DNP & DNP-NP Informational Webinar

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Robert: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Practitioner Informational Webinar. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to participate. Before we begin today’s session, my name is Robert Dane Groves and I will be your moderator for today as well as going over some of the application information to Maryville University and some of the programmatic information as well.

Robert: Before we begin, I have a few logistics that I want to cover first. First you are in listen only mode so the presentation is being broadcast through your speakers. To avoid any background noises, it is being broadcasted through your speakers on your computer. Please feel free to ask questions as we go. You can do so by typing into the Q&A box on the left side of your screen at any time throughout this session.

Robert: If we do not get to your question today, an enrollment advisor will be happy to follow up with you and answer any questions, concerns you may have regarding Maryville.

Robert: Third you can watch this presentation on demand at any time using the same link you used to register. We will also follow up with an email after the presentation.

Robert: What we are going to cover today our agenda. First of all, after introductions and recover about Maryville University, we’ll go over our program curriculum and enrollment information. The scholarly project, tuition, the online student user experience and of course, most importantly, answering your questions and concerns.

Robert: I’d like you to meet our team. I wanted to … Proud to introduce Doctor Mariea Snell, who is coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Maryville University and also an assistant professor of nursing. Welcome to today, Dr. Snell.

Dr. Snell: Thank you so much. This is Dr. Snell, I’m really excited to be here with you guys and get to showcase our program a little bit better with you all and answer any questions that you might have on the curriculum side of things. So welcome.

Robert: Thank you, Dr. Snell. And I’m Robert Dane Groves, I’m the senior enrollment advisor at Maryville University’s graduate nursing online programs. I’m approaching five years in the graduate nursing department and most happy to be here as well. Thank you for attending.

Robert: Without further ado, let’s learn a little bit about Maryville University. Maryville University is ranked a top private school by U.S. News and World Report. When checking us out, when typing in U.S. News and World Report, always put in online nursing and you can look at nursing schools university programs across the country and contrast and compare.

Robert: We are on the list among the best. Our faculty ratings are some of the highest in the country. Our student satisfaction rating is the highest number it in can be in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report list. We’re also in Kiplinger’s top 100 best value schools, allowing it takes into account the quality of faculty and instruction at Maryville University.

Robert: Maryville University is proud to be an Apple distinguished school. Distinguished for our digital media and use of digital media in our programs. Maryville University is only the 8th university ever to be nominated by Apple as a distinguished school. We’re quite proud and honored. Doesn’t mean you need an Apple computer. Your Windows will work just as well.

Robert: We are ranked among the top colleges in Forbes and our accreditation … We are nationally and regionally accredited. Regionally we are accredited by the higher learning commission in [inaudible 00:04:26] North Central Association. Nationally we are accredited by the CCNE. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Robert: We have numerous corporate partnerships and for … No, for over eight years we have been named the military friendly schools list and GI Jobs Magazine has named Maryville University as a military friendly school as well.

Robert: So about the program. Our Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the curriculum and overview. First and foremost, Maryville University programs are 100% online. You’re always welcome to our campus, but campus visits are not required. The program completion can be in as few as 20 months depending on specialty.

Robert: The DNP program can be anywhere from 30 to 33 credit hours. Maryville University does take into account a Master’s level nursing level statistics or graduate statistics class as possible transfer credit into the DNP program if that course has been completed within the last five years and is a one for one transfer into that program.

Robert: There are three entry points per year. Spring, Summer, and Fall. Spring begins in January. Summer first week of May, and Fall the last week of August. There are no standardized tests required. There’s no residency required. It’s an online program throughout the nation.

Robert: Enrollment requirements. For the DNP, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, we will require a Master of Science of Nursing Degree from a regionally accredited institution and ACEN or CCNE accredited nursing program. There is a very strict minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point requirement. We’ll be with the best students throughout the country.

Robert: Three letters of recommendation are required. At this level, they should at least be side by side colleagues. They should not be individuals that report to you. That won’t qualify as a reference. But side by side colleagues, meaning other advanced practice nurses or perhaps doctors as well may qualify as a recommendation.

