Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Department Location

Cambridge Building
7 Cambridge Drive
Trumbull, CT 06611

Program Director

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This model requires just two weekend residencies per semester combined with an online component. This program is designed for the busy working nurse who may live out-of-state.
Sacred Heart University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, for master's level nurses, combines doctoral education that is focused on practice with innovation and practical clinical research and scholarship. It is designed to serve academically talented nurse practitioners, clinical nurse leaders, midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse executives, and educators. Only the second such program in Connecticut, this offering solidifies the University’s prominent position in the development of health care leadership.
The Sacred Heart University graduate nursing program continues to be a leader in advanced practice education with a current enrollment in excess of 150 graduate students.
Doctoral Clinical Practice in Health Care Track
The clinical practice in heath care track is designed for the advanced practice nurse who wants to remain in clinical practice and have influence on health care outcomes at multiple levels.

Doctoral Leadership in Health Care Track

The leadership in health care track is for the graduate who wants a career in executive nursing management, but who still prefers a nursing doctorate with a connection to clinical practice. Students in this track may take nursing education electives if they aspire to have a career in an academic setting.


DNP graduates will be prepared to practice, lead and teach at an advanced level. They will engage in clinically focused scholarship and research that results in practice changes that improve quality and safety considering cost effectiveness. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is a clinical doctorate requiring the completion of a practice project that focuses on changes that improve quality safety in the clinical area. The DNP scholarly practice project is structured to be completed within one year, preparing the student to utilize research for the improvement of clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and system management. It will be suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, presentation at national peer-reviewed conferences or publishing in a book. Graduates will have advanced knowledge and skills in designing, implementing, managing and evaluating health care delivery systems and will be prepared to lead changes at the highest clinical and executive ranks.
This unique hybrid/intensive program is specifically designed to maximize the number of potential career roles the doctoral nursing graduate may assume, whether in academic life, advanced clinical practice, or executive healthcare leadership. Classes are taught online, and students are required to attend two on-campus residencies per semester. This cohort program is 39 credits and is designed to be completed in a three-year part-time sequence.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree was first proposed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2004. The AACN, which is made up of leaders in higher education from across the country, sets the standards for professional nursing education. It has issued a position statement that after the year 2015, all advanced practice nurses must graduate with a DNP.

Download the DNP Student Guide Book