Return to: Degree Programs

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the terminal academic preparation for clinical nursing practice. The DNP builds on the competencies of the master’s degree, and adds highly advanced skill base in informatics and technology, evidence-based practice, continuous quality improvement, and organizational systems and leadership while providing an efficient vehicle for completing doctoral education. The University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing DNP prepares graduates to 

  1. Synthesize current and emerging science, including genetics/genomics, in the application of advanced practice nursing to the care of individuals, groups, communities, and systems
  2. Utilize evidence-based practice, standards of care, ethical decision-making and clinical judgment to support health promotion/restoration and cost-effective, culturally competent quality healthcare
  3. Model full accountability for professional advancement and lifelong learning
  4. Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to achieve national quality healthcare goals and reduce health disparities
  5. Assume advanced leadership roles in addressing complex health problems of the border region involving health disparities, ethics, policy, access, quality, and financing
  6. Establish collegial and collaborative relationships with health professionals to provide comprehensive healthcare management in a variety of settings for individuals, families and communities experiencing chronic illness
  7. Promote highest level of professional accountability for nursing and the larger healthcare delivery system through dissemination of evidence-based findings and translational research to improve healthcare outcomes for target populations

Admission Standards

The DNP program builds upon the specialty certification of advanced practice nurses (APNs), such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives. Thus, application is at the post-master’s level. The DNP council, as the SON admissions committee, considers the following prior to recommending an applicant for admission. 

  1. Intellectual capacity, based on overall collegiate GPA; goal statement; standardized test scores (TOEFL); academic awards/honors; scholarly accomplishments; and personal interview 
  2. Written and oral communication skills and ability to articulate personal goals
  3. Community service, such as extracurricular activities, membership and leadership in organizations, volunteer and humanitarian services
  4. Awareness and direct knowledge of cultural elements as they may impact on healthcare
  5. Potential for service to the State of Texas, such as faculty members currently teaching in a Texas nursing program or APNs committed to serving marginalized and underserved populations along the U.S.-Mexico border
  6. Motivation; success in overcoming adverse economic or educational conditions; employment history; participation in activities requiring time management skills; veteran status; and letters of reference

Requirements for Admission

  1. Eligibility for admission to UTEP Graduate School (including completion of the TOEFL with a score of 550 or higher and all requirements for the Commission on Foreign Graduate Nursing Schools (CFGNS) for international students)
  2. Completion of a master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or its equivalent in the case of foreign-prepared APNs
  3. GPA of 3.0 or higher from master’s degree course work
  4. Current registered nurse license in good standing
  5. Approval by the Board of Nursing, or its equivalent, to practice as an advanced practice nurse in the state or country in which clinical practice will occur
  6. Current national or board certification by a nationally recognized credentialing organization as an advanced practice nurse
  7. Letter of intent (LOI) to apply identifying experience with underserved populations including community service, awareness and direct knowledge of cultural elements that impact healthcare along the U.S.-Mexico border, and current teaching in a Texas nursing program
  8. Current resume or curriculum vita
  9. A personal goal statement congruent with program goals
  10. Three letters of references attesting to the applicant’s academic ability and potential, including one from a professional colleague
  11. Completion of personal interview
  12. Prerequisite: Applied or comparable statistics course within 5 years with a grade of C or better

Transfer Students

The DNP council may consider students for conditional admission pending completion of statistics.  The student with conditional admission must meet all requirements by the end of the first semester of doctoral education or the student faces dismissal from the program.

Probationary Status

A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 is at risk of dismissal from the program. In this case, the advisor reviews the student’s academic record and makes a recommendation to the GSC to retain the student on probationary status or to dismiss. The GSC votes on the recommendation.

Special Consideration

The SON strongly encourages APNs who teach or plan to teach nursing or who reside/work or plan to reside/work in rural or medically underserved areas to apply for admission.

Application Due Date

Applications to the program are due February 12 for admission in the fall.

Clinical Clearance Requirements for DNP Program

DNP students must meet all administrative and clinical clearance requirements expected of MSN students. These requirements are located under the MSN student section of the catalog Note: Failure to comply with these requirements will result in registration holds or being dropped from courses.

Degree Requirements

The DNP program is a 2-year, 45-semester credit hour doctoral program.  Requirements for earning the DNP degree include:

  1. Completion of an approved program of study including 540 clinical hours, the majority of which (360), are completed in the last semester of the program as part of the capstone practicum
  2. Initiation, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of a evidence-based clinical research project (DNP project)
  3. Development of a Clinical Scholarship Portfolio that demonstrates competency in evidence-based practice, clinical scholarship, and leadership skills including systems knowledge, information technology, policy expertise, and collaboration

Foundation Courses

The foundation core consists of five courses (14 credit hours) that provide the groundwork for clinical practice at the doctoral level. Topics include theoretical and scientific underpinnings of doctoral level nursing practice, organizational and systems leadership, information systems/ technology and advocacy in healthcare for quality improvement and transformation of health policy as needed for evolving clinical practice.

