Welcome to the ECU College of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program
The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program exists to educate advanced practice nurses in the delivery of interprofessional, evidence based, culturally relevant, and patient centered care in rural and urban settings throughout Eastern NC and beyond.
To develop advanced practice nurses to lead, improve and transform current and evolving health care.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is a practice-focused terminal degree earned by specialists in advanced nursing practice. The DNP focuses on developing nursing experts in translating and applying research findings in clinical practice. The post-master’s DNP curriculum expands the competencies of the APRN from the master’s level to encompass knowledge required as nurse leaders in increasingly complex healthcare systems to assess published evidence informing practice, improve systems of care to improve healthcare outcomes, and to make changes to enhance the quality of care.
Graduates of our DNP program are nurse leaders in interprofessional health care teams and work to improve systems of care, patient outcomes, quality and safety. After graduating from the DNP program, you may decide to take a leadership role in a variety of practice settings. Perhaps you will decide to apply your skills in administration or combine teaching with clinical practice. If you are considering a career in academia/teaching, you will need to take additional courses in curriculum development and pedagogy. Information on nursing education options is available on the ECUCON website.
Our program is developed with the working professional in mind. Most of our students are currently matriculating through our program in a part-time status. The post-master’s DNP can be completed in four or six semesters for full-time or part-time programs of study, respectively. The BSN to DNP option can be competed in 8 semesters or 15 semesters for full-time or part-time programs of study, respectively; Students have up to six years to complete all requirements for programs of study. Students who have taken graduate level nursing courses at other universities may request transfer up to 20% their credit hours into our program. For more detailed information please visit Residence and Graduation Requirements and click on request for transfer credit.
Two pathways exist to enter the DNP program at ECU College of Nursing: The Post-master’s DNP and the BSN to DNP.
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The post-master’s DNP curriculum is a 36 semester-hour curriculum designed for those who are already have an earned MSN and are credentialed in one of the four APRN roles (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwifery, Nurse Anesthesia or Nurse Practitioner). The post-master’s DNP curriculum expands the competencies of the APRN from the master’s level to encompass knowledge required as nurse leaders in increasingly complex healthcare systems to assess published evidence informing practice, improve systems of care to improve healthcare outcomes, and to make changes to enhance the quality of care.
In order to achieve the DNP competencies, a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program. Supervised clinical practice hours from previous MSN programs of study can be included in these required practice hours. Practice experiences are designed to help students achieve specific learning objectives related to the DNP Essentials and specialty competencies. These experiences are designed to provide systematic opportunities for feedback and reflection. Experiences include in-depth work with experts from nursing as well as other disciplines and provide opportunities for meaningful student engagement within practice environments. The DNP program is designed to include four Scholarly Practicum courses that guide the scholarly project development. The scholarly practicum is designed to ensure a minimum of 400 practice hours over four semesters. These hours may or may not include direct clinical practicum hours, depending on the nature of the scholarly practicum project.
The BSN to DNP curriculum is a 73 to 75 semester-hour curriculum that prepares nurses for entry into advanced practice. The curriculum is designed for students who have earned a bachelor's (or higher) degree in nursing, and who now wish to pursue a DNP with an advanced nursing practice specialty focus of either Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) or a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). s. The AGPCNP program of study requires 73 semester hours inclusive of 896 clinical practice hours while the FNP program of study requires 75 semester hours inclusive of 896 clinical practice hours.
The East Carolina University College of Nursing (ECUCON) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program provides skills and tools that enable you to:
- Implement and evaluate clinical practice based on scientific knowledge.
- Assume advanced practice nursing roles as an expert clinician.
- Demonstrate advanced leadership skills necessary to meet the challenges of increasingly complex healthcare organizations.
- Demonstrate analytical methodologies for the evaluation of clinical practice and the application of scientific evidence to improve professional practice.
- Apply clinical scholarship methodologies for organizational quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and healthcare outcomes.
- Use advanced skills to design, develop, and implement the use of contemporary technological information systems.
- Demonstrate expertise in the analysis, formulation, and implementation of healthcare policy.
- Collaborate with interprofessional teams necessary to meet healthcare needs of individuals and populations.
- Apply ethical theories, legal and practice standards, and advocacy to decision-making in healthcare issues.
- Apply population-based methodologies for health promotion and disease-prevention in advanced practice.
Why Choose East Carolina University College of Nursing?
ECU CON’s DNP program offers advantages such as:
- Comprehensive 3-day on-campus orientation
- Online courses with 4 executive on-campus sessions (2-3 days per session; September, February, June, September)
- Pursue your degree without leaving your job
- Faculty with broad experience in advanced clinical practice, leadership, and patient safety
- The ECU College of Nursing has been named in the nation's top 10 masters or doctorate of nursing practice programs in the country in the 2013 US News and World Report.