Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
On October 25, 2004, the members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) endorsed the
Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing which was brought forward by the Task Force on the
Practice Doctorate. AACN member institutions voted to move the current level of preparation necessary for
advanced nursing practice from the master’s degree to the doctorate level.
AACN’s position statement calls for educating Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) and other nurses seeking top
clinical roles in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. The changing demands of this nation’s complex
health care environment require the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure high
quality patient outcomes. The practice doctorate is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing
practice, and offers an alternative to research focused doctoral programs (i.e. PhD programs).
The Doctor of Nursing Practice at Bellarmine is available as a post-masters’ program or as a BSN-DNP. You
may select one of two DNP tracks: one designed for the advanced practice nurse, focused on the healthcare of
individuals, and one designed for those interested in leadership at the system and/or organizational level. Total
credit hours for the program range from 35 to 38 hours, depending on the track you select.
The curriculum consists of core courses, which all students take, and specialty-specific courses. Core content
includes topics such as research and evidence-based practice, quality improvement and patient safety, clinical
informatics, advanced statistics, health care economics and financing, and domestic and global health policy.
In addition, all students complete a practice immersion and residency experience which will culminate with
scholarly capstone project.
Areas of Focus
Advanced Nursing Practice: The Advanced
Nursing Practice Nursing (ANP) focus prepares ANPs
to function more effectively in the increasingly complex
health care system. Given the expansion of scientific
knowledge required for safe nursing practice and the
growing focus on the quality of patient care delivery
and outcomes, this track will provide students with
the specialized knowledge and skills needed by today’s
practitioner. Students in this track will use their existing
understanding of the practice context to document
practice trends, identify potential systemic changes, and
make improvements in the care of particular patient
populations in the systems within which they practice.
Executive Leadership Focus: The Executive
Leadership focus prepares students for advanced
specialty practice at the population, organizational,
and/or system level. Given the increasingly complex
health care environment, this track will provide students
with the specialized knowledge and skills needed by
today’s nursing leaders. Students in this track will use
their existing understanding of the practice leadership
context to identify aggregate health or system needs,
work with diverse stakeholders for inter- or intraorganizational
achievement of health-related goals, and
design patient-centered care delivery systems.
- Use epidemiologic and other scientific findings from nursing
and other clinical disciplines, as well as organizational,
political, and economic sciences, to develop practice initiatives
that will improve the quality of care delivery.
- Provide organizational and systems leadership to develop
care delivery models that are fiscally responsible and demonstrate
sensitivity to diverse organizational cultures and
- Engage in clinical scholarship to evaluate the effectiveness of
evidence-based efforts in the planning and practice of health
care program delivery to individuals and communities.
- Use healthcare informatics and technology to improve patient
safety and clinical outcomes.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals, consumers,
and other stakeholders to influence health policy and health
promotion/disease prevention endeavors at the local, state,
federal, and/or international levels that improve patient
and population health outcomes.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition: $805 per credit hour
Fees: $45 per course comprehensive fee
Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools (SACS)
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
404.679.4500 • fax: 404.679.4556
Dr. Sherill Cronin, RN-BC, Professor and Chair
Graduate Studies in Nursing
502.272.8149, 800.274.4723 x8149 or
Graduate Admission Officer
502.272.8364, 800.274.4723 x8364