Robert: We also require your CV or resume with your current or present employment clearly listed. And we require current board certification as an APRN as an advanced practice registered nurse. The advanced practice nurses can be anywhere from nurse practitioners to CRNAs, certified registered nursing anesthetists. Registered, license, midwife, or CNS, a clinical nurse specialist.

Robert: Very important in the program. Since you’re doing a scholarly project, writing is such an emphasis on Maryville University and faculty for the admission, for the application, a very important three page essay will be required that lists three experiences that have prepared you for doctoral study and your initial idea of what your scholarly project may entail, therefore how you plan to positively affect patient outcomes could be a topic as well but three pages, APA format, references as well, statistically analysis of what you’re projecting is also part of your essay.

Robert: Your enrollment advisors can supply you with an essay tip sheet that can help break down and simplify the application process try to simplify the application process for our perspective students. We try to make the process painless for you for once.

Robert: There’s five concentrations or specialties. Five career paths of nurse practitioner programs that can take students who want to go into the DNPMP programs. This is a Doctor of Nursing Practice terminal degree and results, but along the way, it prepares you to be a nurse practitioner as well. The program is ideal for Master’s prepared students. Master of Science of Nursing and non-advanced practice nurse specialties such as education, leadership, informatics, administration.

Robert: The five concentrations or career paths that Maryville currently offers is the psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner program; the family nurse practitioner program; primary preventive care for all ages; the pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program ages zero to 21; adult gerontology, acute caring nurse practitioner program. 13 years old and up acute care; and adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner program. Primary care, 13 years old and up.

Robert: At this point, I would like to turn over the information about our curriculum essentials and a little bit about the online DNP experience to our esteem guest, Dr. Snell.

Dr. Snell: Thank you so much, Dane. Hello again, Dr. Snell. I’m really excited to get to talk to you guys about the DNP program. This slide kinda seeks to the curriculum essentials. This is really what we are integrating throughout each of our courses and what we want you all to be able to have in terms of an outcome after you would complete the program.

Dr. Snell: Development of evidence-based practice is an important aspect of everything that you’ll do throughout the program because the end goal of this is that you are creating a project that we will talk a little more about here in a minute, that is impacting change. Impacting your practice. Impacting your patients and can show outcomes that we can … you can show that you have used evidence to support your practice, and then you can show others how that evidence impacts their practice.

Dr. Snell: Research utilization for the improvement of clinical care delivery. This is an important essential and you’ll see as I talk through these how these all sorta just dovetail together into one cohesive product, but throughout the course work, you’re going to use research techniques to investigate different aspects of clinical care and delivery and how that also plays into your project.

Dr. Snell: Improving patient outcomes is an absolute goal. What’s unique about the DNP verses say a Ph.D. is that we are … This is a practice doctorate. A clinical doctorate. In the same sense that there’s a medical doctorate, an MD, this is the same for nursing. This is a DNP. This is why we are focusing on your actual patient outcomes in this program verses more traditional bench research that you would see in a Ph.D. program.

Dr. Snell: Another important component is providing and leading quality healthcare practice. We want you to learn to leadership skills in your own practice and then organizational leadership to inform healthcare policy. We want you to not only be a leader in your practice setting, but be a leader on a more global setting in terms of policy and practice.

Dr. Snell: And then lead interprofessional teams. This is another important component of the DNP essentials and what it means to be a doctor of nursing practice. We want nursing and DNPs to be a leader in the healthcare arena and be able to practice at the highest level of nursing and be a team player in the overall delivery of healthcare, so that’s … These things all together is what elevates a person from being an RN or a BSN or even just being an NP, to the DNP level of practice. That’s what differentiates the two.

Dr. Snell: Let’s talk a little bit more about the scholarly projects because I think this is a big source of stress and anxiety for many people when they are contemplating going into a DNP program. As we talk a little bit about the last slide, the goal of this scholarly project is to impact change.

Dr. Snell: What we tell people to do is think about your current practice population. Whatever you’re working around, who you’re working with. And think about what are the problems that you see. How can you make change? How can you make something better? How can you improve policies or practice or outcomes?

