Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Post-Master’s

Program Description

The La Salle Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is in response to the call for health care improvement and innovation. This post-Master's program is designed in accord with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Position Statement on Doctoral Education and The DNP Essentials.

The program is a practice-focused doctorate with a strong clinical component designed for all health care environments providing opportunities for expert knowledge and skill development through completion of clinical hours and a clinical capstone project. The program delivered online includes three separate immersion experiences.

Students may enroll in the program on a part-time (three credits/semester) or full-time (six credits/semester) basis. Required clinical hours vary depending on the student's entry level attainments; 1,000 hours of supervised post-baccalaureate clinical practice in an academic program is required. The La Salle curricular plans are individualized and include 500 clinical hours in the program of study. Advanced Practice Nurses (CNS, CRNA, NP, and Nurse Midwives), as well as other Master's prepared nurses with a BSN may apply.

Patricia Dillon, PhD, RN
Chair Graduate Nursing and RN to BSN Programs

If you have any questions regarding the Doctor of Nursing program, please contant


The philosophy of the DNP program is connected to the belief that the practice doctorate enriches advanced nursing practice by strengthening and expanding students’ knowledge and skills. The program prepares students for careers as expert nurse clinicians and leaders who develop, implement, and evaluate programs of care and transform health care systems by using evidence-based innovations and technologies and facilitating interdisciplinary processes. The program develops graduates that have met established competencies of specialty organizations and are responsive to the changing health care needs of national and international populations and diverse patients and groups.

Program Goals

  • Educate professional nurses to translate evidence for interprofessional practice in advanced nursing roles across community and health care settings.
  • Meet the health needs of diverse individuals, families, groups, communities and populations through curricular and service activity.
  • Support faculty and student scholarly activity that informs quality and safety in healthcare systems.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of program the student will be able to do the following:

  • Apply theoretical and research-based knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to plan and implement safe, quality health care for vulnerable individuals and groups in an APRN or advanced nursing practice (APN) role.
  • Facilitate inter-professional collaboration to provide patient-centered, quality, ethical and safe healthcare.
  • Analyze the impact of evidence based healthcare interventions on patient outcomes.
  • Evaluate health promotion and disease prevention efforts and outcomes to achieve quality healthcare
  • Analyze the influence of public policy decisions on the health promotion, disease prevention, and health restoration services provided to diverse populations.
  • Enhance clinical judgment and decision-making abilities to address health promotion/disease prevention efforts for individuals, aggregates, or populations. 
  • Utilize advanced communication and leadership skills to lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
  • Promote culturally congruent and comprehensive healthcare services to all. 
  • Analyze healthcare information systems/technologies to improve healthcare outcomes.  
  • Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for ongoing professional development. 

Program Specific Information

The DNP program at La Salle University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

To view the student handbook, please link here:


Academic Requirements

The DNP Program consists of 34 credit hours beyond the master’s degree.

The program may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on course availability. Students consult with the DNP Program Director for individualized curriculum planning.

Students may be required to enroll in NUR 881 (Capstone Project Seminar), NUR 883 (Clinical Capstone Residency Seminar), or NUR 887 (Clinical Practicum). These courses are optional for degree completion if needed and earn one credit each.



The DNP program requires:

The overall clinical practice hours for the DNP degree are a minimum of 1,000 hours post-BSN. Students admitted to the Post-Master's DNP will have 500 practice hours satisfied by the La Salle Post-Master's Curriculum.

Clinical practice hours for DNP students with less than 500 master’s-level clinical hours will be individually evaluated based on their own transcripts. Additional clinical hours can be completed in the Program and may occur in the student's place of employment, or at health care organization sites in the state which the nurse is licensed. The practice component is conducted with the assistance of professional mentors or supervisors who practice in the community where the clinical is conducted. Goals and objectives of the practice experience are negotiated with the student's faculty.

Scholarly Project Requirement

The DNP Scholarly Project (DNP-SP) is a scholarly experience using principles of evidence-based practice and research translation that is designed to provide students with a guided opportunity to address a meaningful practice concern relevant to nursing and meaningful to healthcare systems, processes, and/or outcomes.

Working closely with faculty members, students identify an issue or question within nursing practice that is of clinical interest and conduct a scholarly review and synthesis of the related literature. Students develop a project around this issue or question, implement and evaluate this project and disseminate findings and recommendations.

The DNP-SP end-product will be a tangible practice-related deliverable. This scholarly project will be reviewed and evaluated by an academic committee. The SP should be a synthesis of the student’s work and lay the groundwork for future scholarly endeavors, including a published manuscript.