NURS 6310Scholarly Foundations for DNP3
NURS 6338Adv. Health Policy & Bioethics3
NURS 6320Health Info Systems/Tech3
NURS 6330Org & Systems Leadership3
NURS 6200Project Planning and Dev2

Doctoral Practice Core

The doctoral practice core consists of four courses (12 credits) that enable the DNP graduate to analyze the role of genomics/genetics along with epidemiological, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental data in the development, implementation, and evaluation of clinical prevention (health promotion and risk reduction/illness prevention for individuals and families) and population health programs.

NURS 6370Epidemiology Border Population3
NURS 6340Adv. Seminar Clinical Genetics3
NURS 6380Advanced Diagnostics3
NURS 6360Translating Research to Pract3

DNP Clinical Core

The clinical core includes one course (4 hours) that prepare the DNP graduate to generate evidence through practice that will guide improvement and outcomes of care in the management of chronic illnesses commonly seen in U.S.-Mexico border populations. Students initiate the capstone project at this time.

NURS 6470Chronic Illness & the Border (90 hours of practicum experience)4
 

Capstone Project and Practicum

The capstone course is one 8-hour practicum and the capstone project consist of three courses (4 credits).  This capstone experience allows the DNP student to demonstrate integration of theoretical and clinical knowledge of health needs of border populations.

NURS 6190Capstone Project I1
NURS 6191Capstone Project II1
NURS 6292Capstone Project III2
NURS 6893Capstone Practicum8

Supplemental DNP Courses

The supplemental DNP courses include a special topics theory course (3 credits) t0 be used as needed to satisfy degree requirements. The independent study courses (1 or 2 credits) allow the DNP student to fulfill the 1000 total practicum hours required for DNP degree. Students will be required to provide proof of 500 clinical hours obtained in their MSN program prior to DNP admission.

NURS 6395Sp Top in Advanced Nursing3
NURS 6197Ind Study in Adv Nursing Pract1
NURS 6298Ind Study in Adv Nursing Pract2

DNP Project

Learning culminates with the completion of an evidence-based synthesis project. The student must initiate the DNP with advisor approval in the fourth semester of study while enrolled in NURS 7254. Students complete the DNP project during the capstone practicum experience. With input and guidance from the advisor/chair and other committee members, students disseminate results through scholarly poster and podium presentations. Graduation requirements include submission of at least one manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. The completed project and all scholarly deliverables become part of the portfolio.

Clinical Scholarship Portfolio

Starting with their first doctoral level course and culminating in the completion of the evidence-based capstone project, students prepare and refine the portfolio throughout their educational preparation. The portfolio demonstrates mastery of DNP competencies in all domains (See DNP Essentials in Appendix A). During the last semester of study, a student’s DNP Supervisory Committee will review the quality of the portfolio for scholarship and evidence of mastery of competencies. Upon approval by the committee, the student submits the portfolio to the graduate school as partial fulfillment of the requirements for DNP degree.

The portfolio is designed to:

  • Document and measure qualitative and quantitative characteristics of practicum encounters and other learning experiences throughout practicum
  • Evaluate competency in all domains of doctoral level practice
  • Demonstrate leadership in evidence-based practice and the ability to generate evidence through practice that will guide improvements in practice and outcomes of care in the management of chronic illnesses commonly seen in U.S.-Mexico border populations.
  • Demonstrate scholarship through dissemination of clinical scholarship

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 45

Doctor of Nursing Practice (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
NURS 6190Capstone Project I1
NURS 6191Capstone Project II1
NURS 6200Project Planning and Dev2
NURS 6292Capstone Project III2
NURS 6310Scholarly Foundations for DNP3
NURS 6320Health Info Systems/Tech3
NURS 6330Org & Systems Leadership3
NURS 6338Adv. Health Policy & Bioethics3
NURS 6340Adv. Seminar Clinical Genetics3
NURS 6360Translating Research to Pract3
NURS 6370Epidemiology Border Population3
NURS 6380Advanced Diagnostics3
NURS 6470Chronic Illness & the Border4
NURS 6893Capstone Practicum8
Bio or Applied Statistics:
Select three hours of graduate credit towards Bio or Applied Statistics 13
Total Hours45
1

Consult with the program advisor for course options.