As baby boomer healthcare professionals prepare for retirement, higher-level healthcare positions across the country are opening up. Opportunities are emerging for the next generation of experienced nurses to take on leadership roles and help tackle complex decisions about the future of our healthcare system. For nurses with an MSN degree who want to seize these opportunities, an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program can provide the training needed to start the process of becoming leaders in either clinical or systems positions.
Maryville University Online DNP Curriculum
The online DNP program at Maryville University aims to prepare future healthcare leaders for high-level careers in clinical practice, policy, advocacy, systems leadership, and more.
Check out a full list of Maryville’s Online DNP course offerings here:
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Core and Capstone Courses
The DNP program is 11 courses, 33 credit hours
Doctor of Nursing Practice Foundation Courses (15 credit hours)
|NURS 700||Principles of Epidemiology and Biostatistics||3 Credits|
This course introduces students to the purpose, content, and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics. The fundamental concepts and techniques of descriptive and inferential statistics are explored with particular emphasis on applications in epidemiology, public health, global health, disease surveillance and outbreak analysis, health care administration, and the social and biological sciences. Basic statistics, including exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, correlation, regression, and ANOVA methods are presented. Evaluating and using output from statistical computing software are also addressed. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 701||Foundations of Clinical Scholarship||3 Credits|
As the first course in the DNP program, this course is designed to refine students' scholarly writing skills through a variety of strategies. Along with important works in nursing, literature in other disciplines is also explored. The process of concept analysis is emphasized. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 702||Integrating and Synthesizing Research||3 Credits|
This course emphasizes an objective approach to the integration and synthesis of knowledge according to scientific principles and rules. The conceptual consequences imposed by science on philosophies of knowledge are also discussed. Manuscript preparation and practical use of evidence are incorporated in an effort to prepare students for the design of research proposals. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 709||Advanced Health Care Policy||3 Credits|
In this course knowledge of the American healthcare system is used to identify economically and politically feasible and viable policy changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system's delivery of health care. The policy-making process is examined to prepare students to be effective advocates for health policy change. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 710||Graduate Statistics||3 Credits|
Understanding the measurement of phenomena is a critical component of the research process. Procedures for selecting, applying and interpreting the correct statistical application to a research problem will be presented with students processing the results. (3 credit hours)
Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone Courses (18 credit hours)
|NURS 703||Ethics For Advanced Nursing Practice||3 Credits|
This course is designed to present ethical principles and decision-making models for the highest level of nursing practice. Evidence-based nursing and interprofessional literature are used to analyze ethical dilemmas that arise in professional practice. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 704||Quality and Patient Safety in Advanced Nursing Practice||3 Credits|
This course is designed to provide students with the foundation of process improvement (PI) and quality improvement (QI) concepts. Theoretical perspectives of quality and patient safety factors and the use of selected process improvement tools will be examined. Evidence-based practice and change management will be integrated with concepts of PI and QI. Systems thinking will be emphasized. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 705||Clinical Inquiry I||3 Credits|
In this course, students design an evidence-based research study that will guide clinical practice. The feasibility of conducting this research initiative is explored. Potential funding sources and budget issues will be examined. Students complete the human subjects training and write a proposal. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 706||Clinical Inquiry II||3 Credits|
In this course, students implement their clinical project and complete data collection. Students apply integrated research concepts as they pertain to their clinical project. Utilization of various methods of data analysis and data management systems will be explored. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 707||Clinical Inquiry III||3 Credits|
In this course, students complete data analysis of the clinical project. Based upon the results of data analysis, students disseminate their evidence-based research through written and oral delivery. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 708||Organizations Theory and Systems Leadership||3 Credits|
Organizational, management and social science theories are analyzed in the context of organizational leadership and change management. Systems thinking is emphasized. (3 credit hours)
