Can I work during the program? Yes. The DNP program, like any doctoral program, is intensive—even at part-time. WSUs DNP program is designed for working individuals.
How does a DNP degree differ from a Ph.D. degree? The DNP is a practice doctorate that focuses on nursing competencies and improves health outcomes through advocacy, management, and the application of research-based evidence into practice. The Ph.D. is a research-focused degree that generates new science/knowledge and focuses heavily on scientific content and research methodology.
Do I need a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) to apply? No. A great thing about WSUs DNP-Leadership program is that registered nurses who have earned a BSN and possess a masters in health administration (MHA), public health (MPH), and business administration (MBA) are welcome into the DNP program. Additionally, this program supports mastered-prepared APRNs (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives) to earn their DNP.
What are “practice hours”? The AACN defines the curricular elements that must be present in DNP programs. These are called the DNP Essentials. It is through the DNP Essentials that AACN states graduates must have a minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate practice hours that allow students to understand, perform, and refine professional competencies at the DNP level. Practice hours refers to any experience that affects health care outcomes. The practice hours are above and beyond the coursework.
What is a DNP Project? The DNP Project is a scholarly project that integrates the AACN DNP Essentials into practice. DNP students focus on planning, implementing, and evaluating a change that impacts healthcare outcomes either through direct or indirect care at systems level or population level. DNP students are guided through this process almost immediately after starting through the program. In addition, professional writing is critical in communicating your DNP Project (and practice).
What is the structure of the program? WSU offers two entries into the DNP program—the Post BSN to DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner and the Post Masters to DNP – Leadership. The Post Masters is a six (6) semester part-time program. The first five (5) semesters include coursework and the sixth semester is for individuals who may need more time to attain their practice hours. During all the semesters, the student will work to achieve the practice hours.