Dr. Snell: We’ve had a number of different types of projects done over the years that are very, very impressive. We’ve done things like online educational pieces to educate people on proper use of antibiotics. So we can then measure how … was there an impact in how people were prescribing antibiotics based on this educational intervention.

Dr. Snell: Other people have identified gaps in knowledge on things like transgender patient populations, so they created educational pieces to help educate providers and their in area on this patient population that maybe … There isn’t enough information about. We’ve had a number of things beyond educational intervention as well there are new policies put in place where people have analyzed the pre-policy and post-policy outcomes and the improved glucose control for diabetic patients.

Dr. Snell: Really the world is your oyster and this is your baby. We want it to be that means something to you and that you’re really excited about because that’s … that’s the only way you can truly love the work and the body knowledge that you are trying to develop as a doctoral student. So that kinda brings me to my next point about the program chairs and their roles.

Dr. Snell: What we do as … My role as the coordinator of the program is to obviously help guide you with any questions you have, but in addition to that is to help match you with an appropriate chair. When we have students that have identified their focus, their question of inquiry, I take that information and I look at our faculty to see who has the most expertise in that area because what’s sorta unique about Maryville is we don’t require you to find your own chair. We have a long list of highly qualified, very very passionate researchers here at the university who are excited to work with you and have their own body of knowledge and research behind them to back up their guidance that they’re going to be able to give.

Dr. Snell: I take your focus and I match it to an appropriate chair that will be able to best help you and assist you in this journey and what’s great about this is we do this very early on in the program so you get to form this relationship with this chair who’s really act as a mentor to you, beyond just the projects, but throughout your scholarly project and your doctoral experience. They’re there for you and for any questions and concerns that you might just like I am.

Dr. Snell: You’re matched with them early on in the program and they work with you through each course and each step of the research process and it is a really rewarding experience for both student and chair and we’ve had just the best feedback over the years on that relationship. Many still stay … I still stay in touch with all of mine as well and we have helped these students who graduate publish in journals after graduation and that support doesn’t end at graduation. The support stays. That role is very important and I think about that a lot when making these assignments. We take care of that for you and that’s another thing that you as potential students would not have to worry about.

Dr. Snell: I think that’s all I have to say about that component and I’ll turn it back over to you, Dane.

Robert: Thank you, Dr. Snell. I was taking notes if anybody was hearing any rustling of papers. I really liked that … I wanted to emphasize that again so that scholarly project really impacts change. I was mentioning how it could positively affect patient outcomes, but Dr. Snell, you also added that it can be procedural changes, policy outcome changes. Really … I just thought that was really interesting and worth refuting.

Dr. Snell: Yeah, thank you for mentioning that. It’s really … and I think the most important takeaway from that, the biggest take home message is it is very individualized to the student. We want the students to be very excited about the work they’re doing and we want them to work with a chair that is just as excited. There’s just … the world is your oyster.

Robert: Right. That’s wonderful. I wanted to … I know we’re not at the question and answer period yet, but as an enrollment advisor, sometimes I have been coming across other universities who seem to have a different take on the DNP program where they … I don’t know if it’s the administration or the university, but they actually chose the topic for the scholarly project for the DNP for a group of students.

Robert: I was just wondering if you could maybe elaborate a little bit on.

Dr. Snell:  Yeah. I’m happy to. I’ve heard that as well, and you know, not to be negative in any way about anyone else’s program but what we have always felt here is that we want this doctoral experience to be as traditional as possible in a scholarly way. Historically, that’s always been that any doctoral student of any program beyond nursing and any kind of Ph.d or DNC or any kind of program, it is as much as a creative process as it is an intellectual process.

Dr. Snell: And by creating sort of cookie cutter experiences, it really takes away from that sort of ability to think outside the box and think critically and think in that higher level intellectual way, we would never want to take that away from students.

