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. DNP-prepared nurses also are able partners on research initiatives that require the input and guidance of practice experts with advanced skills as advanced practice registered nurses, nurse administrators, and nursing leaders. 

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Design evidence-driven healthcare delivery approaches using fiscally responsible and environmentally sustainable strategies to meet current and anticipated individual and population health needs across the illness-wellness continuum.
  • Execute established steps of evidence-based practice when leading efforts to improve healthcare quality based on measurable and manageable outcomes.
  • Model communication skills necessary to lead and contribute to effective interprofessional collaborations and patient care encounters to accomplish high-quality and mission-driven outcomes.
  • Appraise healthcare systems’ delivery processes to improve quality, accessibility, and/or the sustainability of healthcare enterprises.
  • Propose policy initiatives that promote social justice and the health and wellness of all people, including those who are disparaged, oppressed, or vulnerable.
  • Appraise practice dilemmas using moral reasoning and legal/ethical analyses to make decisions in practice settings and to create policies that are consistent with professional codes, practice standards, and laws.
  • Utilize information systems/technologies to analyze health outcomes for individuals, aggregates, and populations and to evaluate healthcare delivery systems.
  • Demonstrate advanced specialty and role competence as an advanced practice registered nurse or as an advanced nurse in a role focused on advanced aggregate/systems/organizational expertise.  

Clinical Requirements

A minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate precepted clinical hours are required for the DNP degree. Prescribed procedures and credentialing processes must be followed prior to starting practicum experiences. Required competencies are periodically assessed throughout the program. Practicum experiences vary in length and purpose. Details may be reviewed on the Degree Requirements and Sample Plan of Study pages. 

In-Person Experiential Elements

  • Orientation (Required) – September of Student's First Term
    • Designed as a virtual introduction to the program and an opportunity meet peers, advisors, staff, and faculty. Some asynchronous independent learning experiences are also required.

Admission Requirements

Admissions Criteria

  • Current United States licensure as a registered nurse [State Regulations and Restrictions]
  • A Master's Degree in one of the following:
    • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
    • Master’s Degree in Health-Related Field*
    • Master of Business Administration (MBA)*

*If your master’s degree is not in Nursing, a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) is required.

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA): 3.2 or higher
  • A graduate-level Research Methods course (grade B or higher).
  • Undergraduate or graduate-level Statistics course (grade B or higher).
  • Advanced Clinical Expert Track Applicants: Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, or Nurse Anesthetist) require APRN national certification. †
    • Plan of Study Path A
      • Verification of a no fewer than 620 hours of precepted practice hours during graduate studies.
    • Plan of Study Path B
      • Verification of 400 to 619 hours of precepted practice hours during graduate studies.
  • Nurse Executive/Leadership Expert Track Applicants: Nurses in Advanced Leadership Roles require advanced national certification OR verification of no fewer than 400 hours of precepted practice hours during graduate studies. †
    • Plan of Study Path A
      • Verification of a no fewer than 620 hours of precepted practice hours during graduate studies.
    • Plan of Study Path B
      • Verification of 400 to 619 hours of precepted practice hours during graduate studies OR relevant national certification: ††
      • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Certification
      • American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nurse Executive-Advanced certification (NEA) †††
      • American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)
  • Two electronic recommendation letters addressing your academic ability, professionalism, and practice competence from a person in a position to appraise you; specifically, a professor, employer or professional colleague. The reference may not be from a personal friend, family member or workplace/organizational peer or subordinate. 

      Applicants must have no fewer than 400 hours of precepted practice hours completed during graduate studies for DNP Program admission consideration.

††    If submitting certification for admission, submit documentation of certification or verification that you are scheduled to take one of these exams no later than August 15. Students who are scheduled to take a certification exam will be considered for conditional acceptance for the Fall quarter and will not be permitted to progress in the program until advanced certification is earned and submitted to the DNP Program Director.

††† Applicants with leadership/administrative experience and the NE-BC certification may be considered.

