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Program Requirements

The new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program (Administration, Family Nurse Practitioner) is designed to build upon the MSN degree and is offered at the University of Houston main campus and online. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is an evidence-based-practice-focused program and students who complete this program will demonstrate the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Nurses who have a Doctor of Nursing Practice have completed the highest level of education in nursing practice.

As a terminal degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice requires applicants to have knowledge of the following topics: Information Systems/Technology, Health Policy and Advocacy, Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health, and Graduate-level statistics. The Doctor of Nursing Practice will build upon this knowledge throughout the program.

While earning a PH.D. requires students to write a dissertation, the Doctor of Nursing Practice at UH will require students to create a portfolio of required scholarly components completed during the Doctor of Nursing Practice program that demonstrate a student’s achievement of the highest level of advanced practice registered nursing.

The portfolio is evidence of competency in all domains of DNP practice and achievement of the program outcomes, Essentials of Doctoral Education for advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006), AONL Competencies (2015), and QSEN Competencies. Submission of an acceptable portfolio is a requirement for completion of the DNP program and graduation. Each student is required to complete a DNP scholarly project prior to graduation, which will be included in the portfolio. Students will be required to present the scholarly project to the University community and defend the scholarly project to the DNP Chair and Committee.

Doctor of Nursing Practice students must also meet a minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours as delineated in the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006) to satisfy the clinical practice hour requirement for successful completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

The required 1000 clinical/practice hours may include a combination of hours completed at the master’s level and those completed during the postmaster’s DNP program. Clinical hours may be composed of direct point of care clinical practice, systems/indirect nursing practice or related experiences. The maximum clinical hours accepted from an MSN program for all students is 500 hours.

DNP Program Objectives

The objectives of the DNP program is to build upon the objectives of the MSN FNP and MSN Administration programs, including preparing the DNP graduate to:

  • Perform at the highest level of advanced nursing practice, providing expanded health care access to individuals, families, populations, and communities.
  • Incorporate leadership and interprofessional collaboration skills to deliver safe, effective, comprehensive, cost-effective care.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate innovative programs in the areas of patient care, population health, leadership, education, and policy.
  • Enhance nursing education in nursing programs through evidence-based knowledge, research, ethical standards, technology, and clinical judgment to advance quality of care and health outcomes.
  • Guide change in health care policies and systems.
  • Demonstrate achievement of DNP nationally recognized essentials and competencies.

To find out about how to apply and the requirements for the DNP Program, view the Admission Requirements or email nursing@uh.edu for general information.