Dr. Snell: This is such an important role for them and it’s the combination of all of these years of work and we would just never want to tell them what they have to do and just to push them through the program and be a cookie cutter doctorate. It’s very creative and intellectual and we want them … I feel and many other do at the university that is such an important aspect of doctoral education.

Robert: Wonderful. Yeah, personally, I’ve been here almost five years just the topics … the initial topics at the start of the application process are as varied and exciting and interesting as individuals that I have on the phone and it’s all from their experiences all across the United States. It’s always been a highlight and something I’ve always found very interesting when students, nurse practitioners, are talking about their initial thoughts on their scholarly projects in their area. It’s always a learning experience for me, too.

Dr. Snell: Sure. Well that’s exactly right and it’s interesting, too. I know we’re going to talk about tuition, guys, on this [inaudible 00:22:44] but I don’t mean to derail. But this is really important because at the end when we have our scholarly presentation day, which isn’t something we talked about here, but at the very end everybody presents their work to the Maryville community and it’s the most exciting time I think for both faculty and students because we get to see what all of these folks did and we’ve had just so many incredibly impressive projects that people have done that have really made significant change. Significant impact on so many levels.

Dr. Snell: I think every time, that just reaffirms to us that we’re doing the right thing by allowing students to be creative and find their passionate side and their area that they want to change and make an impact on because they’re doing it and it’s amazing.

Robert: Wonderful. Onto tuition, which is also a very important topic.

Dr. Snell: Yes.

Robert: For our perspective students as well. The tuition for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is $897 per credit hour. Once again, that can be either 30 or 33 credit hours max. If statistics class or graduate statistics class were needed. A little bit of a recap on the DNP to NP program, once again, the end result is a doctor of nursing practice degree, so the enrollment requirements, very similar to the DNP on its own as well. The DNP to NP program can be completed in as few as three years. Anywhere from $62 to $71 and the doctor of nursing practice, again it’s $897 per credit hour. However in the DNP to NP program, the master’s science of nursing courses are $797 per credit hour.

Robert: For more information with all the different specialties and the range, please contact the enrollment advisors. They’re waiting by the phone or to chat online as well regarding our programs. For more information about tuition, you can also visit the link there listed at

Robert: Also per semester, there is a $650 one fee per semester. The $650 one fee can include malpractice insurance; clinical processing fees; graduation fees; Typhon software use; exam proctoring fees; unlimited transcripts; technology fees. There’s a 24/7 canvas technology help desk in the program. But it is a one fee and the $650 fee is per semester in the program.

Robert: Depending on state, there can also be a background check fee anywhere from $79 to $109 depending on your state of course. A little bit more regarding the online experience, if you could help elaborate, Dr. Snell?

Dr. Snell: I would be happy to, thank you. Learning online is the same but different. Our program, we are predominately in the traditional DNP, it is predominately eight week courses with one 16 week, and then if you’re in the DNP to NP, it’ll be a combination. A little bit more of a combination as your courses consist of the practice component if you’re SNP or psych NP. Those courses are a bit longer, so those will be your 16 week courses. It’ll be a combination of those.

Dr. Snell: They are in eight increments. That means you do not have to be anywhere at anyone given time for your lecture course, so it’s available to you whenever you are ready to receive it. We do a lot with online discussions where you’re able to post throughout the week, so you’re not expected to be live at one given time. Your faculty would have online office hours if you need to have that. You can talk with them one on one via phone or some other form of technology guides set for business, something like that. That’s available to you as well.

Dr. Snell: It was designed really with the assumption that you guys are all working. It’s not … The expectation is not that you are available during the day or during the evening or whenever, any particular time. It’s meant to be sorta functional to all. It’s whenever you’re ready to receive it.

Dr. Snell: In regards to the online environment, the learning management system is called Canvas. It’s a great system. I’ve used many and I’ve found that Canvas is the most user friendly, so I think you all will like it. It’s very easy to navigate and all the information you need about your course is right there in the course. There’s nothing confusing or hidden. It’s all there, plainly for you to see. All your course expectations are very well laid out so there’s nothing to confuse you. So if you’re not somebody who is used to online learning, this isn’t something you need to be worried about because Canvas walks you through it. Your faculty is there. Their phone number is there. Their email is there. All the ways to contact them is there.

