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Nurse Practitioner working with a patient
Doctor of
Nursing Practice - Nurse Practitioner

Courses

Penn State’s Doctor of Nursing Practice – Nurse Practitioner (DNP–NP) program is currently only available to nurses licensed to practice professional nursing in the state of Pennsylvania.

The DNP–NP program is designed to help prepare professional nurses to function in an expanded nursing role, providing direct care to specific groups of clients in a variety of health care settings. Since that practice is interdisciplinary in nature, advanced knowledge and research from nursing is combined with knowledge from science, medicine, and related disciplines.

To earn the DNP–NP degree, you will need to successfully complete 65–68 credits, depending on which nurse practitioner option you choose.

The curriculum will include:

  • DNP degree program requirements (33 credits)
  • Common nurse practitioner courses (12 credits)
  • Required courses for each option (20–23 credits):
    • Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner option courses (23 credits)
    • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner option courses (20 credits)
    • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner option courses (21 credits)

Practicum Hours

A total of 1,125 hours of post–B.S. practicum are required in the DNP nurse practitioner program. Your required hours will be accomplished through various courses in the DNP curriculum that include practicum hours as part of the course work. Practicum hour plans will be developed in consultation with the course faculty member and with the approval of the DNP faculty adviser. Development of the plans for practicum experiences begins with your admission to the program. The practicum planning process involves establishing a site affiliation agreement with the practicum site and identifying a preceptor(s). You will be responsible for identifying potential practicum sites and preceptors and working with the program director to accomplish the affiliation agreement process. Some students choose to complete practicum requirements at their place of employment and other students identify alternate practicum sites. Practicum sites must be in Pennsylvania.
 

DNP Core Courses (33 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Current conceptual and theoretical models in nursing, including relationship to practice and research in development of nursing science.

  • 1
    credit

    Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores population health concepts, measurement, and application in practice, research, and policy. This course explores population health as a framework for improving health in society. Multiple determinants will be examined in relation to health status measurement, health and disease trends, and health disparities at a community, national, and global perspective.

  • 3
    credits

    This course will provide foundational information regarding the concept of evidence-based research to achieve optimal patient care outcomes.

  • 3
    credits

    Evaluation and translation of evidence-based research into nursing practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 830

  • 3
    credits

    Doctor of Nursing Practice transformational leadership to improve healthcare delivery and quality outcomes.

  • 2
    credits

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice project demonstrates clinical scholarship in an area of practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 831

    • Note

      This course will be repeated three times for a total of 6 credits.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in information systems and technology for improvement of health care.

  • 3
    credits

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project plan will be developed focusing on design, sample, data collection, projected outcomes, resourcing, plan for analysis, and sustainability. Students will collaborate with key stakeholders to build project support. Students will complete steps for Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission. The course includes 75 hours of required clinical practicum hours.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 830, NURS 831

  • 3
    credits

    Concepts of health care economics and policy for nurse administrators.

  • 1
    credit

    This course provides the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to address ethics issues encountered in nursing practice and to ethically conduct quality improvement initiatives.

  • 3
    credits

    Investigates methods for assessing data collected from experimental and/or observational studies in various research settings.

Common Nurse Practitioner Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced nursing assessment and diagnosis of physical, psychosocial, and developmental health for adults and families across the adult age spectrum.

  • 3
    credits

    Integration of advanced physiology, genetics, and pathophysiology as related to specific disease entities and alterations in functioning.

  • 3
    credits

    Pharmacologic therapies in advanced nursing practice.

  • 3
    credits

    Theories of social justice and other scholarly perspectives are used to explore the interrelationships among health policy and the social, political, and economic determinants of health. The course provides the foundation for leadership in interdisciplinary collaborative endeavors to address health policy at the regional, national, and global levels. 

Required Courses for Each Option (20–23 credits)

Students select one of three options to satisfy these requirements. The course list varies based on which option you choose:

  • Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner option courses (23 credits)
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner option courses (20 credits)
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner option courses (21 credits)

Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Option Courses (23 credits)

  • 1
    credit

    Advanced nursing assessment and diagnosis of physical, psychosocial, and development health for individuals and families across the pediatric age spectrum.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive professional practice course in which students learn the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role focused on common acute/episodic health problems in caring for individuals and families across the lifespan.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive professional practice course in which students learn the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role focused on the identification and management of complex and/or chronic health problems in caring for individuals and families across the lifespan.

  • 2
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 5
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 2
    credits

    Nurse Practitioner role with children and their families to promote health, prevent illness, and manage acute or chronic health problems. NURS 875 provides instruction in the Nurse Practitioner role with children and their families to promote health, plan anticipatory guidance, conduct health screenings, prevent illness, and manage primary care health problems.

  • 1
    credit

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role with the pediatric population through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive didactic and simulation experience in which students implement the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (F/INP) role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills.

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Option Courses (20 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Provides instruction in the Nurse Practitioner role to promote health, prevent illness, and manage common acute/episodic health problems across the adult-older adult population. 

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 802, NURS 803, and NURS 804

  • 3
    credits

    Nurse Practitioner role with individuals and families to maximize health and manage complex and/or chronic health problems.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 870, NURS 872

    • Concurrent

      NURS 873

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 5
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive didactic and simulation experience in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills.

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Option Courses (21 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on utilization of a collaborative approach to enhance Acute Care Nurse Practitioner effectiveness with restorative care and synthesis of theoretical, scientific, and clinical knowledge required for the assessment, diagnosis, management, and treatment options of patients with complex acute, critical, and chronic illness across the continuum of care.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 802, NURS 803, NURS 804, NURS 865, and NURS 866

  • 3
    credits

    Continues the focus on utilization of a collaborative approach to enhance Acute Care Nurse Practitioner effectiveness with restorative care and synthesis of theoretical, scientific, and clinical knowledge required for the assessment, diagnosis, management, and treatment options of patients with complex acute, critical, and chronic illness across the continuum of care.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 860, NURS 862

    • Concurrent

      NURS 863

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in NURS 860 and all prior courses.

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills taught in NURS 861 and all prior courses.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 860, NURS 862

    • Concurrent

      NURS 861

  • 5
    credits

    This is a comprehensive practicum in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role and demonstrate synthesis of theoretical, scientific, and contemporary clinical knowledge learned in all courses of the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner option.

  • 1
    credit

    Principles of clinical pharmacology as applied to management of complex acute, critical, and chronically ill adult and older adult patients.

    Physical assessment and diagnostics for physical and psychosocial health of adult and older adult individuals and families with acute and critical illness. 

  • 3
    credits

    This is a comprehensive didactic and simulation experience in which students implement the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role through application of theoretical knowledge and psychomotor skills. This course involves demonstration of the role in varied online, classroom, and simulation settings including a full week on site intensive.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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