Course Sequence


(3 credits per course)

  • NUR 702 - Theoretical Foundations of Doctoral Nursing Practice
  • NUR 703 - Professional Ethics
  • NUR 609 - Health-Care Economics

Advanced Core

(3 credits per course)

  • NUR 695 - Public Policy Initiatives: Local to Global
  • NUR 637 - Epidemiology
  • NUR 704 - Statistics and Biostatistics


(3 credits per course unless otherwise noted)

  • NUR 705 - Patient Safety and Health-Care Outcomes
  • NUR 750 - Translating Evidence into Practice
  • NUR 751 - Clinical Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration
  • NUR 880 - Clinical Capstone Project
  • NUR 882 - Clinical Capstone Residency (4 credits)


(1-2 credits per course)

  • NUR 881 - Capstone Project Seminar (Pass/Fail)
  • NUR 883 - Clinical Capstone Residency Seminar (Pass/Fail)
  • NUR 887 - Clinical Practicum (Pass/Fail)


Degree or Certificate Earned


Number of Courses Required for Program Completion


Number of Credits Required for Program Completion

34-37 credits

GPA Required for Program Completion


Program Contact Information


Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP)


Benilde 4013

Staff Contact Information

Irene Pontarelli

Administrative Assistant



Associate Professor BICKNELL, ED.D., MSN


 Professor  and Chair Graduate Programs DILLON, PH.D., R.N


Associate Professor FRIZZELL, PH.D., CRNP, ANP-BC, RN


Assistant Professor HOERST, PH.D., RN


Assistant Professor PIPER, ED.D., MSN, RN


Assistant Professor URIBE, PH.D., R.N.



Assistant Professor WILBY, PH.D., MSN, CRNP, ANP-BC, R.N.,

Professor and Dean Emerita WOLF, PH.D., R.N., FAAN


Course Descriptions

NUR 609 - Health Care Economics

This course examines general economic themes and applies them to health and health care systems. The notion of health care as a public good is discussed. Students analyze the impact of consumer demand for services, the aging population, and chronic illness on health care economics. The United States health care system and the reimbursement of health care services are investigated and compared with systems in other countries.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Online

NUR 637 - Epidemiology and Population Health

This course introduces methods of analysis, concepts and nursing strategies related to improving individual, aggregate and population health. Epidemiological concepts are examined with emphasis on determinants of health, disease distribution, environmental influences, cultural diversity, health promotion, clinical prevention and disaster preparedness. Epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental data and statistical measures are used to integrate, analyze and evaluate nursing science practice and outcomes within the dimensions of population health.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Online

NUR 695 - Public Policy Initiatives: Local to Global

This course examines social policy, power, and political behaviors directed at changing health care and community systems to benefit populations. The contributions of researchers, policy-makers, analysts, health care providers, and federal, state, and local governments to local, regional, national and global policies are explored. Social, human development and environmental problems are examined in relation to local and broader public policies.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Summer

How Offered: Online

NUR 702 - Theoretical Foundations of Doctoral Nursing Practice

This course introduces methods of inquiry and analysis as a guide to examining the development of a topic of interest. Concept analysis, theory-guided research, role development, information and clinical practice technologies and historical context are topics to be explored. Nursing interventions and nursing research are systematically critiqued to inform advanced nursing practice. Students initiate a portfolio using self-evaluation with exemplars to demonstrate progress toward meeting doctoral level competencies.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Online

NUR 703 - Professional Ethics

This course is designed to provide a foundation in ethics as it applies to the health professions. Moral development theories, ethical approaches, principles, and professional codes of ethics are critically examined with a focus on their application to practice and ethical decision-making processes used in health care. The course will draw on students’ clinical experiences and use a case study approach to promote moral reflection and personal values clarification. The demand for moral agency and ethical leadership, given a profession’s responsibilities to society, is studied. The course highlights the ethical competence needed by health care professionals, individually and collectively, to respond to contemporary and emerging ethical challenges in our pluralistic society.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Online

NUR 704 - Statistics and Biostatistics


This course provides an overview of commonly used statistical methods employed in evidence-based nursing practice and interprofessional health care practices. The use of data is emphasized as it is influential in making decisions to treat, in developing policies within acute and chronic health care delivery organizations and systems, and in evaluating health care quality, processes, and outcomes. Students critique data analyses presented in selected published research studies across health disciplines. Experience is attained in data entry and data analysis using IBM®-SPSS Statistics. 

