Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has called for moving the level of preparation necessary for advanced nursing practice roles (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists) from the master's degree to the doctorate level by the year 2015. The University of Utah College of Nursing has met this goal and now offers all of its advanced practice nursing programs as a DNP degree. The DNP curricula build on previous master's programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking among other key areas. DNP programs prepare nurses for the highest level of nursing practice.
For the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the College of Nursing prepares students for advanced nursing roles in several specialty areas of study; adult/geron acute care, neonatal, certified nurse midwives & women's health, primary care (FNP & A/GNP), psychiatric/mental health, and MS-DNP (for those who would like to take their current masters degree to the next level).
Nurses in advanced roles graduating from the College of Nursing recognize the Doctorate prepared nurse:
* Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences to provide the basis for advanced nursing practice.
* Provide, manage and evaluate care of individuals and populations using evidence-based concepts related to physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, as well as community, environmental, cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health.
* Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment and decision-making, systems thinking, and accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care.
* Develop and evaluate initiatives that will improve the quality of care delivery
* Analyze and communicate critical elements necessary to the selection, use, and evaluation of healthcare information systems and patient care technology.
* Actively engage in interdisciplinary collaborations aimed at improving healthcare delivery, care coordination, and policy.
* Demonstrate professionalism, value lifelong learning and recognize the need to adapt practice to changing social, political, and global healthcare environments.
Acute care nurse practitioners play a vital role in managing patients with complex acute and chronic health conditions in hospitals, nursing facilities and specialty clinics.
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) and Woman's Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNP) provide women with primary healthcare before, during and after pregnancy.
For RNs and APRNs (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists) with a Master’s degree, the College of Nursing offers a 5-semester DNP degree program in an executive course format.
Neonatal nurse practitioners provide comprehensive care to high-risk newborn infants and their families in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Primary care nurse practitioners provide comprehensive health care to populations across the lifespan in a family practice setting. A distance education program is available to geographically eligible students. Specialty areas for certification include Adult/Gerontology and Family.
Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners provide psychiatric assessment, mental health diagnoses, comprehensive treatment planning, and psychotherapy with individuals, groups and families across the lifespan.