With a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, you will be prepared to improve healthcare outcomes through evidence-based practice as you assume leadership roles as managers of quality initiatives, executives in healthcare organizations, and directors of clinical and academic programs.
The post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program at Gardner-Webb University is a 36-semester-hour program in three modules offering two areas of specialty education for students with a Master's degree in nursing: Advanced Practice Leadership and Educational Leadership.
Course work is presented in an executive format including 20-23 clock hours per course on campus in Boiling Springs, N.C. each semester for student/faculty collaboration and faculty presentations, clarification of theoretical content, learning objectives, and course requirements. The remainder of the semester includes online lectures, presentations, writing assignments, and interactive class discussions using GWU’s distance learning system. Students enrolled in the Post-Master’s DNP Program acquire knowledge in nursing theory, research, policy, statistics, epidemiology, informatics, and nursing education or administration.
Graduates of the post-masters Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program will:
- Utilize scientific and theoretical knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to develop new practice approaches reflective of the highest level of nursing practice.
- Develop care delivery approaches at the institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international level based on knowledge of the principles of business, finance, economics, and healthcare policy to improve health care outcomes for patient populations.
- Incorporate information technology within practice and healthcare and education systems to improve healthcare outcomes.
- Lead healthcare teams to create change in health care and complex healthcare delivery systems.
- Develop programmatic interventions to address health promotion/disease prevention efforts, improve health status/access patterns, and/or address gaps in care of individuals, aggregates, or populations based on the analysis of epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, and other appropriate scientific data related to individual, aggregate, and population health.
Accreditation for the Hunt School of Nursing is maintained through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc. (ACEN) located at ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA, 30326, phone: (404)975-5000 and information can be found on the ACEN website.
After you've earned your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, you'll have expanded opportunities within a variety of work environments. Specifically, the DNP Program serves to:
- Prepare advanced practice nurses educationally prepared with a master’s degree to become leaders in evidence-based practice in a variety of healthcare, business, government, and educational organizations.
- Engage students in innovative, scholarly evidence-based practice inquiry in their chosen field of nursing.
- Provide DNP graduates with the necessary skills to become competent in translating research into practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision making, and implementing innovations to improve health and healthcare outcomes.
- Prepare students to make contributions to the knowledge and practice of nursing, meet demands of the increasing complexity of the healthcare system, improve the quality of patient care delivery and outcomes, and influence health care policy.
Application for admission to the DNP Program is made through the Gardner-Webb University Graduate School. In order to enroll students from a variety of nursing backgrounds with the greatest potential for successfully completing the program, the following criteria will be used for consideration of acceptance:
- Graduate School Application (available and submitted online).
- Current unrestricted licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse (verified online by Graduate Admissions).
- Cumulative GPA of 3.20 on all previous graduate coursework as evidenced by official graduate transcripts.
- MSN Degree from a regionally accredited institution with a nationally accredited program as evidenced by official graduate transcripts.
- Certifications in practice area (if applicable).
- Verification of immunizations submitted on provided form.
- Three letters of recommendation (professional and academic) submitted on provided form.
- Validation of the number of hours of nursing practice completed post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program submitted on provided form.*
- Validation of the number of hours of nursing practice completed at the post-master's level as verified by employer(s) signature submitted on provided form.**
- Current curriculum vitae.
- Written essay addressing your goals related to doctoral education in nursing, including description of a practice research interest.
- Current, official, satisfactory Criminal Background Check results from the state in which you reside and any other state lived in during the past ten years.
*Hours in practicum or clinical completed post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program are counted toward the requirement of 1,000 practicum hours for completion of the DNP degree. A minimum of 400 practicum hours must be completed in the DNP Program.
**Hours in supervised practice completed post-masters are counted toward the requirement of 1000 practicum hours for completion of the DNP degree. Supervised practice hours in a clinical or administrative position are calculated as 30 hours of practice for each 40 hour work week. Supervised practice hours in academia are calculated as 30 hours per week (Fall and Spring are considered to be 15 week semesters and Summer is considered to be a 10 week semester). A minimum of 400 practicum hours must be completed in the DNP Program.
Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.