Dr. Snell: You don’t have to feel nervous about it. And then of course, you can always reach out to me personally if something were to come up. It can be any issue, so I’m also here to help.

Dr. Snell: So the faculty and peer interactions, so I talk a little about the discussion boards. That’s some major talking points within the course that simulates in a way what it would be like in a traditional classroom where you would be talking with your faculty or students in the class. The discussion board is that and everybody hops in there. Your other students in your class post and talk and your faculty will be in there posting and talking and you guys will have that same kind of dialogue just in a way that is convenient for everybody.

Dr. Snell: We have Facebook groups on here too because we know a lot of people interact outside of the classroom in these social media areas, which is perfectly fine and it’s a way for you to kinda talk and get to know each other and interact and collaborate and we encourage you to use technology as we are an Apple certified university. Of course we think and we do know how important that is. That’s available to you as well and that’s basically our online experience.

Robert: Wonderful. We’d like to open it up to our students and we have number of questions. We’ll try to answer all the questions. Any questions that we’re not available to get to then we’ll certainly have enrollment advisors follow up with your questions as well.

Robert: Speaking of the online experience, our first question for Dr. Snell. A student is wondering how tech savvy do they need to be to be successful in an online program at Maryville. They’re asking how tech savvy do they need to be.

Dr. Snell: That’s a great question and you know and of course a source of anxiety for many students. You don’t have to be any kind of an expert. That’s not at all the expectation. We have great faculty and IT staff that can help assist. We have a lot of faculty that have gotten into this online program late in their career, we’ll just say that, and we’re not very tech savvy when it started and it was very easy for them to navigate and get students on board with, too. So I’m very competent that any problem there will be, we’ll be able to fix.

Dr. Snell: The best thing about this and most importantly to know, if there is a problem with technology or otherwise, we are here to help you fix it. So you’re never alone in any of that.

Robert: Wonderful. The second question would be for Dr. Snell as well, this will probably be a two-part question ’cause there’s the DNP program and the DNP to NP program, but students as advanced practice nurses, they were wondering how intense the workload as a working nurse professional, how much time do I need to dedicate to my studies per day, per week? How important is time management?

Robert: So time management is always one the key questions we receive as enrollment advisors as well. I know there might be different expectations between the DNP and the DNP NP program, but could you speak a little, are students working full time and attempting the programs as well, or maybe a little bit clear about time management if you would?

Dr. Snell: Yeah, I’m happy to talk about that. I think it’s very different from student to student. Most of our students are working be it part-time or full-time. I don’t know of many if all who aren’t working, so the expectation is absolutely you will be working. In fact, we kinda … you sorta need to be working because in theory where your project takes place is likely going to be in your workplace, so we wouldn’t want you to not to be able to work and have access to that population.

Dr. Snell: Now that being said, some changes may need to be made to your lifestyle. It’s not entirely realistic to think that you’ll have a ton of free time and be in a doctoral program and be working full-time. There’s some adjustments that would have to be made to be in any doctoral program or NP DNP program. But we absolutely expect that you work and you’re able to work, so you’re not overloaded. Now that the DNP NP is more labor intensive of course because you’re sorta completing two degrees at once, so that’s going to be difficult.

Dr. Snell: My experience has been in the past that people have been able to do it and work and most often work full-time and still have families, so we want to be flexible for you and accommodating but it’s definitely important to know that it’s a breeze, but what it is.

Robert: Wonderful.

Dr. Snell: Definitely doable.

Robert: Wonderful. That first question for me, I believe, their question from one of our perspective students is are there online class times in the program or can students sign on at any convenient time?

Robert: Courses are eight week increments, meaning that you do have that flexibility of logging in when you’re available for that course. There might possibly be an exam day where student might have to log in for an exam, but there are no particular log in times like you have to definitely be somewhere at 2:30 on a Tuesday. Is that correct, Dr. Snell, as far as the log-in time. It synchronizes.

Dr. Snell: That’s absolutely right.

