Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
Curriculum Options for DNP Program
Students complete 36 doctoral credits of coursework at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, including 500 hours of practice integration, and a DNP project. DNP students attend an intensive on-campus experience in Nashville for approximately three to four days each semester. During this on campus time, students attend course orientation sessions, meet with faculty mentors and invited lecturers and attend various networking and social events with other doctoral students and faculty. Attendance at these on campus sessions is required. Students may choose a 5 semester or 6 semester plan of study. 5 semester plan students make a total of 5 visits to campus and 6 semester plan students make a total of 6 visits.
Other coursework, scholarly interaction and practice application takes place online and in students’ home locations, so that relocation or change of employment is not necessary. A variety of online and distance learning technologies and techniques to facilitate the program and enrich students’ learning experience is utilized.
The majority of coursework will be asynchronous. Synchronous activities will be scheduled by the faculty in advance. Working with practice partners in health care agencies/organizations, often at sites where students are employed, students will apply knowledge and skills gained from coursework to their practice settings. Practice experiences are integral to students’ achievement of advanced nursing practice competencies at the doctoral level.
Required On-Campus Attendance
- DNP students in the Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Systems, and Executive Leadership tracks are required to be on campus once each semester for a three-four day intensive session (three times per year, August, January, and May).
- Students completing a post-master’s certificate in a new specialty in conjunction with the DNP are on campus according to the block schedule for the specialty and their individual plan of study while enrolled in specialty courses. Students follow the DNP intensive schedule once specialty level courses are completed.
- BSN entry to DNP students attend the DNP intensive every semester throughout the program of studies as well as specialty block sessions when enrolled in specialty clinical courses.·
Other coursework, scholarly interaction and practice application takes place online and in students’ home locations, so that relocation or change of employment is not necessary. A variety of online and distance learning technologies and techniques to facilitate the program and enrich students’ learning experience is utilized. The VUSN Clinical Placement Office and specialty faculty will work with students to secure clinical sites for students enrolled in specialty level clinical courses (DNP + Post-Master’s Certificate and BSN entry to DNP).
A hallmark of Vanderbilt’s practice doctorate is the successful completion of a DNP project that demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s experiences. The DNP project will embrace learning from both coursework and practice application. The DNP project will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the student’s DNP project committee, led by a member of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty with doctoral preparation and who has practice and/or academic experiences relevant to guiding the student’s project. Successful completion of a DNP project demonstrating the synthesis of the student’s coursework and practice application culminates in a final manuscript and oral presentation.