Degree Requirements

The Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Sacred Heart University (SHU) infuses practice-focused doctoral education with innovation, practice related research and scholarship. The DNP degree is designed to serve academically talented nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse executives and educators. The DNP degree is a practice doctorate requiring the completion of a DNP scholarly project focusing on nursing practice. This 39 credit post-master’s DNP program is designed to be completed part time in three calendar years. The curriculum is designed to prepare both the  for the advanced practice nurse who wants to remain in clinical practice and the nurse executive so they can more effectively use evidence-based practice to influence health care outcomes and systems management at multiple levels. Students may take supplemental nursing education electives if they aspire to have a career in academia.

Learning Format

This program utilizes a flexible model of online discussion and intensive classroom experiences. Students will engage in two weekend residency experiences each semester.

SHU uses Blackboard as its electronic delivery and learning platform for the online portion of the coursework. Blackboard is a web-based system, which provides a user-friendly interface, simple access to course content, collaborative workspaces and online resource centers. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and allows for easy information interchange between students and instructors and among student cohort members.

DNP Clinical Practice and Scholarship

The DNP practice project is consistent with the student’s identified practice interests. This scholarly project must be a significant, evidence-based contribution to existing nursing knowledge and be suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or a book. The faculty project chair will act as a faculty mentor to the student. In addition, the student will choose a community/organizational expert for the role of practice mentor for the project. Students may elect to complete their DNP project at their place of employment. Additional clinical hours are customized in an area of nursing practice to enhance the student’s learning experience and role as an advanced practice leader in the nursing field.

Course Requirements | 39 credits

  • NU 700 Theoretical Components of Nursing Science     3 CR
  • NU 710 Health Care Policy, Advocacy, and Ethics     3 CR
  • NU 720 Leading Quality Initiatives and Information Systems     3 CR
  • NU 730 Clinical Scholarship & Analytical Methods for Evidence Based Practice I     3 CR
  • NU 740 Epidemiology and Population Health     3 CR
  • NU 750 Clinical Scholarship & Analytical Methods for Evidence Based Practice II     3 CR
  • NU 760 Strategic Leadership and Collaboration in Health Care     3 CR
  • NU 770 Advanced Care of Special Populations     3 CR
  • NU 781 Introduction to Palliative Care     3 CR
    • OR NU 782 Executive Leadership     3 CR
  • NU 810 DNP Scholarship and Advanced Practice     3 CR
  • NU 820 DNP Scholarship and Advanced Practice     3 CR
  • NU 721 DNP Project: Topic Development     1 CR
  • NU 722 DNP Project: Methodology Development     1 CR
  • NU 723 DNP Project: Proposal Presentation     1 CR
  • NU 724 DNP Project: Responsible Conduct of Research     1 CR
  • NU 725 DNP Project: Implementation and Data Analysis     1 CR
  • NU 726 DNP Project: Final Presentation     1 CR

Supplemental Electives

  • NU 741 Teaching and Learning Principles and Curriculum Design     3 CR
  • NU 742 Leadership in Advanced Nursing Education     3 CR