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

  • A completed online application
  • Current U.S. Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure [State Regulations and Restrictions]
  • Verification of precepted clinical/practicum hours from your graduate program.
  • Role specific documents:
    • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, or Nurse Anesthetist): License and national certification documents.
    • Advanced Roles in Nursing Administration/Leadership
      • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Certification
      • American Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nurse Executive-Advanced certification (NEA)
      • American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)
      • Other advanced role/specialization certifications will be individually considered. Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
    • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
    • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions
  • Two letters of recommendation that respond to your academic ability, professionalism, and practice competence from a person with a graduate degree and practicing in a position to appraise you: specifically, a professor, employer, or professional colleague. The reference may not be from a friend, family member or workplace/organizational peer or subordinate.
  • Personal statement/essay integrating responses to the following questions in 3 word-processed pages, double-spaced, 10-12 font:
    • Introduce yourself and describe the personal attributes and experiences that will promote your success in Drexel University’s online DNP program.
    • What is your area of practice interest and how do you envision the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree professionally benefitting you and the population you serve?
    • Identify a practice problem that intrigues you and discuss how you believe that the DNP program will be useful in assisting you with developing the skills and expertise needed to improve or eliminate this problem.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume: You must identify your current position/job title and include a description of this role.
  • Clinical Hours Verification Form (CHVF): Documents the number of graduate-level precepted clinical/practicum hours previously earned 
  • Additional requirements for International Students

Degree Requirements

Curriculum

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program's plan of study integrates core courses along with practicum experiences, including experiences focused on creating, implementing and evaluating a DNP Project that is crafted to improve health care processes and outcomes through carefully planned practice change. The curriculum provides the student learner with an opportunity for acquiring advanced, specialized knowledge and skills informed by an individually-driven, faculty-supervised plan that is influenced by the relevant Academic Emphasis Pathway; specifically advanced clinical expert or nurse executive/leadership expert. Doctoral students are assigned to a category of practice experiences that is determined by the number of precepted clinical hours completed at the gradate level at the point of admission. 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).

A doctorate-prepared Practicum Mentor is required (for practicum intensive courses) 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 practicum experiences. Students are strongly encouraged and advised to stretch beyond their workplace setting and explore opportunities that enhance networking opportunities while broadening expertise related to benchmarking, new and different practice models, or other experiences that foster the development of deep and broad knowledge and skills. 

The DNP Project is designed to respond to an identified practice problem that offers an opportunity to enhance care delivery or improve an outcome. A comprehensive search is planned and conducted to identify relevant, curated evidence that informs an intervention that typically builds on established quality improvement methodology. Each student will collect and analyze data to determine the effect of the planned intervention on the problem of interest. Recommendations to sustain change are developed. Each student will submit a completed DNP Project paper that is rigorously evaluated. Students will participate in a DNP Project dissemination activity during Year 2 of the program. Faculty support, guidance, and supervision are hallmarks of the Drexel University DNP Project process. Each student is required to satisfactorily complete the DNP Project Paper and Presentation as components of successful degree completion. 

