Doctor of Nursing Practice

Major: Nursing Practice
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.3818
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9111

About the Program

Drexel's accredited online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. The mission of the DNP program is to prepare advanced nursing practice leaders for application of evidence-based knowledge in practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership to improve health outcomes. DNP-prepared nurses are well-equipped to fully implement the science developed by nurse researchers prepared in PhD, DNS, and other research-focused nursing doctorates.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate patient care delivery approaches to meet the current and anticipated needs of patient populations based on outcomes and scientific findings
  • Translate research into clinical practice and policy to improve care and outcomes
  • Use advanced communication skills to lead quality improvement and patient safety
  • Use principles of business, finance, economics, and health policy to develop and implement plans to improve the quality of healthcare delivery
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to diversity in patients and providers
  • Evaluate effective strategies for the management of ethical dilemmas that can occur in the course of healthcare delivery

Clinical Requirements

A total of 500 clinical hours are required which are built into the following courses and project:

In-Person Experiential Elements

  • Orientation (Required) – September of Student's First Term
    • Designed as a two-day introduction to the program and an opportunity to engage in discussion about the DNP project topic, meet peers, advisors, staff, and the faculty.
  • Global Immersion (Optional) – Spring Quarter of Student's Second Year 
    • The DNP program prepares future advanced nursing practice leaders to respond to current and future global healthcare needs in diverse settings. Global opportunities are transformational, strengthening the leadership role for which DNP scholars are prepared. At Drexel University, the option of global engagement experiences are available to students.

      An exciting opportunity in Drexel’s DNP program encompasses a one-week global experience at the birthplace of evidence-based practice. Conducted at a host university in another country, the scholar may elect to participate in a unique educational and cultural experience designed to gain global perspectives on healthcare. Upon completion, students are awarded practice hours towards the required number of clinical practicum hours in the program. For a global immersion trip, the student must satisfy requirements for U.S. citizenship (i.e. valid U.S. passport, NEXUS card) to enter a host country.

Admission Requirements

Admissions Criteria

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or;
  • Master's degree in health-related field or; 
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • If master's degree is not in nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required
  • Graduate-level Research Methods course (grade B or higher)

Master's and bachelor's degrees from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution are accepted.

Submission of the following documents include:

  • A completed application
  • Copies of current RN license, advanced practice nursing licensure and advanced certification documents
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who hold a graduate degree (doctoral prepared highly preferred). Sources may be from academic, employer, or professional colleagues and attest to academic ability and professional competency.
  • Personal statement/essay integrating responses to the following questions in 2-3 pages, double-spaced:
    • What is your area of interest (e.g. clinical practice, education, administration/nurse executive) and how will you apply the DNP to your practice area?
    • Identify a clinical problem or nursing process of interest you would like to develop for your practice-focused DNP project in a healthcare practice or system. Discuss why it is a problem and how it is related to the DNP project in which you are interested. Explain how you aim to use the evidence-based practice project to improve processes or health outcomes.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume
  • Licensure/Certification
    • Current U.S. licensure as a registered nurse (RN)
    • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Candidates
    • Submit U.S. licensure and certification documentation for one of the following certification(s):
      • Certified Nurse Practitioner
      • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
      • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
      • Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
    • Nurse Managers/Executives Candidates
      • Submit certification documentation for one of the following certification(s) or verification that you are scheduled to take one of these exams:
        • American Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nurse Executive-Advanced certification (NEA)
        • American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nurse Executive (NE)
        • American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)
        • American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML)
    • If utilizing your master's preparation in an area of advanced nursing practice and you do not hold or are eligible to attain one of the required certifications listed, contact the DNP Program.

Degree Requirements


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program of study integrates core courses along with clinical/role practicum and DNP Project courses. The DNP degree requires completion of a scholarly doctoral project that demonstrates clinical scholarship. The focused study combination of courses provides the student learner with an opportunity for acquisition of advanced knowledge, new skills, clinical scholarship, practice immersion experiences, and leadership for DNP role preparation to influence healthcare outcomes. The curriculum is based on nationally recognized standards by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and consistent with the DNP program accrediting by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The DNP Project process is designed to progress concurrently with the DNP Plan of Study coursework. A DNP Project Team for the scholarly doctoral project is required. During the DNP program, the student is paired with a DNP Project Chair (doctorate-prepared Drexel faculty member) who guides and oversees the project team process related to the student's required DNP Final Project. A doctorate-prepared Practicum Mentor is required (for courses with Practicum/Practice Hours) who may be internal or external to the student's practice setting. Additional formal or informal experts, mentors, partners, and/or facilitators may provide intermittent or limited support throughout the project stages as needed (optional).

