Doctor of Nursing Practice

Misericordia University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online program is a practice-focused, doctoral degree that prepares advanced practice clinicians to become leaders in organizational change, health policy, and catalysts for improved healthcare delivery within an inter-professional environment.

Curriculum Highlights & Program Benefits

  • The curriculum consists of didactic and clinical course work structured around the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.
  • Didactic and clinical course work in this cutting-edge curriculum culminates in the completion of an evidence-based practice clinical capstone project.
  • A residency experience is not required to complete the DNP program.
  • Seamless transition from MSN program
  • Tuition discount for Misericordia University alumni and select healthcare system partners
  • Predictable and convenient course scheduling (DNP programs predominantly online)

Program Options

The DNP program is designed to accommodate the needs of busy health care professionals and in response to growing national need for advanced practice nurses prepared at the doctoral level. It is being offered in the following two tracks:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP track
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP track
  • Post Master's FNP Certificate to DNP track *
    • An optional nine-credit specialization in nursing education is also available for advanced practice nurses who wish to become educators on the collegiate level.

PROGRAM PLAN: BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP Curriculum Plan: Catalog Version

* The Post Master's FNP Certificate to DNP curriculum plan is developed on an individualized basis according to the applicant's previous education and experience.




For further information, contact Dr. Brenda Hage, Chairperson of Graduate Nursing and Healthcare Informatics; Director of DNP Programs at (570) 674-6760 or bhage@misericordia.edu.

For questions regarding admissions requirements, contact Maureen Sheridan, Assistant Director of Part-Time and Graduate Admissions, at (570) 674-6451 or msherida@misericordia.edu.

Admissions Information

In addition to the general admission requirements for Graduate Programs, specific criteria for admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program must be met.
  1. Official transcripts of all previous college work, including graduate and undergraduate.
  2. Completion of an online application form.
  3. Master of Science in Nursing degree from a CCNE or NLN accredited institution.
  4. Copy of unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse and license to practice as an advanced practice nurse (CNM, CRNA, CNS, or CRNP).
  5. Copy of current national board certification as an Advanced Practice Nurse.
  6. Minimum of 3.0 GPA from graduate degree program or post-master's certificate program for MSN to DNP program applicants, 3.25 GPA from BSN program for BSN to DNP program applicants.
  7. Two letters of reference (one from current or most recent employer, one from former graduate faculty member).
  8. A 500 word typed statement/writing sample of personal and professional goals.
  9. Telephone interview.
  10. English language proficiency- if English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, you must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The following are the minimum score requirements: Internet based TOEFL exam (iBT): The Internet based TOEFL exam has four subsections, with a grading scale for each section from 1 to 30 (30 being the highest score). Misericordia University will look closely at the score for each section rather than the total score. Applicants must attain the minimum scores for ALL sections in order to be considered for admission to the DNP program.
Writing:
22
Speaking:
22
Reading:
22
Listening:
22
Students should indicate on the registration form that they wish their test results be sent directly to Misericordia University. The TOEFL code for Misericordia University is 2087.

The Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) track, features 64 credits that can be completed while attending classes in three calendar years over nine semesters, including summers. Graduates of the program will be awarded with both the Master of Science degree in nursing and the DNP degree. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national family nurse practitioner board certification examination. In this track, MSN courses are taught face-to-face in a convenient on-campus, one day per week format. The track's DNP level courses are delivered predominantly online. A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) post-master's certificate to DNP entry option is available. Individualized program plan information will be determined following a transcript review and consultation with the DNP Program Director.

The DNP program at Misericordia University offers:

  • Seamless transition from MSN program
  • Tuition discount for Misericordia University alumni and select healthcare system partners
  • Predictable and convenient course scheduling (MSN to DNP program predominantly online)


A preliminary application review will be conducted prior to May 1 with a limited number of acceptances being issued by the Graduate Nursing program at that time. A secondary review of completed applications will be conducted in early May with all decisions being made. Final application deadline for the Fall class is August 1, with additional acceptances being issued on a space available basis.

