The College of Nursing and Health Profession's commitment to quality nursing education and responsiveness to regional and national health care needs serves as the foundation for the DNP program. This practice focused doctorate prepares experts in advanced nursing with emphasis placed on innovative, evidence-based practice that reflects the application of credible research findings. The expanded knowledge base in nursing broadens the DNP graduates’ ability to translate that knowledge quickly and effectively to benefit patients, to improve health outcomes, and to contribute to the profession. The curriculum content builds upon the master's degree and includes a minimum of 36 required DNP credit hours beyond the MSN for a total of 78 credit hours. The program of study includes the completion of an evidence-based Capstone Project that provides evidence of advanced practice synthesis and program learning outcomes.
Students admitted to the USI DNP program select from two areas of study concentration: advanced practice and systems and organizational leadership. In both concentrations, the plan of study is the same with all students enrolling in the required 13 DNP courses. Students are required to complete assignments within each course that address the identified study concentration. The Capstone Project also focuses on an endeavor consistent with the student’s identified study concentration. The faculty mentor and practice partner working with the student on the Capstone Project will have documented expertise in the study concentration.