May 30, 2024  
2019-2020 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice DNP

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares graduates for careers as adult gerontology primary care or psychiatric-mental health  nurse practitioners with the skills to lead interdisciplinary teams and implement population- focused and evidenced-based health interventions. In addition, DNP graduates are prepared to improve and transform health care through systems’ leadership, research translation, advanced clinical knowledge, application and nursing education.  The DNP course work includes translation research methods, theory, health policy, population health, informatics, systems leadership, leadership residencies, and scholarly projects to achieve the goals for the DNP and to meet national accreditation and certification standards.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses who are qualified for the American Nurses Credentialing Center examination. The graduate with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is prepared to:

1.  Translate evidence, clinical judgment, research findings, and theoretical perspectives to improve practice, care environments and maximize health outcomes.

2.  Use organizational and systems leadership in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members and community partners to promote health, guide clients through illness experience and improve the health systems.

3.  Evaluate outcomes using accepted professional standards and evidenced based benchmarks to improve quality within and across systems so that consumers and staff can contribute to continuous quality improvement.

4.  Integrate effective use of informatics and technology to support quality improvement initiatives, clinical decision making and safe care.

5.  Influence nursing practice and health policy to shape care delivery, addressing gaps resulting from growing healthcare needs at the local, state, national and international levels.

6.  Master communication, collaboration, and consultation strategies to address complex health issues in a variety of forums and formats.

7.  Assume a leadership role in advancing, fostering and maintaining nursing values and standards in a variety of settings and roles for individuals, populations, and systems.

8.  Model nursing practice that demonstrates respect for human dignity, ethical responsibility, interpersonal connectedness and equity to promote health and reduce risk.

9.  Synthesize scientific knowledge and humanistic perspectives in a variety of roles and areas of practice. 


The DNP curriculum consists of a minimum of 63 credits (for the BS-DNP plan), and 30 credits for the post MS-DNP plan.  The curriculum addresses areas of didactic and practicum content that have been deemed essential for advanced practice nurses by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

 Student options:

  1. The BS-DNP plan:  The Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner option prepares advanced practice nurses who will function as adult gerontolgy primary care nurse practitioners and manage primary and chronic health problems in adult populations.
  2. The BS-DNP plan:  The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option prepares advanced practice nurses who will function as psychiatric-mental health clinicians for individuals and families across the lifespan.
  3. The Post-MS DNP plan prepares DNP advanced practice nurses with the skills to lead interdisciplinary teams and implement population-focused and evidenced-based health interventions.  

Students complete a professional portfolio documenting attainment of the DNP competencies.  In addition to classroom and experiential learning in the practitioner role, the student completes the  DNP residency – a three-semester structured experiential learning sequence with faculty and health care systems leaders, in informatics and quality improvement – and a translational research project that is focused on improving the quality of care and patient outcomes.

Graduates of the DNP Program are eligible to take American Nurses Credentialing Center certifying examinations for Advanced Practice in Adult Gerontology Primary Care and Psychiatric- Mental Health.

All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of the date of matriculation in the program.

Program of Study

The Program of Study plan is completed by the student and the advisor before the student registers for classes (usually immediately upon admission). The Program of Study defines for the student and the DNP Committee a plan to complete the academic requirements for the DNP degree. The official Program of Study reflects the course work that contributes to the student’s knowledge base for advanced practice nursing and qualifies the student for graduation. A copy is kept on file in the student’s record in the Graduate Program office and the student is provided with a copy.

BS to DNP / Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner / Sample Plan of Study

Grand Total = 63 credits, 1008 practicum hours

BS to DNP / Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner / Sample Plan of Study

Grand Total = 66 credits, 1008 practicum hours

Post-MS to DNP / Sample Plan of Study

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