Catalog

A number of societal, scientific, and professional developments have stimulated a major paradigm change in graduate education in nursing. The rapid expansion of knowledge underlying practice; increased complexity of patient care; national concerns about the quality of care and patient safety; shortages of nursing personnel; demands for a higher level of preparation for nurses to design and evaluate best practices; shortages of nursing faculty; and the increasing educational expectations for the preparation of other health professionals have led the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to establish the standard that by 2015 all advanced practice nursing specialty preparation should be at the doctoral level.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco has designed a vital, responsive Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program for the baccalaureate-prepared nurse and the nurse with a master's degree. The program of study for students with a bachelor's degree is 96 credits. The D.N.P. Completion Program for nurses who have already completed a Masters Degree takes into account previous academic coursework and clinical experiences and the required number of credits are adjusted accordingly. Course schedules are designed for both full- and part-time students and are responsive to the needs of the working nurse professional. Graduates of the program will meet the AACN outcome competencies and practice standards, including the completion of 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice, the successful passing of a comprehensive exam, and the completion of a D.N.P. evidence-based practice project.

The D.N.P. program at the University of San Francisco will prepare graduates for advanced nursing practice in "direct" (nurse practitioner) and "indirect" (healthcare systems leadership) roles. The program is designed to conform to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing standard that by 2015 all advanced practice nursing specialty preparation should be at the D.N.P. level (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/DNPPositionStatement.htm).

Upon completion of the D.N.P. program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences to develop and evaluate nursing practice and care delivery models
  • Develop and evaluate effective strategies for managing the ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, the health care organization, information technology, and research
  • Use analytic methods to design, implement, and evaluate best practice models for patient care and systems of care delivery
  • Effectively develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to advance nursing and health care
  • Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health policy
  • Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas
  • Effectively lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives
  • Advance the effective use of health care information systems to assure high quality health care outcomes
  • Employ effective communication and collaborative skills in the development and implementation of practice models, health policy, standards of care, and organizational issues
  • Analyze and synthesize epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, and cultural elements related to individual, aggregate, and population health
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health and illness parameters in complex situations, incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches in order to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based interventions
  • Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships and partnerships with patients and other professionals to facilitate optimal patient outcomes
  • Analyze the links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues in order to effectively educate individuals and colleagues
  • Satisfy the course and clinical requirements for specialty certification
  • Advance the mission and core values of the University of San Francisco

The B.S.N. to D.N.P. program is designed for registered nurses who hold baccalaureate degrees in nursing, with preparation as

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Healthcare Systems Leader
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Fall 2013)

The D.N.P. Completion program is designed for registered nurses who hold masters degrees with preparation a

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Healthcare Systems Leader
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Fall 2013)

The Executive Leadership D.N.P. program is designed for registered nurse currently working.