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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Systems-Level Leadership

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree

Dean discussing the
Doctor of Nursing
Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is an online doctoral degree program with a specialty area in Systems-Level Leadership that can be completed in 18 months. To complete the program in 18 months, students enroll in two 3-credit courses each term for six consecutive terms. A second option allows students to enroll in one 3-credit course each term and complete the program in 36 months. The program prepares students to lead healthcare organizations.

Program Highlights:

  • All courses are offered online
  • Access to courses 24/7
  • Four terms per year
  • No physical campus visits required
  • Full-time Program - 18 months
  • Part-time Program - 36 months
  • Up to 9 doctoral level credits may be transferred toward the DNP
  • High-quality, affordable DNP program

The 36-credit program focuses on the improvement of evidence-based outcomes using theoretical knowledge and systems-level initiatives to advance nurses to the highest level of nursing practice. The program prepares nurse leaders with competencies in advanced nursing practice, organizational leadership, economics and finance, healthcare policy and technology.

DNP Program Publications

  • MSN degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution and a nationally accredited school of nursing. (CCNE, CNEA or ACEN) OR BSN degree from a nationally accredited school of nursing and Master's degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited higher education institution
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the Master's program
  • Two (2) current professional letters of recommendation and recommendation forms from a healthcare supervisor or professional colleague, or from a faculty member who has taught the applicant (dated and on organizational letterhead). All recommendations must be current, typed on letterhead and hand-signed. Electronic signatures without a hand-written signature will not satisfy the School of Nursing requirements. (DNP Recommendation Form)
  • Well-written statement of background and goals – (instructions)
  • Well-written scholarly essay – (instructions)
  • Relevant professional work experience recommended
  • Current valid unencumbered registered nurse license in the United States
  • Current résumé
  • A maximum of 9 doctoral level credit hours may be transferred into the DNP program from another DNP program. The allowance of any credits will be based upon review of syllabi by the School of Nursing.
  • A minimum of 27 DNP level credit hours must be completed at TESU in the DNP program to earn the DNP degree from TESU.
  • Courses transferred into the DNP program must have been completed at a regionally accredited higher education institution and a nationally accredited school of nursing (CCNE, CNEA or ACEN).
  • Courses transferred into the DNP program must have been completed at an equivalent accredited international institution of higher education and an equivalent accredited international school of nursing, if credits were earned outside the U.S.
  • The student must have earned a grade of B or higher for a course to be accepted as a transfer course into the DNP program.
  • Courses transferred into the DNP program must have been completed within five years of enrollment in the TESU program.
  • A minimum of 1000 post baccalaureate supervised clinical hours must be completed for the DNP degree; a minimum of 500 supervised clinical hours must be completed during the DNP program at TESU. Students may be required to complete more than 500 hours at TESU based on the number of hours completed in the MSN degree, Master's degree or national advanced practice certification requirements.
  • Students admitted to the DNP program progress through the DNP curriculum with the cohort to which they were admitted.
  • DNP students who earn a grade lower than B in a DNP course, withdraw from a DNP course or who fail to enroll during a term will be assessed on an individual basis for their ability to remain in the DNP program.
  • The program must be completed within five years of admission into the program.
  1. Synthesize scholarly and evidence-based findings to transform nursing practice and organizational decision making.
  2. Integrate ethical decision making in research, systems evaluation, advanced clinical practice, and organizational decision making.
  3. Analyze, design, and integrate healthcare policies that influence organizational systems to meet the needs of diverse populations.
  4. Apply organizational and systems thinking that advance the design, implementation, and evaluation of healthcare initiatives to promote safe and quality outcomes.
  5. Communicate/collaborate with members of the interprofessional community to promote achievement of healthcare standards, advanced clinical practices, and quality healthcare for diverse populations.
  6. Apply information systems/technology to improve health and systems-level outcomes.

Two 3-credit courses per term / 18 month option

  • Term I
    • NUR-763 Biostatistics and Epidemiology (3)
    • NUR-800 DNP Role Development (3)
  • Term II
    • NUR-805 Scholarly Inquiry: A Basis for Evidence-Based Practice (3)
    • NUR-902 Scholarly Immersion I: Project Identification and Mentored Practicum (3)
  • Term III
    • NUR-820 Integrating and Evaluating Population Health in Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
    • NUR-832 Organization and Systems Leadership I (3)
  • Term IV
    • NUR-810 Health, Healthcare Policy and Politics (3)
    • NUR-842 Organization and Systems Leadership II (3)
  • Term V
    • NUR-825 Health Economics and Finance (3)
    • NUR-912 Scholarly Immersion II: Project Management and Mentored Practicum (3)
  • Term VI
    • NUR-815: Information Systems and Technology Impacting Healthcare Delivery (3)
    • NUR-922-Scholarly Immersion III: Project Completion and Mentored Practicum (3)
  • Total Credits: 36

