Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Curriculum and Concentrations
BSN to DNP
The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is to prepare graduates in two general categories: 1) advanced practice nurse roles and 2) roles that specialize in aggregate, systems, or organizational level practice. The DNP program consists of two pathways: BSN to DNP or Post-Masters to DNP. Graduates of the DNP program are able to translate research, promote evidence based practice, and develop systems of care based on research utilization. The program emphasizes critical thinking, careful assessment of current practices, and decision-making based on evaluation of the best available research. Additionally, the DNP program serves to meet the growing need for insightful, visionary leaders and educators in the specialty.
The post-master’s DNP (PM-DNP) curriculum requires a minimum of 36 credits beyond the master’s degree. The DNP curriculum provides certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse practitioners, certified clinical nurse specialists, nurse administrators, and public and community health nurses with education beyond that required for entry into practice to meet the need for safe, quality patient care in an increasingly complex health care environment. The post-master’s DNP curriculum has two pathways (1) PM-DNP in same role and population as master’s degree and current certification and (2) PM-DNP to add a new APRN role or population to current certification. Required practicum hours are individualized based on the number of hours completed in the master’s program. All students must complete a minimum requirement of 180 practicum hours (3 credit hours). Completion of the series of advanced nursing practicum courses will provide the student with a minimum of 1000 hours of post-baccalaureate academic practice experience. Students may enroll in a full time or part-time program of study. Full time students will complete the program in four (4) semesters; part-time students will complete the program in seven (7) semesters. The maximum time to complete the program is eight (8) years. Each nursing role and population builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the Master’s degree and emphasize the utilization of theoretical formulations as a basis of nursing practice.
Upon completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, the graduate will be able to achieve the following outcomes:
- Initiate, facilitate and participate in professional, collegial and collaborative efforts.
- Identify healthcare needs and interventions for individuals, families and populations.
- Design, implement, manage and evaluate organizational systems to address complex healthcare delivery needs and problems.
- Provide educational, clinical, and administrative leadership at the local/state/national levels.
- Meet the challenges and needs of an increasingly complex health care delivery system as it relates to healthcare policy, standards of care and practice guidelines for advanced nursing practice.
- Integrate high ethical, legal and professional standards into: a) decision making in clinical practice; b) application of research; and c) use of technology and information systems.
- Design, monitor and evaluate clinical systems, processes, policies and procedures.
- Generate a caring, collegial, collaborative nursing practice environment.
- Analyze social, economic, political and policy components affecting healthcare planning and delivery.
- Synthesize and integrate divergent viewpoints for the purpose of providing culturally competent healthcare.
- Translate, evaluate and apply research for evidence-based practice.
- Integrate knowledge from theories of nursing as well as natural and social sciences into clinical practice.
- Official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university documenting the award of a BSN or BSN equivalent.*All previous undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be submitted. The nursing degree must be earned from an accredited nursing program.
- A grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate and graduate course work reflected on transcripts.
- Official scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of 300 (or higher) when combining the verbal and quantitative scores on the 130-170 score scale are required within the last five (5) years. Writing score must be a 3.0 or higher.
- A minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 79 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for all applicants who have English as a second language or who are not graduates of programs in the United States.
- Three references in support of graduate admission application as specified by the program.
- Clinical nursing experience as specified by the concentration. Refer to the program web page for the current requirements.
- A current unencumbered license to practice nursing in any state with eligibility for licensure in Louisiana
- Successful completion of the interview process.
*BSN equivalent does not meet admission requirement without conferral of a Master’s degree
Refer to the webpage for additional requirements.
Types of Admission
Unconditional Admission: granted to applicants meeting all requirements for admission.
Probationary Admission: granted to applicants not meeting all admission criteria; the applicant shows promise for success based on the applicant’s merits.
Provisional Admission: granted to applicants unable to submit the required credentials by the deadline. Students granted provisional admission must submit credentials within 30 days of the first day of class.
Non-Degree Status: granted to applicants interested in enrolling in graduate courses but have not been admitted into a program of study. Non-degree seeking students are not allowed to enroll in more than 6 hours. Admission under this status is selective; may be limited depending on program resources; and is granted by the Dean.
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy
The purpose of obtaining the background check and urine drug screen is to protect the public. Students are responsible for the background check and urine drug screen fees. Background checks and urine drug screens are ordered through CastleBranch.
Additional types of background screening and urine drug tests may also be required depending upon the policies of the clinical agencies where students are assigned to provide patient care. The purpose of obtaining the background check and urine drug screen is to protect the public. Students are responsible for the background check and urine drug screen fees.
The School of Nursing conducts random drug screenings. Students are responsible for any/all random drug screening fees.
Students must comply with the general Health Sciences Center provisions governing registration as specified in the general information section of this publication. Continuous registration for each academic semester is required to maintain student status in the graduate nursing program of study.
Full Time Study
The minimum requirements for full time enrollment in graduate study is nine semester hours during a regular academic semester and six semester hours during a summer session. Permission to register for more than fifteen credit hours in any one semester may be granted by the Associate Dean or the Dean upon the recommendation of the student’s faculty advisor.
