Program Contact: Laima Karosas 203-582-5366

The Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner DNP program is open only to graduates of the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing Adult-Gerontology (AGNP) or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. Students who have completed the AGNP or FNP MSN program may continue seamlessly into the DNP within two years of MSN graduation. Newly graduated nurse practitioners may begin to practice and continue on for their DNP without having to reapply. The curriculum is online and follows the standards set by the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. It provides 480 hours of fieldwork, which includes the DNP project and either a leadership or care of populations focus. This program is geared toward enhancing the practice of novice nurse practitioners and, therefore, students work closely with their advisers to choose courses supportive of their practice needs.

Post-Master’s DNP: Nurse Practitioner 

Course Listing
NUR 514Epidemiology and Population Health2
NUR 516Health Policy and Organizational Systems2
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 613Nursing Leadership Seminar: Applying Data to Practice2
NUR 614PBLDNP Project Continuation Course1
NUR 615Nursing Leadership Seminar and Fieldwork Experience: Safety and Legal Contexts of Health Care3
NUR 617Nursing Leadership Fellowship: Relationship Management and Strategic Leadership3
Total Credits24

Curriculum Note:

Sample curriculum, 30 credits required.

Students take electives to complete 30 credits required for the degree. 

Choose between a population focus (NUR 620, NUR 622 and NUR 623 required) or leadership (NUR 613, NUR 615 and NUR 617 required).

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.

Student Learning Outcomes

The objectives of the DNP program are designed to prepare graduates for advanced nursing practice who are capable of providing holistic health care for diverse individuals, families or populations in a variety of settings. Specifically, the program seeks to produce graduates who:

  1. Demonstrate clinical reasoning through an understanding of science and evidence-based practice.
  2. Design, implement and evaluate quality improvement initiatives across the systems in which health care is delivered.
  3. Analyze and critique the available evidence for best practices in healthcare.
  4. Apply technology and information fluency to conduct practice inquiry.
  5. Advocate for rational health policies to improve patient care and enhance effective use of resources.
  6. Demonstrate leadership through interprofessional collaboration to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  7. Direct health promotion and disease prevention efforts to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  8. Provide competent, culturally sensitive, and ethically based care to individuals and/or populations in a defined specialty of advanced nursing practice.

Admission Requirements

An applicant to the post-master’s programs must have a master’s degree in nursing or a related field. Post-master’s applicants are required to provide a letter from their prior master’s program detailing the total number of supervised clinical hours they completed as part of that program. Download the form (PDF) 

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 healthcare 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
  6. Letter from applicant’s prior master’s program detailing the number of supervised clinical hours completed as part of that program

Candidates applying for full-time admission for the fall term must submit a completed application by July 1.

All accepted students will be required to complete a background check and urine drug screen following acceptance and before the start of classes.  Acceptance 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.

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- 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- or better. The student must achieve a minimum grade of a B- 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-) 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.

A student who receives a grade of Incomplete (I) in any nursing course 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 five years.

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 their 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.2 Credits.

This course introduces epidemiologic principles, methods and data used in advanced nursing practice. Data and evidence from research are used to: assess acute and chronic population health problems/topics, provide effective possible interventions; and address and examine outcomes.

Offered: Every year, Spring and Summer Online

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 Online

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.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 600.
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.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 613. Nursing Leadership Seminar: Applying Data to Practice.2 Credits.

This online seminar develops students' skills in identifying, critiquing and applying data in health care. Students investigate evidence-based research and how that data is used to improve health system outcomes. In addition, they examine electronic data transfer methods and displays that illustrate performance. Finally, students debate the ethical aspects of data access, security and use.

Offered: Every year, Spring Online

NUR 614PBL. DNP Project Continuation Course.1 Credit.

This course is for those students who continue to work on their DNP Project in the semester(s) after the conclusion of NUR 612 PBL. Students register for this one credit course every semester until their DNP Projects are completed.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 612PBL.
Offered: Every year, All Online

NUR 615. Nursing Leadership Seminar and Fieldwork Experience: Safety and Legal Contexts of Health Care.3 Credits.

This two-hour clinical seminar accompanies 120 hours of experiential learning in the field, with an emphasis on safety and legal concepts in health care. Human factors analysis and systemic quality improvement for increased patient and provider safety are discussed.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 613.
Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 617. Nursing Leadership Fellowship: Relationship Management and Strategic Leadership.3 Credits.

This online course focuses on developing nursing leaders who are able to generate pragmatic responses to health care demands that address the collaborative relationships critical to clinical, educational and organizational success. This course includes 120 hours (1 credit) of experiential learning in the field, with a two-hour online seminar to discuss student experiences and synthesize leadership concepts and skills.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 615.
Offered: Every year, Spring Online