One 3-credit course per term / 36 month option

  • Term I
    • NUR-800: DNP Role Development (3)
  • Term II
    • NUR-763 Biostatistics and Epidemiology (3)
  • Term III
    • NUR-805 Scholarly Inquiry: A Basis for Evidence-Based Practice (3)
  • Term IV
    • NUR-810 Health, Healthcare Policy and Politics (3)
  • Term V
    • NUR-820 Integrating and Evaluating Population Health in Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
  • Term VI
    • NUR-832 Organization and Systems Leadership I (3)
  • Term VII
    • NUR-842 Organization and Systems Leadership II (3)
  • Term VIII
    • NUR-902 Scholarly Immersion I: Project Identification and Mentored Practicum (3)
  • Term IX
    • NUR-825 Health Economics and Finance (3)
  • Term X
    • NUR-815 Information Systems and Technology Impacting Healthcare Delivery (3)
  • Term XI
    • NUR-912 Scholarly Immersion II: Project Management and Mentored Practicum (3)
  • Term XII
    • NUR-922 Scholarly Immersion III: Project Completion and Mentored Practicum (3)
  • Total Credits: 36
  • DNP students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good standing at TESU to be certified for graduation.
  • All program requirements must be successfully completed, including the DNP project and all Scholarly Immersion Practicum Hours.

Frequently Asked Questions top of page

Yes. Applicants must have either a MSN degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution and a nationally accredited school of nursing. (CCNE, CNEA or ACEN) OR BSN degree from a nationally accredited school of nursing and Master's degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited higher education institution.

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Admission criteria for the DNP program are as follows:

  • MSN degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution and a nationally accredited school of nursing. (CCNE, CNEA or ACEN) OR BSN degree from a nationally accredited school of nursing and Master's degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited higher education institution.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the Master's program
  • Two (2) current professional letters of recommendation from a healthcare supervisor or professional colleague, or from a faculty member who has taught the applicant (dated and on organizational letterhead). All recommendations must be current, typed on letterhead and hand-signed. Electronic signatures without a hand-written signature will not satisfy the School of Nursing requirements. (DNP Recommendation Form)
  • Well-written statement of background and goals – (instructions)
  • Well-written scholarly essay - (instructions)
  • Relevant professional work experience recommended
  • Current valid unrestricted registered nurse license in the United States and state in which the Practicum will be completed.
  • Current Résumé
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The estimated 2017-2018 tuition for the DNP program is $740 per credit. Employees of our partner institutions are eligible for a 5 percent discount on tuition.

A $300 nonrefundable deposit will be required within two weeks of acceptance into the program in order to secure a place in the program. This deposit will be applied to the student's tuition.

Please submit payments to the Office of Student Financial Accounts, phone (609) 984-4099 or fax (609) 984-4066.
  Office of Student Financial Accounts
  Thomas Edison State University
  111 W. State Street
  Trenton, NJ 08608

If you have any questions, please email DNP@tesu.edu.

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Yes. The application fee is $75. The application fee is waived for employees of partner institutions.

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Candidates apply online to the DNP program using the University’s online application.

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The DNP program requires completion of 36 doctoral level credits.

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The DNP program is designed to be completed in 18 months (six consecutive 12-week terms). Students enroll in two 3-credit courses (6 credits) each term. Students are admitted as a cohort each October term and progress through the program with the cohort to which they were admitted.

A second option allows students to enroll in one 3-credit course each term. Students enrolled in the 3-credit per term option are admitted as a cohort in the January term and progress through the program with the cohort to which they were admitted. This option is designed to be completed in 36 months.

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Yes. The DNP program includes three scholarly immersion courses during which students will complete an evidence-based project.  The DNP program requires completion of a minimum of 1000 supervised post baccalaureate clinical/practicum hours. A minimum of 500 hours must be completed during the DNP program at TESU. The practicum hours may be completed in the state where the student resides.

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Students admitted to the DNP program must submit written verification of the number of post baccalaureate supervised clinical hours completed during their MSN program. A form will be provided to the students on admission to the program.

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Yes. Applicants requesting admission to the DNP program who have previously attended another DNP program may transfer up to 9 doctoral credits into the DNP program. The courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited university and a nationally accredited school of nursing (CCNE, CNEA or ACEN) within five years of the student's first enrollment in the DNP program at TESU. The applicant must have earned a grade of B or higher in the courses, and the courses must be equivalent to courses required for the DNP program at TESU. The School of Nursing will evaluate course syllabi to determine if courses will be accepted for transfer. Students must complete a minimum of 27 credits in the DNP program at TESU.

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July 1 is the application deadline for an October start (6 credits per term/18 months) to the DNP Program.

October 15 is the application deadline for a January start (3 credits per term/36 months) to the DNP Program.

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According to requirements of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), practicum hours that focused on the educational process, the academic curriculum, or on educating nursing students cannot be applied to the supervised practice hours required by the DNP program. However, supervised practicum hours that focused on direct patient care may be applied to the supervised practice hours required by the DNP.

See DNP White Paper, page 10.

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/aacn-publications/white-papers/DNP-Implementation-TF-Report-8-15.pdf

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