Doctor of Nursing Practice with NP Concentration (DNP-NP)
DNP-NP students complete the courses listed above plus:
Graduate Nursing Core Courses (6 credit hours)
|NURS 603||Professional Role Development||3 Credits|
Advanced Practice Nurse This course provides a theoretical foundation for exploring, analyzing, and evaluating the advance practice nursing roles within the health care system. The legal and ethical context in which the advanced nurse practices is addressed. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 610||Health Promotion/Disease Prevention||3 Credits|
The master's-prepared nurse is in a key position to influence the health practices of individuals, groups and communities. Health screening, risk assessment, targeted needs assessment, and health promotion are emphasized. Health care goals at the local, regional, and national levels are implemented to direct program planning, development, implementation, and evaluation. (3 credit hours)
Nurse Practitioner Core Courses (11 credit hours)
|NURS 611||Advanced Pathophysiology||3 Credits|
Provides the basis for understanding the pathophysiology of diseases and the changes in normal function that result in manifestations indicative of illness. Emphasis is on correlating manifestations of illness with pathophysiological processes in order to formulate diagnoses and health care goals. (3 credit hours)
|NURS 612||Advanced Health Assessment||5 Credits|
Advanced practice nurses perform comprehensive health assessments in a variety of settings. Advanced health assessment integrates health history, physical and psychological changes and psychosocial variations. The assessment is used to determine health and risk status, develop health promotion strategies, and establish priorities of care. Differences between a complete health history and a history for an episodic event are examined. This course incorporates 80 hours of documented clinical experience with a preceptor focusing on health history and physical assessment. The student will apply concepts related to advanced health assessment and health promotion to problems of adults in rural and/or urban health settings and will begin their clinical logs. (5 credit hours)
|NURS 615||Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics||3 Credits|
Nurse practitioners diagnose and prescribe treatment regimens for persons with common acute and/or chronic health problems. This course focuses on the pharmacological foundation for safely prescribing medical regimens for illnesses that affect individuals. Also included are illness prevention and non-pharmacological primary care for individuals and populations at risk. Selection of appropriate therapies, patient education and evaluation parameters are stressed. (3 credit hours)
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Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities an NP Certificate Degree Can Provide
DNP classes can vary by program, but a typical DNP curriculum can help students develop skills and expertise in the following key areas:
- Evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice, or EBP, is a clinical approach that integrates three components into patient care decision-making: clinical expertise, patient values, and the best available research evidence. EBP is now used across healthcare fields, and it’s widely seen as the most effective way to provide high-quality patient care. Students learn how to apply evidence, how to gather new evidence, and how to determine patient preferences and values.
- Patient care. Improving patient outcomes is the primary goal of any position a DNP may take on. Students learn about issues such as patient safety and quality of patient care in order to prepare them to make patient care decisions at a higher level.
- Healthcare policy and setting. Familiarizing themselves with current healthcare policy and how healthcare is practiced across different settings prepares students to effect policy changes, whether they’re working in government, advocacy, or another role.
- Legislative advocacy. There’s great demand for DNPs who can work to advocate for changes in healthcare policy, working to protect patients or to ensure that policies reflect the latest research.
Common Courses for DNP Students
Specific DNP classes may vary by program, but most universities will offer courses that touch on the following core topics. These are some of the courses commonly offered for this degree:
Ethics for Advanced Nursing Practice. In this course, students explore ethical principles and decision-making models for nursing practice at the highest level. Using evidence-based nursing and inter-professional literature, students analyze ethical dilemmas that occur in nursing practice.
Quality and Patient Safety in Advanced Nursing Practice. Students get to work on systems thinking in this course, which introduces the foundational concepts of process improvement (PI) and quality improvement (QI). Students will examine these concepts through a theoretical lens and learn about select process improvement tools.
Clinical Inquiry. This course lets students take an active role in evidence-based research, as they design their own research studies to inform clinical practice. Students will navigate feasibility and budget issues, train human subjects, and write a proposal.
Organizations Theory and Systems Leadership. In this course, students can learn to analyze organizational, management, and social science theories related to organizational leadership and change management. Another opportunity to exercise systems thinking, this course prepares students for a possible path in systems management.