NOTICE: USU will begin accepting applications on April 1st for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for residents of California.
United States University is in the process of seeking program approval for Title IV funding for this program. While awaiting program approval, students may use other methods of payment such as Monthly Payment Plan, cash, scholarships, and outside private loans.
The DNP is not currently CCNE-accredited but plans to seek accreditation once the program has enrolled students for the CCNE prescribed period of time for new programs. The DNP program is approved by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
United States University’s post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is designed in accordance with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials to prepare nurses to practice at the most advanced scope of nursing practice. The DNP program offers students the opportunity to develop competencies needed for various roles in advanced practice, including those related to direct care, leadership, and policy. Knowledge acquisition is focused on the improvement of patient and population outcomes through the application of competency-based skills with a clinical, healthcare delivery focus. The curriculum supports the application of evidence-based practice and leadership that prepares nurses to facilitate the implementation of innovations based on knowledge from existing research to improve care delivery.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences has implemented instructional strategies to provide an interactive, engaging curriculum for our 100% online, hybrid curriculum. Courses will utilize real-time face-to-face instruction during scheduled residency, supplemented with face-to-face instruction via web conference, phone conference, and/or live chats with fellow students and faculty. The curriculum establishes opportunities for peer and interdisciplinary collaboration, practice immersion, and application of the DNP Essentials to live practice problems.
Practice Immersion Experience
The DNP Practice Immersion Experience allows students to apply knowledge and objectives from their curriculum, specialty, and the DNP Essentials to afford opportunities for practice environment engagement and assimilation of advanced practice knowledge. While immersion is offered at various points in the program, the USU Practice Immersion Experience is primarily achieved through activities associated with the DNP Project implementation and is completed at the end of the program to demonstrate the culmination of learning in accordance with AACN’s DNP Essentials and position statements.
All DNP students are required to complete a minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate Practice Immersion Hours. Students may transfer up to 500 hours in from their previous graduate coursework. Practice Immersion hours occur in relation to the DNP Project and take place in the real-world clinical setting. DNP students must meet the Office of Field Experience requirements defined in the Clinical Handbook at least 16 weeks prior to immersion course(s). It is the student’s responsibility to plan their schedule to accommodate immersion hours.
Students in the DNP program are required to complete two synchronous virtual residencies. The first residency will occur during their DNP 701 Introduction to the Advanced Practice DNP course, and the second residency in DNP 706. Residency is required for course and degree completion. Students will be engaging in live lectures and workshops aimed at supporting critical appraisal of evidence, practice immersion experiences, the doctoral dissemination process, and the DNP Project. Residency dates are provided to students during orientation and there is also a schedule posted in the classroom. Residency dates may differ for students that have any changes to their degree plan such as, but not limited to, transfer credit, drop, fail or withdraw from courses, taking leave from the University, or any change that may impact their program progress in any way. Students are encouraged to review the residency schedule and plan accordingly.
Admission requirements can be found HERE
This foundational doctoral course focuses on the essential skills of doctoral students in managing writing, articulation, and associated professionalism. Exploration and application of comprehensive and focused writing techniques pertaining to professional standards, statistical presentation, and audience-specific considerations are included. The course will offer an overview of appropriate communication, planning, and resourcefulness. Personal documentation, academic record-keeping, mindfulness, and self-evaluation will be emphasized and applied with the other strategies covered in this course toward the development of a personal doctoral learning strategy.
This introductory course focuses on the Doctor of Nursing Practice role orientation and immersion. Emphasis is placed on developing skills toward the application of theory and an understanding of scientific underpinnings of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) practice at the doctoral level. Students will establish an understanding of clinical need based on advocacy, population health, and health promotion as they build on their graduate-level understanding of key concepts. Translation of clinical need will be used to produce and operationalize a PICOT question designed to solve a practice problem. This course includes a synchronous virtual residency.
This course focuses on the scientific foundations for practice and its alignment with practice solutions. Synthesis of theory, science, ethics, and analytical information is applied toward the enhancement of practice and elevation of the level of nursing practice. Critical appraisal of the current body of knowledge will be aimed at building expert scientific knowledge in a specific facet of practice to support the foundation of the DNP Scholarly Project.
This course is focused on the development of the necessary skills to translate the best available evidence into practice within the healthcare system. Essential elements of nursing science and information technology including ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organized sciences will provide the foundation to critically appraise scholarly evidence within a practice setting, healthcare system, or community initiative with a focus on quality improvement.
This course is designed to use technology and information systems in an innovative way toward the improvement of practice, patient outcomes, access, and systematic delivery of healthcare services. Leadership in the use of applications to meet the needs of a population is a key focus in this course. The course prepares the student to manage systems and solutions and evaluate initiatives. There will be a special focus on how technology informs and supports quality improvement and nursing research.
This course integrates principles of systems thinking with foundational concepts related to patient safety. Students will evaluate programs and systems involved in the delivery of care with a focus on the identification of research to practice gaps. Evaluation and strategic planning will include ethical, financial, stakeholder, and regulatory considerations. Students will develop a comprehensive view of systems issues by examining the framework of healthcare quality improvement, using process improvement tools and evaluation methods. This course includes a synchronous virtual residency.
In this course, students will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to design a patient-centered, evidence-based scholarly project that serves to bridge the research to practice gap. Students will develop a plan to lead the interdisciplinary team in initiatives that improve patient outcomes and incorporate national benchmarks in a timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and safe fashion. This course includes 135 practice immersion hours.
In this course, students will prepare their DNP project proposal for formal review. Students will formally present their DNP project proposal to the DNP Project Team for approval. In collaboration with their Project Team, students will select an appropriate modality for scholarly dissemination.
This course focuses on the broad context of socioeconomic, political, and legal considerations in the development of health policy at the state and national level as it pertains to the DNP. Health policies will be discussed through the lens of social justice using population health, biostatistics, and environmental factors. Professionalism is an essential component of leadership and is applied and articulated.
In this course, students will develop a project design for their DNP project. In collaboration with their Project Team, students will determine the best plan for implementation. By the end of the course, students will formally defend their project design proposal for DNP Project Team approval. This course includes 45 practice immersion hours.
This course is focused on the application of strategic planning and clinical leadership to design innovative healthcare solutions. The student will serve as a subject-matter expert and work in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team to solve practice problems, ensuring that cultural competency, ethics, and population health considerations are addressed. Organizational and systems leadership skills will be used to evaluate quality outcomes using systems thinking.
In this course, students will begin the implementation of their DNP project. Students will work with their DNP Project Team to maintain interdisciplinary and organizational relationships during project implementation. This course includes 135 practice immersion hours.
In this course, students will collect data appropriate to the scholarly project for outcome analysis. Students will evaluate the quality improvement outcomes of the project using the approved methodology. The project findings will be synthesized to develop recommendations related to practice guidelines and sustainability. This course includes 135 practice immersion hours.
In this course, students will professionally present their proposed dissemination of project findings to the DNP Project Team for approval.
This course is the culminating experience for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Students will finalize their Project Defense and all programmatic documents required for the demonstration of the DNP Essentials, doctoral competency, and program learning outcomes achievement. Emphasis will be placed on dissemination and professional considerations for transitioning into the role of the DNP. This course includes 45 practice immersion hours.