Doctor of Nursing Practice

NOTICE: USU is currently accepting applications for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for residents in specific states. Please review the list of State Authorizations that can be found here:
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.

Course 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.

DNP Residencies

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.