Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Training for Advanced Nursing Practice Roles

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 to the doctorate by the year 2015. The University of Utah College of Nursing has met this goal and now offers advanced practice nursing programs as a DNP degree. The DNP curricula build on previous the Master of Nursing program by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, healthcare systems, leadership and health care policy. The DNP program prepares nurses for the highest level of practice in nursing.

For the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the College of Nursing prepares students for advanced nursing roles in the following tracks: Certified Nurse Midwifery, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • 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.

Distance Delivery

For geographically eligible students, the following specialty tracks are available through distance delivery.  

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwifery

Nursing Education Xchange (NEXus)

Opportunities are also offered for doctoral/graduate students, through the Nursing Education Xchange (NEXus), enrolled at member colleges and universities to take courses that may not be provided at his/her home institution for a typical price.