A limited number of scholarships/traineeships may be available to graduate students registered for full time study. For information regarding stipend assistance, contact the Associate Dean for Nursing Research, Scholarship, and Science.
Registration for Degree Candidates
Candidates for degrees are required to register for graduate study during the semester they have been confirmed to receive a degree.
Residency or Foreign Language Requirements
There are no residency or foreign language requirements for the doctoral program of study.
Student Responsibility for Degree Requirements
In matters concerning courses and curricula, the School of Nursing prescribes certain standards, which are enforced. These may be regarded as minimum requirements.
- Graduate students are responsible for acquainting themselves with the general regulations and specific requirements, which are applicable to their particular program of study. All students are required to meet with their academic advisors each semester for approval of the semester course plan prior to registration.
Graduate Grading System
The graduate degree program of study employs a letter grade and quality point system where A = 4 quality points, indicates superior work, and is equivalent to 90 - 100 numerical points. A grade of B = 3 quality points, indicates satisfactory work, and is equivalent to 80-89 numerical points. A grade of C is below expected academic performance, yields 2 quality points, and the numerical equivalent is 70-79. A grade of D = 1 quality point is an unsatisfactory grade and represents 60 - 69 numerical points. The grade of F carries no quality points, is an unsatisfactory grade, and numerically represents a score of 59 or less.
There are three interim grades used in the graduate degree program of study. These are “I, “S,” and “U.” The “I” grade indicates satisfactory performance by the student who, due to unavoidable circumstances, cannot complete course requirements before the close of the semester. The student may obtain permission for the “I” grade by petitioning the course coordinator, and the Associate Dean or the Dean of the School for extended time to complete the required work. A grade of “I” will be converted to an “F” unless it is removed prior to the deadline for adding courses for the next semester as published in the calendar. If removal of the “I” is not finished in a timely manner and reported to the Office of Student Affairs, the “I” grade will automatically be converted to the grade of “F.” The student should refer to the academic calendar for dates of deadlines for removal of incomplete grades.
The grade of “S” is awarded for satisfactory work in thesis and dissertation courses. Upon completion of all requirements, the “S” is converted to “P” for the thesis or dissertation. A grade of “U” is awarded for unsatisfactory thesis or dissertation work. Students who earn a “U” have two semesters (one calendar year) to complete the thesis or dissertation.
“W” is the grade issued to all students who enroll and subsequently withdraw from a course after attending up to 20 percent of actual class time. A grade of F is awarded to any student who attends 80 percent or more of actual class time and who withdraws before completion of the course.
Transfer of Credit
Graduate students may petition to transfer credits from other accredited universities for application to LSUHSC degree programs. The maximum transfer allowed is fifteen semester hours when studying at the doctoral level. Graduate course work may be transferred provided each course:
- Fulfills the requirements specified in the student’s graduate degree plan.
- Achieved a grade of “B” or better in course(s).
- Was not counted toward another degree or taken through correspondence courses.
- Was completed within the eight-year time limit for the degree*.
- Transfer credit for each course may be requested and applied to a graduate degree only one time.
Students will not receive credit for any course taken outside LSUHSC when it is offered the same semester at LSU Health New Orleans or the LSU System. Petitions must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor or major professor and the Admission, Progression and Graduation (AP&G) Committee.
*In the graduate programs, the 3 P courses must be recent, no older than 5 years.
No courses may be transferred for credit in the last thirty (30) hours of the curriculum.
Time Limit for Degree
DNP students must complete all requirements for the degree within 8 years from program admission.
Academic Progression Graduate Programs
Eligibility to continue registration in the graduate degree programs of study is dependent upon satisfactory removal of all provisional or probationary conditions imposed at admission, achievement of a “B” or better for each nursing course completed, and maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average for all course work completed while enrolled in the graduate program of study.
A grade below B in a graduate course in nursing is considered unsatisfactory performance. The student will be permitted to continue in graduate study until the course is repeated at the next time it is offered and a grade of B or better has been achieved, provided that a 3.0 GPA and good academic standing is maintained. A course may be repeated once with the approval of the faculty advisor or course instructor.
Nurse anesthesia students are not allowed to progress in the program if a grade below B is earned in any course. Refer to the Nurse Anesthesia Student Handbook for information on academic failure.
The DNP Project is a scholarly project that is a culminating experience for the DNP program, representing the student’s ability to formulate a project and implement it from start to finish using a combination of conceptual, technical, and applied knowledge. The project is intended to demonstrate integration and synthesis of concepts and experiences learned throughout the program. Every student in the DNP program will complete a faculty-guided DNP Project.
Limitation on Faculty Seeking Graduate Degrees through SON
Faculty of the School of Nursing holding the rank of Assistant Professor or higher may not earn a graduate degree in nursing at the LSUHNO School of Nursing. Faculty holding the rank of Instructor may register for a maximum of six semester hours per semester in the graduate program.
Students must meet the following program degree requirements:
- Fulfillment of all clinical practice hours as specified by the curriculum.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on all course work, with no grade lower than a “B”.
- Completion and satisfactory defense of a DNP Project directed by the DNP Project Team.
