Frequently Asked Questions about DNP Program

 

 

 

What is a DNP degree?

DNP stands for Doctor of Nursing Practice. The Saint Anthony College of Nursing DNP program addresses the critical skills needed to translate evidence-based care into practice, to improve systems of care, and to measure outcomes of groups of patients, populations, and communities. The Saint Anthony College of Nursing DNP program has two points of entry, the post-master’s DNP and the BSN to DNP.

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What kind of jobs are out there for people with a DNP?

The DNP program at the Saint Anthony College of Nursing prepares you to be an interprofessional leader in a health setting. By providing care based on scientific knowledge, you will be able to improve safety, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity in patient-centered care.

After graduating from the DNP program, you may decide to take a leadership role in a variety of practice settings. Perhaps you will decide to apply your skills in administration or combine teaching with clinical practice.  If you are considering a career in academia/teaching, you will need to take additional courses in curriculum development and pedagogy.

 For those who love to teach, the Nurse Educator (NE) track prepares nurses to teach in academic, staff development, and patient teaching settings. The course is offered as an MSN or a post-Masters Certificate for Nurse Educators. Our Nurse Educator program offers didactic and practicum coursework in instructional strategies, curriculum theory and development, and testing and evaluation in nursing education.

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Should I get a DNP or a PhD?

When pursuing a nursing doctorate, should you choose the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, or opt for a PhD? Here are some things to consider.

The DNP degree is a practice doctorate. The PhD is a research doctorate. Graduates of PhD programs are prepared to conduct independent research and disseminate their findings, while DNP graduates use research to influence their practice. Scholarship is an integral part of both doctoral degrees.

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I have a master's degree in nursing with a specialty in nursing education. Am I eligible to apply for the DNP program?

Yes. However, applicants must be preparing for advanced nursing practice in either the direct care focus or the aggregate/systems/organizational focus.

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How many credit hours is the Post-masters DNP Program?

The number of credits for those with an earned master's degree in an advanced nursing practice specialty area is 36 to 42 credits, over 4-6 semesters.

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How long will it take me to complete the Post-masters DNP Program?

The post-masters DNP is a four to six semester program for a master's prepared student who progresses through the program following the recommended schedule.  The program is designed based on the candidate’s prior education, experience, and choice of specialization. However, it is anticipated that the post-master program will be a minimum of 12 months of full-time study.

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Can I start during the spring semester?

The DNP program admits post-master's applicants in the fall and spring semester.

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Will I be able to work while I am in school?

Yes. The matriculation plan plus the scholarly project, affords students the opportunity to work while they are in the program. There is flexibility in the curriculum to allow students to matriculate in a slower, part-time fashion to meet the personal demands of family, work and life obligations while meeting the program of study requirements. 

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How often do I have to come to the Saint Anthony College of Nursing campus?

Students will typically come to campus usually twice each month, with remainder of didactic course work held on line. On campus is where they will attend sessions involving faculty and peer interaction to meet program objectives. 

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How much of time should I expect to devote to the DNP program?

A DNP student who is following the recommended curriculum should expect to spend an average of 28 hours a week on class preparation, participation, and assignments.

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Are there scholarships or financial aid?

We encourage you to contact the Saint Anthony College of Nursing School of Nursing Financial Aid Department to discuss financial aid opportunities.

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Will I have an academic advisor to assist me with my program of study?

The Coordinator of the DNP program will serve as your initial academic advisor and your first line of contact for issues or concerns regarding your program of study. During the DNP intensive, you will be assigned a new academic advisor with expertise most beneficial for your scholarly project idea.

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What is the scholarly project?

In order to achieve the DNP competencies, a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program is required. Supervised clinical practice hours from previous MSN programs of study can be included in these required practice hours. Practice experiences are designed to help students achieve specific learning objectives related to the DNP Essentials and specialty competencies. These experiences are designed to provide systematic opportunities for feedback and reflection. 

The DNP program is designed to include four DNP Project practicum courses that guide the scholarly project development. The practicum is designed to ensure a minimum of 500 practice hours over four semesters. These hours may or may not include direct clinical practice hours, depending on the nature of the scholarly practicum project.

