Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

A passion for practice

For those applicants considering the Family Nurse Practitioner program options: SDSU will only accept one application (either Master's FNP, Post-Master's FNP Certificate, or Doctor of Nursing Practice FNP). Applicants will need to determine which program option is their priority choice and apply to that option.

Fall 2016 admission

The fall 2016 application cycle is now open. Refer to the 'Application & Admission' information found on this page.
The DNP program was established in 2009. The program was developed in response to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing. The position statement supported moving the preparation of advanced practice nurses from the Master's degree level to the Doctoral level by the year 2015.

The purpose of the DNP program is to prepare Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) to transform clinical practice as expert clinicians and leaders with a special focus on rural and underserved populations.

In addition to delivering evidence-based direct patient care at an advanced practice level to individuals across the lifespan in primary care settings, graduates of the DNP program will learn skills needed to produce and implement valuable evidence to guide practice and are prepared to work collaboratively with rural communities in an effort to reduce health disparities.

Program Competencies

At the completion of the program, the graduate will successfully demonstrate the following competencies: 
  1. Analyze significant practice issues with the theoretical and scientific underpinnings of knowledge-based practice.
  2.  Employ advanced clinical judgment to assess, design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based care of individuals in complex health and illness situations. 
  3. Apply a broad system perspective to design, implement, and evaluate culturally congruent policies and practices to improve care for a diverse population. 
  4. Lead health care inter-professional and intra-professional teams to transform care.
  5. Initiate ethically sound practice changes to address complex interwoven organization, population, fiscal, and policy trends. 
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of information technology to improve health care within systems. 
  7. Implement evidence-based clinical prevention and health promotion activities to improve the health of populations.