Required Core Courses (200 Practice Hours)
NUPR 700Global Health: Disparities, Social Justice, and Evidence-Based interventions 3.0
NUPR 701Evidence-based Practice: Research-driven Health Care Delivery *3.0
NUPR 702Research Methodologies Seminar1.0
NUPR 703Nursing Knowledge Development: Ways of Knowing2.0
NUPR 704Evaluating Research Quality: Evidence Appraisal1.0
NUPR 705Health Policy and Politics: Nurses Influencing Health3.0
NUPR 706Improving Quality and Safety of Health Care Delivery 4.5
NUPR 707Health Law and Clinical Practice/Organizational Ethics3.0
NUPR 708Leading Projects and Evaluating Programs in Nursing and Healthcare Systems2.0
NUPR 805Leading by Transforming and Partnering: The Future of Nursing4.5
NURS 706Applied Epidemiology3.0
RSCH 519Introduction to Biostatistics3.0
Academic Emphasis Pathways (Select one Pathway and one Category within each Pathway)12.0
Advanced Clinical Expert - Category 1 (Accepted with no fewer than 620 precepted practice hours.) **
Changing Practice Using Evidence (180 Practice Hours)
Elective †††
Advanced Clinical Expert - Category 2 (Accepted with no fewer than 400 precepted practice hours.) ***
Advanced Clinical Practice Specialization (120 Practice Hours)
DNP Scholarly Project Seminar 1: Planning Practice Change (120 Practice Hours)
DNP Scholarly Project Seminar 2: Implementing and Evaluating Practice Change (160 Practice Hours)
Nurse Executive / Leadership Expert - Category 1
Changing Practice Using Evidence (180 Practice Hours)
Elective †††
Nurse Executive / Leadership Expert - Category 2 (Accepted with no fewer than 400 precepted clinical hours.) ††
Advanced Clinical Practice Specialization (120 practice hours)
DNP Scholarly Project Seminar 1: Planning Practice Change (120 Practice Hours)
DNP Scholarly Project Seminar 2: Implementing and Evaluating Practice Change (160 Practice Hours)
Total Credits45.0
*

Major assignment tailored to academic emphasis.

**

Advanced Clinical Expert Category 1: Total Practice Hours = 380

***

Advanced Clinical Expert Category 2: Total Practice Hours = 600

Nurse Executive / Leadership Expert: Total Practice Hours = 380

††

Nurse Executive/Leadership Expert: Total Practice Hours = 600

†††

With advisor approval, approved electives may include: NURS 550-889, RSCH 500-899, NUPR 500-899, CIT 600-698, CHP 600-899, PBHL 600-899, EPI 600-899, IPS 500-899; NUPR 788 (requires program director approval)

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). Course faculty use distance learning technologies (e.g. Blackboard Learn, Zoom, Collaborate) to provide synchronous and asynchronous educational experiences. Students are required to fully engage in the DNP Program learning experiences and faculty provide varied options for ensuring learning opportunities that are in real-time virtually or recorded/presented for asynchronous review.

Sample Plan of Study

Plan 1 Advanced Clinical Expert or Nurse Executive/Leadership Expert: Category 1

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NUPR 7013.0NUPR 7041.0NUPR 706 (120 practice hours)4.5NUPR 785 (180 practice hours)6.0
NUPR 7021.0NURS 7063.0NUPR 707 (20 practice hours)3.0 
NUPR 7032.0RSCH 5193.0  
 6 7 7.5 6
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
NUPR 705 (20 Practice Hours)3.0NUPR 7003.0NUPR 805 (40 Practice Hours)4.5 
NUPR 7082.0Elective*3.0Elective*3.0 
 5 6 7.5 
Total Credits 45

 Note: With program director approval, student make take NUPR 788 for additional DNP Scholarly Project time.

*

With advisor approval, student may enroll in NURS 500-899, RSCH 500-899, NUPR 500-899, CIT 600-698, CHP 600-899, PBHL 600-899, EPI 600-899, IPS 500-899.


Plan 2 Advanced Clinical Expert or Nurse Executive/Leadership Expert: Category 2

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NUPR 7013.0NUPR 7041.0NUPR 706 (120 Practice Hours)4.5NUPR 781 (120 Practice Hours)4.5
NUPR 7021.0NURS 7063.0NUPR 707 (20 Practice Hours)3.0 
NUPR 7032.0RSCH 5193.0  
 6 7 7.5 4.5
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
NUPR 705 (20 Practice Hours)3.0NUPR 7003.0NUPR 805 (160 Practice Hours)4.5 
NUPR 7082.0NUPR 783 (160 Practice Hours)4.5  
NUPR 782 (120 Practice Hours)3.0   
 8 7.5 4.5 
Total Credits 45

Note: With program director approval, student make take NUPR 788 for additional DNP Scholarly Project time.

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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