Skip to main content

South Dakota State University

Close Search

Doctor of Nursing Practice (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. Integrate theoretical and scientific underpinnings of nursing and other disciplines to address emerging healthcare and practice issues.
  2. Engage in health policy at all levels to influence healthcare delivery concerns, such as health disparities, cultural sensitivity, ethics, access to care, health finance, and quality of care.
  3. Employ evidence-based practice and advanced clinical judgment to comprehensively assess, design, and deliver care for individuals across the lifespan.
  4. Demonstrate leadership at the organizational and/or systems level to address health outcomes of individuals and populations though evidence-based initiatives.
  5. Utilize advanced nursing knowledge and information systems/technology related to clinical prevention and health promotion to address gaps in healthcare.
  6. Collaborate with the interprofessional team in the translation, implementation, analysis, and dissemination of evidence-based practice to improve healthcare outcomes. 

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).