and laboratory findings.

Prerequisites: Take BMS 515
Offered: Every year, Spring

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, Spring 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, 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, Summer 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.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. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

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

NUR 630. Advanced Health Assessment II.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 Health Assessment II 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 & 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 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.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 630 NUR 630L NUR 632
Offered: Every year, Spring

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. 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 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 NUR 641
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 650. Special Topics in Family 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 medicines. Common psychiatric medications seen with patients across the lifespan in primary care settings are considered. A holistic approach to patients across the lifespan is emphasized. Evidence-based guidelines and research are integrated to develop nursing strategies for best practices in psychopharmacology.

Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 651. Family Health Practicum and Seminar I.3 Credits.

This course includes a mentored practicum experience and a clinical seminar. Health promotion and assessment of health problems within family systems are emphasized. Students learn 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 631
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 652. Primary Care of the Child and Family I.3 Credits.

This course focuses on health care of the child within the family system. Comprehensive assessment and management of common pediatric health problems encountered in primary care settings are addressed.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 631
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 653. Family Health Practicum and Seminar II.3 Credits.

This course includes a mentored practicum experience of 120 hours and a weekly clinical seminar. It provides an opportunity for nursing practice with families at an advanced level. Comprehensive assessment, clinical decision-making and strategies to facilitate health promotion and health restoration of individuals within family systems are emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 651
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 654. Primary Care of the Child and Family II.3 Credits.

This course continues the focus on health care of the child within the family system. Primary care management is emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 651 NUR 652
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 655. Family Health Practicum and Seminar III.1 Credit.

This course includes a mentored practicum experience of 120 hours and an online seminar. It provides continued opportunity for continued, advanced holistic practice with families. Comprehensive assessment, clinical decision making and strategies to facilitate health promotion and health restoration of individuals within family systems are emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 653
Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 656. Pediatric Assessment.1 Credit.

This course discusses holistic health assessment of newborns, infants, children and adolescents. Assessment of normal growth and development is presented, as is assessment of common pediatric primary care problems.

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

NUR 657. Family Health Practicum and Seminar IV.3 Credits.

This course includes a mentored practicum experience of 120 hours and a weekly clinical seminar. 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 655
Offered: Every year, Fall