Robert:  And then, Dr. Snell, one of our students was wondering, do you have to be working full-time to get accepted into the program?

Dr. Snell: No. Not at all. We just ask that you be working in some capacity. Definitely not full-time.

Robert: All right.

Dr. Snell: That’s not a requirement.

Robert: Again, Dr. Snell, most of the questions are for you.

Dr. Snell: Not a problem.

Robert: How often do students have live dialogue with instructors?

Dr. Snell: So actually in the DNP program, we have sorta recently changed that so that you have a call that’s scheduled between your faculty, your chair, and yourself a few times throughout the program. So that would be a minimum and that’s in each of the courses, so there’s about twice a semester, so one in each eight week course that you would be talking with your faculty and your chair all at the same time.

Dr. Snell: Beyond that though, what I see happening the most is that students and faculty are just communicating on the fly. So something a little more informal I guess we’ll say, if a student has a question, or a problem or concern, you’re more than welcome to reach out to your faculty at any time. Their information is available to you. Their phone number. Their email. And they’re happy to talk to you on the phone or Skype whenever you would like.

Dr. Snell: I feel that’s really up to the student and their preference and what they’re looking for and what they need. It’ll be different for everybody, but for the DNP courses, it is a requirement in each of those clinical inquiry courses that they can talk.

Robert: Wonderful so our students regularly meet with our faculty and their chairs and that is a scheduled time. That’s great to know as well.

Dr. Snell: Mm-hmm (affirmative) and it’s set up by the student, so you know, again, it’s when it’s convenient for them and not … I don’t want anybody to think it is having a significant impact on their ability to work or be in clinical or anything like that. We’re very flexible with the times.

Robert: Fantastic. Well we have time for one more question. It’s a two parter and I think myself and Dr. Snell will be able to answer. The first part of the question was do students need to come to campus? And it is 100% online program. Of course, students are always welcomed, but there are no campus visits required. However, the students we’re also asking if they’re able to come to campus and I thought Dr. Snell, you could elaborate a bit more on our graduation at Maryville? I’ve noticed many students will wonderfully come to graduation or perhaps presenting their scholarly project if they choose to, but the times they do arrive I thought that might be a good place to end.

Dr. Snell: Yeah, that would be a great place.

Dr. Snell: At the end of the program, students are required to present their scholarly work and we’ve had many students actually come to campus to present to us which is amazing and we, as faculty, love to see people face to face. It’s definitely not a requirement and we have plenty of technology available to us to be able to sorta digitally present you to the faculty and the work, so there’s no pressure there.

Dr. Snell: We do love it when that happens, and in addition to that, we do have hooding, which is a wonderful time of celebration where you come and we get to welcome you into the doctoral community and hood you formally in front of your family and your peers. And then the following day is graduation where you get to officially graduate with your class and all the other wonderful students of Maryville. It’s just an exciting time.

Dr. Snell: The other thing that’s nice about that is you would get to meet your chair in person if you hadn’t been able to do that if you don’t live in St. Louis and you’ve only been talking to your chair on the phone. All these … over the last year or two. It’s a great opportunity to help meet this person who’s helped guide you and your career and your education. And they love to get to see you as well and we just have a big celebration on campus. Lots of food and welcome you to the Maryville community. It’s just a great time.

Dr. Snell: Absolutely no pressure and not a requirement, but we love it and we love to celebrate you, so that opportunity is there.

Robert: Wonderful. Well thank you so much, Dr. Snell, for all those great responses and thank you to for everyone who submitted their question.

Robert: This will close the Q&A portion of our webinar. If anyone has anymore questions that they think of later, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. This is what we do. If we did not get to your question today, an enrollment advisor will follow up with you. If you look at the resource section on the left side of your screen, you’ll see resources available to you. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor for instance to go over the program.

Robert: Again I wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your busy, busy days out there, saving lives, all across the country. I wanted to thank you for joining us. Thank you to Dr. Snell, we hope that you found this webinar useful. We look so much … We look forward to speaking to you soon and sincerely have a great day, everyone.