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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Best Value DNP

Care across the lifespan

 Established in 2009, the DNP 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 DNP program prepares Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) 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 Outcomes

  • To prepare graduates as clinicians and leaders with a special focus on rural and underserved populations.
  • To prepare graduates to deliver evidence-based direct patient care to individuals across the lifespan in primary care settings.
  • To prepare graduates to produce and implement scientific evidence to guide practice.
  • To prepare graduates to work collaboratively with frontier, urban, and rural communities in an effort to reduce health disparities.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program, the graduate will successfully demonstrate the following student learning outcomes: 
  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.

Certification Eligibility

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Announcement  

The South Dakota State University DNP Family Nurse Practitioner, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan), and the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner programs have met ANCC's certification eligibility educational requirements. Students who complete these programs have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC certification in the respective role and population.


Applicants must also meet any additional eligibility criteria in effect when they apply for certification" (ANCC, December 14, 2016).


The baccalaureate, master's, DNP, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at South Dakota State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

Are you a graduate student seeking committee members?

A list of faculty and their research interests can be found on this page.

Scholarship & Loan Repayment Opportunities

Looking for ways to pay for your education? A list of opportunities for graduate nursing students can be found here.