Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program Philosophy

The Nursing Graduate Programs at Walsh University prepare advanced generalist nurses to assume leadership positions in a variety of roles. We believe that it is the responsibility of the faculty to provide an environment that stimulates the learner to think critically, communicate effectively and act compassionately. We hold to the ideal of providing quality care to clients and fulfilling our responsibility as  contributing members of the profession and society.

Program Goals

To provide excellence in nursing education grounded in the human experience.  The Gary and Linda Byers School of Nursing prepares the graduate to practice nursing within the framework of Judeo-Christian values promoting health in diverse communities.

Program Outcomes

The goal of the DNP program is to prepare graduates that are leaders in nursing practice. As a graduate of the DNP program the student will be able to:

  1. Practice at the highest level of clinical nursing by integrating and applying knowledge from the sciences within the fields of organizational management, ethics, health policy, and information technology.
  2. Demonstrate leadership skills in organizational and health systems management to improve the safety and quality of health care
  3. Apply analytical skills and translational science methodologies to practice-focused scholarship
  4. Provide leadership in interdisciplinary collaborative teams to improve health outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems
  5. Utilize strategies of risk reduction, illness prevention, health promotion, and health maintenance for individuals and populations
  6. Develop skill in the analysis and shaping of health care policy that shapes health
  7. Demonstrate skill in the application of ethical decision-making frameworks to resolve ethical dilemmas

Areas of Concentration

Walsh’s DNP curriculum builds on traditional master's programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership, among other key areas.  Each student is challenged to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to meet client needs in a variety of health care settings.

Doctorate of Nursing Practice (Post Masters) Academic Guidelines

Admission Requirements

  1. A current unencumbered Registered Nurse license(s). Two years of experience as a Registered Nurse is preferred.

  2. Official transcripts documenting a baccalaureate degree in Nursing (and master’s degree if applicable) from a program accredited by a national organization responsible for nursing accreditation (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACNE), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or their equivalent). Transcripts should document a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate and graduate coursework.

  3. Completion of an undergraduate or graduate Statistics course.

  4. Two professional letters of recommendation supporting the applicant’s potential for success in the Doctoral program from graduate prepared nurses or faculty members who can address the applicant’s potential. Applicants currently enrolled in a nursing program must submit at least one (1) recommendation from a faculty member in that program.

  5. Resume or CV with your application that includes work experience, educational, leadership and professional organization activities, and scholarly activities including publications, presentations, research, honors and awards.

  6. An essay of a maximum of 1000 words that addresses the following:

    1. Discuss a person, incident, or experience in your life that impacted your decision to become an advanced practice nurse who will care for a diverse population of patients.
    2. All students contribute to the creation of a diverse and inclusive environment when diversity is defined most broadly. Whether by a personal attribute, characteristic, culture, experience, or behavior, please tell us how you believe you will contribute to the diversity of the profession and the mission of Walsh University.
    3. Describe how your personal strengths, experiences, and aptitude will contribute to your success in graduate school (community service, leadership experience, nursing experience).
    4. Explain the academic challenges, success, or obstacles in your life that impacted the ability to achieve your goals.
    5. Describe how the DNP degree will impact your practice as a clinical leader.
  7. Confirmation of clinical hours completed in Master's program.

*Based on submitted admission materials, the graduate admissions committee may require an interview.

Registration Procedures

New students are given instructions on how to register with their acceptance letter. Before or during the first half of the first semester, students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisors to map out a curriculum plan. For the remainder of the program students are responsible for registering for their own classes. The process is as follows:  

  • Graduate students may register on-line via the Walsh University Cavalier Center ( To register on-line, the student must obtain an alternate PIN from their assigned academic advisor and resolve any holds that may prevent registration.
  • Obtain a form from the website ( ). Click on “Academics” and scroll down to the “Office of the Registrar” link. Scroll down to the link “forms” and then on “Graduate Registration Form”. Download a copy and fax (330) 490-7372, mail or present the completed form to the Registrar’s Office (located in Farrell Hall).

Academic Advising

Upon admission to the DNP program, the student is assigned to a graduate faculty member who will work with the student to develop a curriculum plan. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors prior to registration each semester to confirm their program plan.  Upon development of the DNP Proposal, students are then assigned to an advisor who will work with them throughout the program on the DNP Scholarly project.

Maintaining Quality and Rigor in the Walsh DNP Program

According to the AACN DNP Roadmap Task Force Report. (October 20, 2006) Quality and rigor in DNP programs requires that the curriculum focuses on "providing leadership for evidence-based practice. This requires competence in translating research in practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision-making, and implementing viable clinical innovations to change practice. Considerable emphasis is placed on a population perspective, how to obtain assessment data on populations or cohorts, how to use data to make programmatic decisions, and program evaluation."

The post master’s DNP curriculum is designed to include the higher level and expanded content defined in the DNP Essentials. However, consideration will also be given to the variability that exists in master’s level nursing programs. Therefore, faculty will need to assess each candidate’s previous educational program to determine the unique learning experiences required to meet the end-of-program competencies.

DNP Scholarly Project

All Walsh Byers School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students must complete a DNP Scholarly project. The project is a faculty-guided scholarly experience that provides evidence of critical thinking ability to apply research principles through problem identification, proposal development, implementation, and evaluation of a problem significant to nursing practice.

Students will follow the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) DNP Essentials for "Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidenced-Based Practice" www.aacn.nche.ed /DNP/pdf/Essentials.pdf.

The DNP program consists of a minimum of 38 credits beyond the master’s-level specialty content. The core and research courses are taken by all students.   After completing the core and research courses, students move into specialty content that will support the completion of the residency practicum and DNP Scholarly project.

Foundation Courses (9 Credit Hours)
NURS 701Nurs Sci Adv Pract:Theor/Found3
NURS 706Hlth Care Policy, Organ/Financ3
NURS 718Health Informatics3
Research Courses (11 Credit Hours)
NURS 702Advanced Nursing Research3
NURS 703Biostatistic for Outcomes Eval3
NURS 705App of Epidemiol to Hlth Serv3
NURS 708Translat Evid to Clinl Pract2
Specialty Content Courses (15 Credit Hours)
NURS 710NursLead Rol/Eth in ComHlthSys3
NURS 715Clinical in Advanced Specialty 13
NURS 721Mgmt for Qual Impr/Hlth Care3
NURS 725Adv Leader in Clin Practice6
Capstone Project Courses
NURS 730Residency Practicum3
NURS 731DNP Scholarly Project4
Total Clinical Hours: 530 1
Total Credit Hours:38-45