Twelve years ago, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) dedicated itself to providing yet another outstanding educational program, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The DNP is the highest degree available for a practicing clinical nurse. It was designed to prepare registered nurses to take their clinical expertise, leadership skills, and nursing career to the next level.
At FNU, the DNP curriculum provides education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement and systems leadership, building on the knowledge acquired during a student’s master’s studies. The DNP program prepares nurses to use their knowledge and clinical expertise to impact the health care of the individual, the community, and the nation.
FNU offers two paths to the DNP degree. One is a Post-Master’s DNP for those who are already certified as nurse-midwives or nurse practitioners and is 30 credit hours. Those who complete a Post-Graduate Certificate at FNU may continue into this program. The second path is for those who enroll in FNU’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and choose to continue working towards their DNP with a direct admissions option. Students moving from the MSN program to the Companion DNP may receive their DNP in 21 credit hours instead of the 30 required for the Post-Master’s DNP program.
We recently had the honor of sitting down with the current DNP program director, Dr. Jane Houston, who answered a few questions on what makes this program so exceptional.
Why do you think it is crucial for those with an MSN practicing as a certified nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner to consider getting their DNP?
With an FNU DNP degree, you will gain the knowledge and education to work within healthcare teams to effectively problem solve patient quality care issues. You will become more employable, and you will work more effectively within your specialty as a clinician leader. Considered the gold standard among nurse practitioner organizations, the DNP degree produces clinical leaders who can serve at the highest level of our professions.
What sets FNU’s DNP program apart from other DNP programs?
We are the ONLY nursing university program that has embedded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Quality Improvement process into our DNP program. See IHI.org. We have created a comprehensive doctoral plan of study with a tailored curriculum to meet the DNP Essentials, including didactic and clinical courses taught by expert faculty and supported by FNU staff. Review the DNP Essentials to examine how our program has threaded these throughout our plans of study.
What is the Quality Improvement Process that FNU’s DNP students follow, and how does it add value to their future work?
Check out IHI.org and the Digital Depot on the FNU Portal (an online repository that is searchable for all our previous students’ initiatives) to see Quality Improvement changes in action. During the program, you will meet individually with the expert DNP clinical faculty to plan your quality improvement initiatives in detail before you start your clinical project courses. Once you have completed the program, you will examine clinical issues with a new lens that will help you problem-solve in your healthcare setting, with your colleagues. You will become a nurse practitioner or midwifery leader in quality improvement.
How does the DNP help students make more significant impacts on the patients they are serving in their home communities?
Once you are enrolled, you will learn through the DNP didactic and clinical courses how the best clinical evidence can be translated into action through your quality improvement initiatives. You will start to analyze the clinical gaps in care in your home community and learn how to problem-solve and make improvements in patient care. Following that, you will have all the tools to be a more effective leader in your chosen profession.
Where can I find out more information on the admissions process for FNU students?
We have set up detailed web pages on the FNU website that will walk you through the application process step-by-step. These pages hold information on admissions, discussions regarding clinical projects, plans of study, and more; get started here. Or, apply for the DNP companion program here.
We hope you will consider our immersive DNP program as you seek to expand your nursing career. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, visit FNU’s DNP page and follow the blog to see some of the fantastic work by DNP graduates.