The scholarly project is a minimum of four semesters in length, designed to address a practice issue affecting groups of patients, health care organizations, or health care systems. Students work with clinics, inpatient units, hospitals, or health care systems to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate an initiative jointly agreed upon by the practice setting, the students, and the student's advisory committee. Standard Institutional Review Board (IRB) processes and training are required as part of the scholarly project process.

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Where would I complete my scholarly project?

The scholarly project can be done at Saint Anthony Medical Center through the College of Nursing or at your place of employment. Experiences include in-depth work with experts from nursing as well as other disciplines and provide opportunities for meaningful student engagement within practice environments or through interdisciplinary collaboration.  Final decisions regarding your scholarly project are subject to approval by the scholarly project committee and the IRB.

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I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Am I eligible for the DNP program?

Yes, you may apply to the program. When you apply, you will need to declare your advanced practice specialty area. Currently you may choose between the Adult Gerontology Primary Care or Family Nurse Practitioner  or Clinical Nurse Specialist Concentrations. 

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How many credit hours is the BSN to DNP program?

The BSN to DNP curriculum is a 77 semester-hour curriculum that prepares nurses for entry into advanced practice. The curriculum is designed for students who have earned a bachelor's (or higher) degree, and who now wish to pursue a DNP with an advanced nursing practice specialty focus of either Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP), Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS) or a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). The AG-PCN, AG CNS, and the FNP program of study require 77 semester hours inclusive of 1000 clinical practice hours.

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How long will it take me to complete the DNP program?

Most of our students are currently matriculating through our program in a part-time status. The post-master’s DNP can be completed in four or six semesters for full-time or part-time programs of study, respectively. The BSN to DNP option can be competed in 8 semesters or 15 semesters for full-time or part-time programs of study, respectively. It is generally expected that a post-baccalaureate program would be 36 months of full-time study including summers or 4 years based on a traditional academic calendar.  

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When is the application deadline for the DNP Program?

We admit twice per year, in the fall and spring semester.  All application materials including all transcripts, references and official test scores will be received by Saint Anthony Graduate School of Nursing on a rolling basis, to be considered for the next admission cycle.

You may request to keep your application active for the next admission cycle at no additional charge by notifying the graduate school administration office so that your application may be considered during the next year’s admission cycle. You will be responsible to keep the graduate school apprised of your address and phone number during this time.

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Once I have applied for the DNP program, how soon can I expect an admission decision?

All completed applications are reviewed by the DNP faculty admissions committee shortly after receipt. All applicant packets are discussed among the faculty until consensus has been attained for admission decisions.  Applicants will receive an invitation for an interview. After the interviews, those selected for admission will receive an invitation for admission.

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Who can I call or contact regarding my admission decision?

Awaiting admissions decisions can be anxiety-provoking.  Admission decision letters will be sent as soon as the competitive admission process is complete.

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How do I revise my program of study?

Contact your academic advisor for any requested revision to your program of study.

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What happens if I don’t like my clinical placement?

Securing an appropriate clinical placement is a highly competitive process. While we make every effort to arrange student preference in clinical placement, the priority is to place students in sites where course objectives and certification requirements are met. Professional communication and behavior is expected in all situations. Students are expected to adjust their schedules to meet the scheduling needs of the preceptor and/or clinical site. If a student has a concern with their clinical placement, s/he should contact their faculty of record for their clinical course to discuss their concerns.

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What are the requirements for clinical preceptors?

Accrediting agencies acknowledge the value in interdisciplinary clinical education. Clinical preceptors must have a minimum of 1 year’s clinical experience as a NP, CNS, CNM, or Physician.

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I have heard that the AGNP and FNP concentrations are transitioning from the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level. Will I still be able to complete the AGNP or FNP concentration at the MSN level?

SACN admits students at this time to the traditional MSN program in the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist and family nurse practitioner concentrations. The first post-BSN to DNP cohort in the AG-PC NP, AG CNS, and FNP foci began in the fall of 2014.

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