BSN to DNP Program Plan

Year 1
TermCourseCredits
FallNSG 511 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology3
NSG 513 Advanced Physical Exam and Diagnostic Reasoning4
DNP 800 Evidence Based Practice Theory and Role3
SpringNSG 523 Family Health Promotion & Disease Prevention2
NSG 526 Advanced Pharmacology for Primary3
DNP 803 Epidemiology, Health Promotion, & Disease Prevention for Diverse Populations3
SummerNSG 524 Clinical Management of Family Health Promotion & Disease Prevention (135 clinical hours)3
DNP 807 Transformation of Health Care Through Informatics & Patient Care Technology3
Year 2
TermCourseCredits
FallNSG 600 Family Health Promotion & Disease Management I2
NSG 601 Clinical Management of Family Health I (90 clinical hours)2
DNP 802 Advanced Bio Medical Ethics and Healthcare Policy3
SpringNSG 603 Family Health & Disease Management II2
NSG 605 Family Health & Disease Management III2
NSG 607 Research for Evidence Based Primary Care3
SummerNSG 604 Clinical Management of Family Health II2
NSG 606 Clinical Management of Family Health III (90 clinical hours each for total of 180 clinical hours)2
Year 3
TermCourseCredits
FallNSG 608 Family Health & Disease Management IV2
NSG 609 Clinical Management of Family Health IV (90 clinical hours)2
DNP 801 Analytical Methods & Scholarship of Inquiry (150 Practice Hours)3
*SpringNSG 611 FNP Clinical Synthesis (135 clinical hours)3
DNP 804 Financial Management & Grant Writing2
DNP 805 Capstone Project I (150 Practice Hours)3
**SummerDNP 806 Leadership in System Management3
DNP 808 Capstone Project II (200 Practice Hours)3

Practice Hours: 1000; Credits: 64

* BSN to DNP students receive the MSN at the completion of the spring semester at the May Graduation Ceremony and are then board eligible.

** Students then complete the final summer semester and graduates are awarded the DNP at the December Graduation Ceremony.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice

The 27-credit part-time Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP track can be completed in two calendar years while attending the fall, spring and summer over six semesters.

An optional nine-credit specialization in nursing education is also available for advanced practice nurses who wish to become educators on the collegiate level.

Nationally board certified and licensed advanced practice nurses, including certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and certified clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), are eligible to apply for the MSN to DNP program.

Due to the integrated nature of the DNP program coursework, no doctoral level transfer courses will be accepted.

MSN to DNP Program Plan

Year 1
TermCourseCredits
Fall

DNP 800 Evidence Based Practice Theory and Role

3
DNP 801 Analytical Methods & Scholarship of Inquiry (150 Practice Hours)3
Spring
DNP 803 Epidemiology, Health Promotion, & Disease Prevention for Diverse Populations
3

DNP 804 Financial Management & Grant Writing

3
Summer

DNP 806 Leadership in System Management

3
DNP 807 Transformation of Health Care Through Informatics & Patient Care Technology3
Year 2
TermCourseCredits
Fall

DNP 802 Advanced Bio Medical Ethics and Healthcare Policy

3
Spring

DNP 805 Capstone Project I (150 Practice Hours)

3
SummerDNP 808 Capstone Project II (200 Practice Hours)3

Practice Hours: 500; Credits: 27


MSN to DNP with Optional Nursing Education Specialization Curriculum Plan

Year 1
TermCourseCredits
Fall

DNP 800 Evidence Based Practice Theory and Role

3
DNP 801 Analytical Methods & Scholarship of Inquiry (150 Practice Hours)3
Spring
DNP 803 Epidemiology, Health Promotion, & Disease Prevention for Diverse Populations

3

DNP 804 Financial Management & Grant Writing

3
Summer

DNP 806 Leadership in System Management

3
DNP 807 Transformation of Health Care Through Informatics & Patient Care Technology3
Year 2
TermCourseCredits
Fall

DNP 802 Advanced Bio Medical Ethics and Healthcare Policy

3
DNP 810 Teaching-Learning Strategies3
Spring

DNP 805 Capstone Project I (150 Practice Hours)

3
DNP 815* Curriculum Design3
DNP 820** Nursing Education Practicum (50 Practice Hours)3
SummerDNP 808 Capstone Project II (200 Practice Hours)3

** DNP Practice Hours: 500; NSG ED Practicum Hours: 50; Credits: 36

*DNP 810 Teaching-Learning Strategies may be taken concurrently with DNP 803 Advanced Bio Medical Ethics and Healthcare Policy. DNP 815 Curriculum Design and DNP 820 Nursing Education Practicum may be taken concurrently with DNP 805 Capstone Project I.

**DNP 820 Nursing Education Practicum Hours may not count towards DNP degree practice hour requirement.


Clinical Education Policies

Clinical Education Requirements
Accepted students must submit the following documentation prior to the start of the program:

  • FBI Background Check
  • State Background Check
  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Health Physical to include documentation of immunizations, Tuberculin test and Hepatitis B vaccination (form provided)
  • CPR certification for health care providers through the American Heart Association, Red Cross or an organization approved by the program
  • Proof of Medical Insurance Coverage
  • HIPAA education

Individual clinical sites may require additional documentation, such as drug screening which varies in the time frame of being tested and entering the clinical setting; thus, the clinical coordinator will inform you as to when to have the test done. Clinical education requirements are at the expense of the student.