- Recommendation of the Faculty, and approval by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee
- Attendance at rehearsal, pre-commencement and commencement unless specifically excused by the Dean.
- Verification that all materials belonging to the Health Sciences Center and cooperating agencies have been returned through the proper procedures. All indebtedness to the University must be satisfied before a diploma may be issued. These materials would include but not limited to, items such as library books, equipment, keys, furniture or any outstanding, unpaid balances due.
- Completion of end of course evaluations, exit survey, and all components of compliance training.
- Meet all the requirements of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the School of Nursing.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG ACNP) Concentration
This program prepares an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to care for adult patients with complex acute, chronic, and critical conditions. The AG ACNP is educated to provide comprehensive care (acute and chronic) in a variety of settings - including clinics, physicians’ offices and hospitals. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Examination sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the ACNPC-AG Examination sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS) Concentration
This program prepares an Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in advanced assessments and provide care to the entire adult to older adult age group and across the continuum of care from wellness to acute care. In addition, this graduate will have knowledge regarding transitions between care settings and clinical experiences in a variety of settings. Students will provide patient-centered, evidence-based care and design innovations to improve patient outcomes and quality of care. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take an Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification Examination sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG PCNP) Concentration
This program prepares an AG PCNP at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in advanced assessments and provide care to the entire adult to older adult age group and across the continuum of care from wellness to acute care. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Examination sponsored by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Board (AANPBC) or the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Executive Nurse Leader (ENL) Concentration
The program prepares the Executive Nurse Leader at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in advanced leadership in nursing practice and health care delivery. The student will also gain knowledge about human resource management, finances and healthcare economics, quality and patient safety, emergency preparedness, and healthcare law and risk management.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) Concentration
This program prepares the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in population-focused health care for preterm and term neonates, infants and children up to 2 years of age. Graduates of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program are academically qualified to meet eligibility requirements to take the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam sponsored by National Certification Corporation (NCC).
Nurse Anesthesia Concentration
This program prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in Nurse Anesthesia and provide anesthesia care to patients in medically underserved areas. Students are educated to integrate research and evidence-based practice into their anesthesia practice. Graduates of this accredited program meet the academic and clinical requirements to complete the National Certification Exam by the National Board for Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner (PCFNP) Concentration
This program prepares a generalist registered nurse at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in advanced practice nursing care across the lifespan in community-based settings. In addition, the graduate of the PCFNP program will have knowledge regarding advanced health assessment, differential diagnoses, disease state management as well as disease prevention and health promotion across the lifespan. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take the Family Nurse Practitioner Examination sponsored by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPBC) or the Family Nurse Practitioner Examination sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration
This program prepares the PMHNP graduate for evidence-based psychiatric mental health nursing practice with culturally diverse populations across the lifespan in a variety of mental health care settings. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan Certification) sponsored by the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Public/Community Health Nursing Concentration
This program prepares a Public/Community Health nurse at the graduate level who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in advanced individual and community assessments, program planning, development, implementation and evaluation. In addition, this graduate will have knowledge regarding environmental health nursing, disaster nursing, and public health law.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care (PNP-AC) Concentration
This program prepares the PNP-AC at the graduate level to care for children with complex chronic, acute, and critical illnesses across the entire pediatric age spectrum (from birth to adulthood). The PNP-AC student is immersed into a variety of clinical experiences and settings designed to develop competency in the complex management of pediatric patients who may be physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, or are highly vulnerable to complications in an effort to restore/maximize optimal health or provide palliative care. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care Examination sponsored by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care (PNP-PC) Concentration
This program prepares the PNP-PC at the graduate level to care for children from birth to adulthood with in-depth knowledge of primary health care. The PNP-PC student is immersed into primary care and community health settings designed to develop competency in the prevention and management of common acute and chronic pediatric illnesses all in an effort to support optimal health of children within the context of their families and community. Graduates of this program are academically qualified to meet the eligibility requirements to take the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care Examination sponsored by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
The post-masters Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum provides certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse practitioner, and certified clinical nurse specialist, nursing administration, and advanced public/community health nursing with education beyond that required for entry into practice to meet the need for safe, quality patient care in an increasingly complex health care environment. The program emphasizes critical thinking, careful assessment of current practices, and decision-making based on evaluation of the best available research.
Required clinical practicum hours are individualized based on the number of hours completed in the master’s program. All students must complete a minimum requirement of 180 clinical hours (3 credits). Completion of the series of advanced nursing practicum courses will provide the student with a minimum of 1000 hours of post-baccalaureate academic practice experience.
Total: 36-51 Credits
Dual BSN-DNP Concentrations
Dual concentrations combine two roles and/or population-focused concentrations. Students will complete the education and training required for both concentrations and, upon successful completion of the program, can qualify to take both respective national board certification examinations. Didactic and clinical credit hours vary per plan of study to ensure respective competencies are achieved.
Students must meet admission criteria for both concentrations before applying for dual concentration plans of study.
AGACNP and AGCNS Dual Concentration
AGACNP and PCFNP Dual Concentration
AGACNP and PNP-AC Dual Concentration
PCFNP and PMHNP Dual Concentration
PNP-AC and PNP-PC Dual Concentration