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Online

NUR 705 - Patient Safety and Health Care Outcomes

60 clinical hours; 30 hours didactic

Students analyze patient safety strategies and programs associated with improved patient care outcomes in various community and health care agency settings. Students explore health care errors and the impact of errors on patient, family, and health care delivery systems. Techniques of process improvement are applied to outcomes management.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Online

NUR 750 - Translating Evidence Into Practice

60 clinical hours; 30 didactic hours

In this course, students build on their knowledge of nursing theory, research design, and approaches to data analysis. They evaluate nursing and other disciplines’ research based on a critical evaluation of the literature. Students identify an issue from a declared practice focus for a scholarly project that is outcomes-focused. Meta-synthesis, meta-analysis, systematic and integrative reviews, and synopses are compared as sources of evidence for clinical decision making. Patient-centered care is emphasized from the perspectives of patient preference and best practices. Guidelines from federal, professional, and voluntary health organizations are investigated. Students increase their skills in database searching.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Online

NUR 751 - Clinical Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration

60 clinical hours; 30 didactic hours

In this course, students analyze the interplay of organizational culture and structures in complex health-care systems from various theoretical perspectives. Management, organization, team-building, and conflict resolution topics are investigated; and leadership theories are compared. Case studies demonstrating effective and ineffective clinical leadership are scrutinized related to their impact on the care-delivery process. Historical and emerging relationships among health-care professionals are examined along with quality improvement strategies aimed at changing organizational cultures and processes.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Online

NUR 880 - Clinical DNP Scholarly Project

135 clinical hours; 15 didactic hours

Students develop a scholarly project and explore practice issues that influence project success. They investigate associated literature and confer with clinical practice leaders to refine the outcomes-focused project. The scholarly project proposal is shaped by needs assessment data, literature review, and program evaluation strategies. Students critique and disseminate their approved scholarly project. The role of the DNP graduate as a clinical leader in health care and community systems is addressed as it relates to the evaluation and dissemination of the scholarly project.

Clinical activity: Students design a clinical capstone project informed by the work completed in the previous courses. Students synthesize previous assignments and develop a capstone project proposal that is shaped by needs assessment data, literature review, and program evaluation strategies. Students consult with experts from the clinical field and work closely with a faculty adviser/project chair.

Number of Credits: 3

NUR 881 - DNP Scholarly Project Seminar

(Pass/Fail) (Additional course) **

This course is a continuation course to NUR 880. It is designed to provide opportunities for students requiring additional supports necessary for completing the written scholarly project proposal. Students enroll in this seminar course on a continual basis until the conclusion of the written scholarly project proposal and advisor affirmation of proposal completion. Students utilize available university supports including the Sheeky Writing Center and proposal committee members’ expertise. Students must be actively enrolled in order to avail themselves of university resources. The course is available during fall and spring semesters. Summer availability is contingent upon DNP Program Director approval. (**optional)

Number of Credits: 1

How Offered: Online

NUR 882 - Clinical DNP Residency

185 clinical hours; 19 hours didactic/meeting hours

Students participate in an individually designed clinical practice immersion experience designed to build knowledge and skill for advanced specialty practice at a high level of complexity. The immersion experience provides the practice context in which the clinical scholarly project is completed. Students complete required scholarly project coursework and obtain approval from their project committee. They implement an evidence-based scholarly project in a health-care or community agency. The required scholarly project end-product is a publishable manuscript.

Number of Credits: 4

How Offered: Online

NUR 883 - Clinical DNP Residency Seminar

(Pass/Fail) (Additional course) **

This course is a continuation course to NUR 881. This seminar offers students the opportunity to complete the clinical scholarly project and develop this project into a finalized form that is consistent with a journal manuscript and ready for defense. NUR 882 will be noted as “Incomplete” until the clinical scholarly project is finished. The course is available during fall and spring semesters. Summer availability is contingent upon DNP Program Director approval. Students will utilize university resources including library and writing center supports. (**optional)

Number of Credits: 1

How Offered: Online

NUR 887 - Clinical Practicum

The Nursing Clinical Practicum provides an opportunity for students to gain additional clinical experience related to the required clinical hours in the DNP program of study. Clinical goals are developed in conjunction with faculty advisors and advanced nursing interventions are developed, implemented, and evaluated in accord with the AACN DNP Essentials. Students explore topical areas relative to the development of their DNP Project.

Number of Credits: 1–2 (Pass/Fail)

How Offered: Online