Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

DNP Program Information

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Vanderbilt is built upon our internationally recognized programs in advanced nursing practice. It is designed for nurses actively engaged in advanced nursing practice in the clinical or systems arenas. DNP students partner with health care agencies/organizations who will facilitate the integration of didactic courses within a practice setting throughout the program.

If you want additional information about whether to pursue the Vanderbilt DNP degree or PhD degree based on your scholarly interests, please see  PhD or DNP – Which is Right for Me?    

The Vanderbilt DNP program meets recommendations of the  American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)   and of the  National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). Vanderbilt DNP graduates will have a strong scientific foundation for practice – prepared to translate knowledge quickly and effectively to benefit patients and healthcare systems in the daily demands of practice environments.

The Master's, Post-Master’s Certificate and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791

The Vanderbilt Doctor of Nursing Practice program will prepare nurse scholars with a blend of clinical, organizational, economic and leadership skills 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.

DNP Program Director

terri allison

Terri Allison, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC
Associate Professor of Nursing and DNP Program Director

Dr. Allison is a certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and has more than 30 years experience in cardiac and critical care nursing. She began her nursing career as a staff nurse in a 500-bed metropolitan teaching hospital caring for patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure. She has extensive experience managing the care of patients requiring critical care interventions and those experiencing complex cardiovascular disease. Her particular area of expertise is in the management of patients with end stage heart failure and those experiencing heart transplantation. She joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2001 and teaches a transplantation elective in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. She uses her nursing expertise to coordinate clinical education and lectures on cardiovascular disorders. She maintains part time practice as an ACNP with the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. Dr. Allison was the first Vanderbilt faculty member to obtain the DNP degree and became the Director of the DNP program in 2012. She presents on topics related to doctoral nursing education and regularly contributes to the national conversation on issues confronting advanced nursing practice and the DNP degree.