Doctor - Nursing Practice

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Nurses who would like to pursue clinical or supervisory roles could need to first acquire advanced credentials. For these individuals, there are degree programs such as Kaplan University's Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Learn more about it here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Program Is It?

Kaplan University's Doctor of Nursing Practice program was created for nurses who want to forge careers in advanced clinical practice. It is geared toward the professional who wants to focus on nurse administration or direct patient care. This online program also aims to prepare students to provide primary and preventive health care services or to pursue a career in academia or research. Participants might also gain competencies that could help them develop health care policy and improve nursing practices and overall health care quality. Available specializations for this program include executive leader, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, and family nurse practitioner. Certain degree plans and specializations require practicum or clinical practice experiences.

What Are the Prerequisites?

Both a bachelor's and master's degree are necessary to enter this doctoral degree program. Aspiring students should possess professional nursing experience. Applicants to Kaplan University's programs should be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. Since the program is offered online, applicants should have access to a computer. Some programs may have additional requirements.

What Are the Course Requirements?

Depending on the specialization and degree plan chosen, students must complete 50 to 115 credit hours. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) plan is for those who completed Kaplan University's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - DNP Path or who earned an MSN at another accredited institution. The Post-MSN degree plan is for students who have an MSN in a different specialization than what they plan to study at the doctoral level. This latter degree plan option requires 99 to 115 credits based on specialization. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Kaplan University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Requirements

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner & Family Nurse Practitioner Specializations

  • Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice II
  • Clinical Decision Making for Advance Practice
  • Clinical Education in the Care Environment
  • DNP Clinical Scholarship
  • Clinical Scholarship Development
  • DNP Clinical Scholarship Implementation
  • DNP Clinical Leadership Capstone Project - Evaluation and Dissemination
  • Applied Epidemiology (considered a specialization course in the DNP - Post-MSN plan)
  • DNP - Post-MSN Plan Specialization Courses
    • Role of the Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care
    • Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Life Span
    • Advanced Health Assessment
    • Advanced Pharmacology Across the Life Span
    • Primary Care Across the Adult Age Continuum I
    • Primary Care Across the Adult Age Continuum II
    • Primary Care Across the Adult Age Continuum III
    • Advanced Practical Nurse Clinical I
    • Advanced Practical Nurse Clinical II
    • Advanced Practice Nurse Clinical III
    • Evidence-Based Practice Project
    • Additional Family Nurse Practitioner Courses
      • Primary Care of the Pediatric Client
      • Advanced Practice Nurse Clinical - Pediatrics

Executive Leader Specialization

  • Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice II
  • Synthesis Project Development
  • Synthesis Project Implementation
  • Synthesis Project Evaluation and Dissemination
  • DNP Residency I - Systems-Focused Role
  • DNP Residency II - Systems-Focused Role
  • Ethical Leadership in Health Care
  • Transforming the Health Care Organization
  • Advanced Nursing Leadership Concepts
  • Executive Leadership and Management Practicum I
  • DNP - Post-MSN Plan Specialization Courses
    • Leadership, Organizational Theory, and Behavior
    • Health Care Finance, Strategic Planning, and Budgeting
    • Human Resources Management
    • Innovation in Health Care Information Technology: Administrative and Advanced Practice Priorities
    • Executive Leader Practicum
    • Evidence-Based Practice Project

What Could I Do After I Graduate?

Career Opportunities

Once students have fulfilled all program requirements, they might pursue an array of executive or clinical positions. While additional certifications or qualifications could be necessary for some positions*, graduates might pursue the following career paths:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Clinician
  • Community leader
  • Nurse executive
  • University faculty

* Although certain programs at Kaplan University are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will pass those exams. In some cases, field experience and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.