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The post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused doctoral nursing degree designed for nurses seeking careers in advanced clinical nursing practice and nurse executive ranks. The purpose of this program is to prepare advanced practice nurses to translate academic research, promote evidence based practice, and develop systems of care based on research utilization. LSUHSC School of Nursing is the only school of nursing in Louisiana affiliated within an academic health sciences center which affords students unique opportunities for interprofessional education and research.
The purpose of the post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum is to provide certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, 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. Additionally, the proposed offering will serve to meet the growing need for insightful, visionary leaders and educators in the specialty.
Upon completion of the post-master’s 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.
Applicants should have earned a master’s degree in nursing or a master’s degree in another related field. A background in nursing or healthcare management is desirable. Specific admission requirements are listed as follows:
1. Completed DNP application packet
2. Official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university documenting the award of a BSN or BSN equivalent* and a Master’s degree in nursing**. All previous undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be submitted. All nursing course credit earned must be from a specialized nursing accredited program. *A BSN equivalent does not meet admission requirement without the conferral of a Master’s degree. **Students who have a Master’s degree in another field may be accommodated on an individual basis as prescribed by the respective Program Director.
3. A grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate and graduate course work reflected on transcript(s).
4. Official scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past five years.
5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All international students applying must take the TOEFL, and submit official scores to the Office of Admission. A written-based score of 550, computer-based score of 213, or Internet-based score of 79 is required for full admission. Applicants may retake the TOEFL exam.
6. One example of a published or unpublished scholarly paper written by the applicant and submitted with the application.
7. A current unencumbered RN license to practice nursing in any state with eligibility for licensure in Louisiana is required. All APRN students must possess a current unencumbered advanced practice license to practice advance practice nursing in any state with eligibility for licensure in LA.
8. APRN’s must present verification of certification.
9. American Heart Association (AHA) BLS/Healthcare Provider is required and must be submitted with the application.*CRNA’s - in addition to BLS/Healthcare Provider, must possess Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). A copy of certification must be submitted with the application. These certifications must be maintained throughout enrollment.
10. Submit three letters of recommendations. One recommendation must be from a peer and the other one from a supervisor.
11. A personal interview with the DNP admissions committee.
12. Submit a current Resume’
Residency or Foreign Language Requirements
There are no foreign language requirements for the doctor of nursing practice program of study.
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 LSUHSC or the LSU System. Petitions must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor or major professor and the Associate Dean for the perspective program or the Dean.
Time Limit for Degree
The School of Nursing requires that all work towards a post-master’s DNP degree be completed in not more than eight calendar years. A one-time, one year extension can be granted by the Dean and the LSUHSC Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs upon a written request from the doctoral student, and with the support of the Faculty Advisor. This one-time, one year extension can only be granted under extreme circumstances. Approval from Admission, Progression, & Graduation (A, P & G) committee is also required.
Academic Progression in DNP Program
Registration for any course must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor or major professor. Eligibility to progress in the doctoral program is dependent on satisfactory performance in all courses. This refers to:
- Passing all courses with a “B” or higher
- Maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0
Scholarly Inquiry Project
The Scholarly Inquiry Project is a culminating experience for the doctoral program, representing the student’s ability to formulate a project in a specific role and population and implement it from start to finish using a combination of conceptual, technical, and applied knowledge. The scholarly inquiry project is an evidence-based project completed by the DNP student over three semesters.
Requirements for Graduation Doctor of Nursing Practice
Students must meet the following graduation requirements:
- Satisfactory completion of the required (40-55) semester hours of course work 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 scholarly inquiry project.
- Completion and submission of a clinical scholarship portfolio at the completion of the series of advanced practicum courses.
- 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 Science Center and cooperating agencies have been returned through the proper procedures. These materials would include such items as library books, equipment, keys, furniture or related items.
- Satisfactory status concerning all financial obligations to the LSU System,
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