Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

We are the nation's #15 Best Grad DNP Program. Preparing practice scholars to lead the application of evidence-based knowledge into practice, improve health care outcomes and strengthen health care systems.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares leaders in advanced nursing practice to bring evidence-based knowledge into the practice arena, improve health care outcomes and strengthen the leadership role in guiding complex care delivery and nursing education.

Are you ready to become a key player in today’s complex health care environment? Does a scholarly role that translates evidence-based knowledge into practice and care delivery interest you? Vanderbilt’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is built upon our internationally recognized advanced nursing practice programs. With a Vanderbilt DNP degree, you will use nursing and other scientific findings to design programs of care delivery that are innovative, economically feasible and have significant impact on health care outcomes. The DNP program offers an innovative, state-of-the-art curriculum that includes post-master’s study tracks in Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Systems Practice, and Executive Leadership. A BSN entry to DNP in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner/Emergency Nurse Practitioner tracks are also available.

Multiple ways to enter the program are offered. If you are starting with:

The Vanderbilt School of Nursing DNP experience offers:

  • Practice integration tailored to each student’s scholarly interests
  • Health care agencies/organizations who are practice partners and support applying knowledge and skills from coursework to their practice settings
  • Actively practicing faculty who will mentor you in evidence-based knowledge
  • Learning built upon Vanderbilt’s 100-year history of leadership and excellence in nursing, teaching, practice and research

DNP Program Objectives

Central to the DNP curriculum is the application of evidence-based practice methods within practice settings throughout the program of study. Evidence-based practice is classically defined as the integration of best research evidence with practice expertise and patient values to facilitate health care decision-making. The goals of the DNP program are to prepare nurse scholars to:

  1. Assess, analyze, evaluate, and manage complex health environments serving diverse populations to improve patient and population health outcomes;
  2. Apply clinical scholarship and available evidence to make clinical and system decisions incorporating professional values and ethical principles;
  3. Support and improve patient care and health care systems through the use of clinical practice models, health policy, informatics, and organizational leadership skills;
  4. Advocate for clinical prevention, population health initiatives, and evidence-based health policy through interprofessional and stakeholder collaboration.


For applicants entering with a MSN degree or BSN with a master’s in a non-nursing, health-related field, our program is structured as a post-master’s program for graduates of accredited Advanced Nursing Practice (NP, CNM, CNS, CRNA, health care leadership or nursing informatics) Master of Science in Nursing programs or accredited non-nursing master’s programs. 

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