The intended project completion date is by the end of spring quarter, Year 2. Some students will require an additional quarter (summer quarter, Year 2), depending on project complexities, practice site conflicts, and institutional review board processes. The DNP final project must be completed within the timelines for graduation established by College and University Policies. The project culminates with a final DNP scholarly paper.

Required Courses
NURS 703Health Policy and Economics3.0
NURS 706Applied Epidemiology3.0
NURS 714Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Nursing Inquiry3.0
NURS 716Scientific Foundation of Nursing Knowledge Development3.0
NURS 718Quantitative Methods for Practice-based Nursing Inquiry3.0
NURS 720Health Information Technology and Information Systems 3.0
NURS 722Organizations and Systems Leadership: Innovative Strategies3.0
NURS 830Doctoral Nursing Practice Clinical Practicum3.0
NURS 835Doctoral Nursing Practice Role Practicum 3.0
NURS 836Clinical and Applied Nursing Ethics3.0
NURS 837Translating Evidence into Clinical Practice3.0
NURS 838Global Leadership Perspectives3.0
NURS 842DNP Project Seminar I3.0
NURS 843DNP Project Seminar II3.0
RSCH 519Introduction to Biostatistics3.0
Total Credits45.0

Program Delivery

The DNP program is an online distance-learning program with an information technology requirement for accessing courses. The DNP program is delivered over 10-week quarters per year with four academic quarters offered per year (1-semester credit is equivalent to 1.5-quarter credits). Students in the DNP Program are required to attend a mandatory, two-day DNP orientation. The orientation is an on-campus program held at Drexel University. DNP Orientation transpires at the start of the program corresponding to the beginning of the first fall academic term.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
NURS 7163.0NURS 7063.0NURS 7143.0NURS 7183.0
RSCH 5193.0NURS 8373.0NURS 8423.0NURS 7203.0
 6 6 6 6
Second Year
NURS 8303.0NURS 7033.0NURS 8383.0NURS 7223.0
NURS 8363.0NURS 8353.0NURS 8433.0 
 6 6 6 3
Total Credits 45

Note: Second Year Summer is less than the 4.5-credit minimum required (considered half-time status) of graduate programs to be considered financial aid eligible. As a result, aid will not be disbursed to students this term.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Faculty

Anthony Angelow, PhD, CRNP, ACNPC, AGACNP-BC, FAEN, FAANP (University of Northern Colorado) Chair, Advanced Practice Nursing. Assistant Clinical Professor. Nurse Practitioner and DNP ProgramsNurse Practitioner role transition, acute care, trauma/surgical critical care.
Katherine Kaby Anselmi, PhD, JD, FNP-BC, WHNP-BC (University of Pennsylvania) Assistant Dean of Accreditation/Regulatory Affairs & Online Innovation . Associate Clinical Professor. Nursing, law, family nurse practitioner, women's health nurse practitioner.
Brenda Douglass, DNP, CRNP-BC, CDE, CTTS. Associate Clinical Professor. Endocrine, cardiology, pulmonology, sleep disorders, and chronic health conditions
Mary Gallagher-Gordon, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE (Drexel University) Senior Director of Contracts, Compliance and Academic Community Initiatives. Assistant Clinical Professor. Informatics, patient safety and nursing education, NCLEX review.
William Lorman, PhD, JD, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP, FIAAN (American Institute). Assistant Clinical Professor. Addiction and mental health.
Barbara R. Osborne, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC (Drexel University) Associate Chair, Division of Graduate Nursing. Assistant Director, DNP Program. Assistant Clinical Professor. Women’s Health.
Al Rundio, PhD, DNP, RN, APRN, CARN-AP, NEA-BC, FNAP, FIAAN, FAAN (Chatham College). Clinical Professor. Transference of dependencies from bariatric surgical procedures, relapse prevention in chemically addicted clients.
Albert Rundio, Jr., PhD, DNP, RN, APRN, NEA, BC, FAAN (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Dean for Post Licensure and Graduate Nursing Programs. Clinical Professor. Nursing graduate leadership and management track.
Susan Solecki, MSN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC (Hahnemann University). Associate Clinical Professor. Nursing women's health, adult health, and occupational health.
Linda Wilson, PhD, RN, CPAN, CAPA, BC, CNE, CHSE (Rutgers University) Assistant Dean for Special Projects, Simulation & CNE Accreditation. Associate Clinical Professor. Simulation informatics and technology, perianesthesia, pain management, critical care, trauma, emergency preparedness.
Patti Rager Zuzelo, EdD, RN, ACNS-BC, ANP-BC, CRNP, FAAN (Widener University). Clinical Professor. Advanced practice nursing, leadership and management, nursing education, clinical nurse specialist (adult health) and adult nurse practitioner.
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