MSN–DNP Option

The MSN-DNP Option, which comprises seven specialties (see below), can be completed in two years of full time or in three years of part-time study. See the individual part time plans by specialty below. Applicants can continue in their current specialty or can apply to a new or second specialty option.

Faculty perform a GAP analysis upon admission to determine current competencies and then determine courses required to complete degree and board eligibility requirements for certification in the specialty.

DNP nursing courses are offered online and require attendance on the Lexington campus from one to six days each semester (up to three days at start of term and up to three days at end of term). The number of days the student is required to be on campus is dependent on the program in which the student is enrolled. Leadership students are required to be on campus one day only each immersion session.  Nurse practitioner student schedules will vary from one – six days each semester.

DEADLINES
The DNP application opens September 15 and closes January 15 for Fall (August) enrollment. The DNP program does not admit a spring class. Details can be found on the DNP Admissions page.

 

SPECIALTIES

1) Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioners focus on assessment, diagnosis and management of acute health problems. Graduates are prepared to care for acutely and critically ill adults. As members of a multidisciplinary health care team, practitioners work in intensive care, progressive care, other hospital units, specialty clinics and specialty physicians’ offices. Dowload the curriculum here.

Graduates of this specialty will be eligible to sit for the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam with the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner exam with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

2) Family Nurse Practitioner
Family nurse practitioners provide primary care to patients of all ages and will become experts at diagnosing and treating common health problems, promoting wellness and helping patients learn effective self-care. They work in a variety of settings, including clinics, physician offices, urgent care and community health settings. Download the curriculum here.

Graduates of the Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty will be eligible to sit for the Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Certification Board.
 

3) Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
A pediatric acute care nurse practitioner specializes in the assessment, diagnosis and management of acute health problems for infants, children and adolescents. Graduates are prepared to care for acutely and critically ill children and adolescents. As members of a multidisciplinary health care team, practitioners work in intensive care, progressive care, other hospital units, specialty clinics and specialty physicians’ offices. Download the curriculum here.

Graduates of the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty will be eligible to sit for the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

 

4) Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
A primary care pediatric nurse practitioner specializes in health promotion and prevention/management of common acute illnesses and chronic conditions affecting children from birth through young adulthood.  The primary care pediatric nurse practitioner practices in a range of primary care settings utilizing their in-depth knowledge and experience in meeting the specialized physiologic and psychological needs of children within the context of the child's family, community and environment. Download the curriculum here.

Graduates of the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty will be eligible to sit for the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

 

5) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) provide mental health care services across the lifespan. They utilize theoretical and clinical knowledge, competencies and experience to provide continuous and comprehensive mental health care to individuals, families and groups with complex psychiatric-mental health problems. This includes assessment, diagnosis and treatment across the continuum of care which may include in-patient facilities, out-patient clinics, home health, schools and correctional facilities. The care provided is holistic in nature and takes into consideration the strengths and opportunities of the individual, family, group, and community. The PMHNP uses both psychopharmacological interventions and nonpharmacological interventions, such as psychotherapy, in the care of the client.  In addition, PMHNPs work in nursing education, case management, consultation service, healthcare administration and nursing research.Download the curriculum here.

Graduates of the PMHNP specialty will have the educational preparation to make application to sit for the PMHNP certification examination through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

 

6) Executive Leadership in Health Care
The MSN-DNP Executive Leadership (EL) program is practice based and prepares nursing leaders for multidimensional responsibilities in nursing practice and healthcare delivery. The curriculum emphasizes strategic leadership, organizational/systems, evidence-based management, financial, quality/safety, and information management expertise, and strategies for making health care policy impacts. Graduates will identify actual and emerging problems and will design aggregate-level health interventions. Students will take a series of leadership courses that will prepare them to be effective leaders in complex organizations/settings and to respond to the challenges of healthcare today. Competencies outlined in the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) Nurse Executive Competencies, the AONL Population Health Competencies, the American Nursing Credentialing Center Nursing Executive Certification domains of practice, and the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice are addressed in the program. 

Download the full time curriculum here and the part time curriculum here

 

Graduates of the Executive Leadership specialty may be eligible to sit for the Nurse Executive - Advanced certification exam with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice exam with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).  Eligibility for certification also requires meeting practice requirements for the respective agency.

 

7) Clinical Leadership in Health Care
The MSN-DNP Clinical Leadership (CL) option will prepare APNs to function as leaders in clinical settings and as effective change agents in varied positions.  The curriculum emphasizes leadership effectiveness, evidence-based practice, quality/safety, information management expertise and strategies to make health care policy impacts. Students will take a series of courses that will prepare them to be effective leaders in clinical or community/public health settings and to respond to the challenges of health care today.

This specialty does not lead to board certification. Download the full time curriculum here and the part time curriculum here

Course descriptions are available in the University Registrar’s Bulletin.