Post-Master's Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Purpose of the DNP Program

The purpose of the DNP program is to educate nurse practitioners who not only provide quality primary care to patients, but who assume leadership roles in the health care system, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to propose solutions to improve patient care and health care outcomes. This can be achieved by nurses who have strong patient care knowledge and skills obtained at the MS level, and also knowledge and skills in evaluation research, health policy, organizational leadership and financing, evidence-based practice and health care informatics. The DNP is expected to have a positive impact on the sustainability of the health care system by having advanced education in areas necessary to improve health care delivery using an evidence-based approach.

The curriculum in the Post-Masters DNP program will be 2 academic years full-time in length, adding 33 credits of post-masters education. Part-time study is available. In addition to classroom and on-line experiences, students will complete practica hours that are related to, but not limited to, completion of a scholarly project. A scholarly project is completed that includes an evidence-based intervention to improve practice or patient outcomes and an evaluation of the evidence-based intervention.

Program Objective:

The objective of the DNP program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is to prepare nurse leaders who propose, implement and evaluate positive evidence-based changes in health care. The graduate of the post-MS DNP program in Nursing will build on the foundation of nursing achieved by Master’s prepared nurse practitioners who are board certified clinicians.

Admission Criteria

Students admitted to the post-MS DNP program will hold a MS degree in nursing with preparation as a nurse practitioner. Certification as a nurse practitioner is also required.

Specific application requirements include:

  • Application to the DNP program submitted to the Graduate Admissions office
  • Resume
  • Prior official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Current RN/APRN liscensure in any state and eligibility for RN/APRN license in Massachusetts
  • National certification as an advanced practice nurse
  • Three letters of recommendation (1 academic recommendation preferred)
  • Interview with nursing faculty to assess fit of candidate's goals with program
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a Master’s degree program in Nursing
  • Written narrative of professional goals
  • TOEFL if appropriate

Priority application deadline is February 1. Admission is competitive. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on a space available basis.

Course of Study -- (33 credits)

Semester I

  • 32.512 Operations Analysis for Quality Improvement (3 cr.)
  • 33.770 Evidence Appraisal (3 cr.)
  • 33.707 Epidemiology of Health Promotion (3 cr.)

Total: 9 credits

Semester II

  • 33.717 Evaluation Research (3 cr.)
  • 32.506 Quantitative Methods in Health Management (3 cr.)
  • 33.774 Scholarly Project Design (3 cr.)*

Total: 9 credits

Semester III

  • 33.772 Scholarly Project and Practicum (3 cr.)*
  • 33.771 Advanced Nursing Leadership and Management (3 cr.)*
  • Elective in Informatics and Management or Nursing (3 cr.)

Total: 9 credits

Semester IV

  • 33.773 Evidence Dissemination, Advocacy & Policy (3 cr.)*
  • 32.607 Healthcare Information Systems (3 cr.)

Total: 6 credits

Elective (for Semester III)

Students may choose an elective 3-credit course from the following School of Nursing offerings:

  • 32.627 Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health
  • 32.514 Healthcare Management
  • 32.511 Healthcare Finance
  • 33.553 Geropsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • 33.554 Palliative and End of Life Nursing Care
  • 33.716 Qualitative Methods
  • 33.702 Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion
  • 33.706 Measurement in Health and Behavioral Research
  • 33.713 Curriculum and Teaching in Nursing
  • 33.602 Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • 33.703 Research in Nursing and Health Promotion
  • 33.709 Intervention Research in Health Promotion & Nursing
  • 33.701 Philosophy of Science

Other courses with approval of advisor

*Courses 33.770, 33.771, 33.772, 33.773 and 33.774 must be taken in sequence over 4 consecutive semesters

Above is the course sequence for full time course of study. A course sequence for part time study is also available.

Angela Nannini, FNP, Ph.D.