College of Health Sciences Clinical Education Policies
(reviewed/revised 6/2015)

DNP Course Descriptions

DNP 800 Evidence Based Practice Theory and Role, 3 credits

This course focuses on key concepts related to the role of the DNP in the clinical and healthcare environments. It further examines development and evaluation of ethical and evidence-based approaches to practice and healthcare delivery models based on interdisciplinary theories, and equity of care delivery for vulnerable, underserved, and diverse populations.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 801 Analytical Methods and the Scholarship of Inquiry, 3 credits

This course examines the development of skills and knowledge to manage biomedical and epidemiological data. Application of evidence based practice and experimental design models for solving practical problems and improving efficiency and effectiveness of care are discussed and provide the foundation, implementation, and evaluation of outcomes research that impact improved processes and quality of care. Students will select the primary focus of the capstone project in the form of a PICO-T question during this course. Students will also conduct a review and critical appraisal of the literature related to the capstone project. Note: 150 practice hours are associated with this course.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 802 Advanced Biomedical Ethics and Healthcare Policy Development, 3 credits

This course examines the merging challenges in the current healthcare system. Frameworks of ethical decision making are explored and applied to the analysis of complex biomedical ethical dilemmas. Concepts and issues related to policy making and political processes are explored in relation to the DNP and contemporary systems and their impact on outcomes. Policy decisions and strategies that advocate for quality healthcare outcomes are discussed and evaluated at the local, national and international level.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 803 Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Illness Prevention for Diverse Populations, 3 credits

This course examines the epidemiological approach to the study of public health problems locally, nationally, and globally. Descriptive and analytic epidemiological strategies measure the impact of health promotion, illness prevention and quality interventions on the outcomes of population health.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 804 Financial Management and Grant Writing, 3 credits

This course provides students with the strategies necessary to make a business case for practice change. Principles of business and health economics serve as the foundation for business plan development and innovative changes in health care program planning. Grant writing strategies and tools are utilized to examine the funding opportunities to support practice initiatives that facilitate quality health care and support health promotion and illness prevention.

DNP 805 Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone I, 3 credits

This synthesis course provides the student with the opportunity to systematically investigate a clinical question in a selected area of advanced nursing practice. A comprehensive, site specific project plan is implemented in collaboration with the site selected facility. The final project will demonstrate the synthesis of skills in leadership, communication, collaboration, ethical practice and influence for change across a broad spectrum of the population’s healthcare needs.

150 practice hours are associated with this course.

Prerequisites: DNP 800, 801. 802. Co-requisites: DNP 803, 804

DNP 806 Leadership, Systems Management, and Inter-professional Collaborative Practice, 3 credits

This course provides students with the strategies and tools necessary for leadership roles in systems management and inter-professional practice. Ethical leadership concepts, analysis of diverse organizational systems across the healthcare continuum, change agency and communication skills are emphasized in the processes of coalition building, negotiating conflict, workforce planning and inter-professional team relationship building to produce quality patient outcomes.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 807 Transformation of Health Care through Informatics and Patient Care Technology, 3 credits

The focus of this course is to utilize the principles of healthcare informatics, communication networks, and healthcare technology in the assessment, delivery, and evaluation of healthcare in a variety of settings. Ethical and legal considerations are integrated into the application of technological best practice to care.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 808 Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone II, 3 credits

This synthesis course provides the student with the opportunity to implement an EBP change project in collaboration with site selected facility. Project outcomes will be evaluated and findings are disseminated for integration of new knowledge. The final project will demonstrate the synthesis of skills in leadership, communication, collaboration, ethical practice and influence for change across a broad spectrum of the population’s healthcare needs.

Prerequisites: DNP 805. Co-requisites: DNP 806, 807

DNP 810 Teaching-Learning Strategies, 3 credits

This course places emphasis on teaching and learning theories. Students are exposed to a variety of modalities utilized in teaching both theory and clinical courses. Test construction and clinical evaluation methods are included.

Prerequisite: Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 815 Curriculum Design, 3 credits

An examination of the foundations, models and procedures of curriculum design. Curriculum theories and practices are explored.

Prerequisite: DNP 810; Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

DNP 820 Nursing Education Practicum, 3 credits

This course provides opportunities for students to develop the skills of classroom and clinical teaching and evaluation using various modalities. Students will explore the need to interface with faculty from nursing and other departments of the institution, administration, support service and clinical agency personnel. The logistics of student placement, contractual agreements, state approval, and accreditation are additional areas, which are explored. Bi-weekly seminars provide opportunities for exchange of ideas, clarification of concerns and analysis of educational development and evaluative strategies.

Prerequisite: DNP 810; Graduate DNP status or permission of the Director of Graduate Programs.

Co-requisite: DNP 815
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