2022-2023 Course Catalog

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a clinical doctorate that prepares nurses to practice as clinical leaders in the health care delivery system. Graduates of the DNP program have a skill set and competencies to function in clinical leadership roles depending on student interest and career trajectory.

The DNP program at Chatham University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 463-6930.

Program Structure:
The DNP program is a low-residency, online program for advanced professional nurses in various practice roles and is focused on competencies for evidence-based practice and systems leadership. Students can complete the 27 credit DNP program in 16 months of full time study. Part-time study also is available. The program includes a mandatory on-campus residency and culminates in an evidence-based practice clinical immersion capstone experience. Practice experiences are completed at approved practice experience sites with the guidance of an approved preceptor. Cohorts are admitted each Fall and Spring.

Approved DNP Practice Experience Categories by Course

Admission Requirements

  • Online application submitted directly to Chatham University.
  • Official academic transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended.
  • Applicant must have completed Master of Science in Nursing degree– cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or greater.
    Please note that while we do not require any specific pre-requisite classes, Chatham faculty expect that students will enter the program with foundational knowledge of research methodology and basic statistics (from their baccalaureate or master’s program).
  • Copy of Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of current RN license
  • Two letters of professional recommendation addressing the candidate's strengths, scholarly achievements and activities, and ability to succeed in the program.
  • Virtual 20-minute interview with two nursing faculty members.
  • Admissions Essay (must be an original piece of work and not a previous academic assignment). The essay should address the following prompt: Describe a clinical problem in your practice setting and explain why it is a problem warranting a change to impact patient and or organizational outcomes.
    • The essay should be at least 500 words and professional, not personal. While you may not currently function in a direct care role, please be sure your problem can be tied to patient outcomes. The problem you address in the essay is subject to faculty approval once enrolled in the DNP program and may or may not serve as your DNP project's focus. You may use citations and references to support your essay. Essays should be written according to APA Style 7th Edition and free from spelling and grammatical errors.
  • State Restrictions for Online Learning

    Chatham University requires state authorization to provide distance education in states other than their own. Please follow the link below to see if Chatham is authorized to deliver instruction in your state. Also, this program has a required practice experience component. Please check the information in the Practice Experience and Special requirements column to see if the state you plan on completing your practice experience hours is approved or has special restrictions.

    State Authorization for Distance Education and Practical Experiences

    International Applicants

    International Applicants must submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions. A list of these documents can be found on the International Admission web page

Learning Outcomes

The graduate:

  • Applies interprofessional collaboration concepts for improving patient and population health outcomes.
  • Synthesizes nursing research and integration of best practice for change in professional practice based on scientific underpinnings for practice.
  • Integrates clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice.
  • Impacts health care outcomes through clinical prevention and population health for improving the nation’s health.
  • Integrates nursing science as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.
  • Develops and evaluates new practice approaches based on nursing theory and theories borrowed from other disciplines.
  • Provides clinical nursing change through organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement and systems thinking.
  • Utilizes information systems/technology and patient care technology to improve and transform health care.
  • Integrates health policy and ethics to improve health care outcomes through advocacy roles.


+Degree Requirements

27 Credits

NUR700 Structure & App of Contemporary Nursing Knowledge

This course introduces the advanced practice nurse to the world of contemporary nursing knowledge, as formalized in conceptual models of nursing and nursing theories applied to clinical practice. There is emphasis on the metaparadigm, philosophies, conceptual models, theories, and empirical indicators linking them to clinical practice.

NUR702 Developing Evidence-Based Practice

This course prepares students with the skills and competencies needed to assimilate knowledge for scholarly work. Emphasis is focused on the identification of a clinical problem and finding the best evidence for an intervention from established research studies to support a practice change project.

NUR703 Ethics and Public Policy in Healthcare Delivery

This course focuses on ethical issues and public policy in healthcare. Students develop strategies to manage ethical dilemmas and analyze health policy to educate, advocate and provide leadership in shaping healthcare policy.

NUR704 Quality Improvement in Health Care

This course focuses on quality improvement initiatives, including the protection of human subjects. The emphasis is on skills and competencies needed to provide leadership in quality and systems change. This course includes 125 clinical hours and is the foundation for the culminating Capstone project focusing on improved practice and outcomes.

Pre-requisites Complete all 2 of the following courses:
  • NUR700 Structure & App of Contemporary Nursing Knowledge
  • NUR702 Developing Evidence-Based Practice
  • 3
    NUR705 Advancing Practice: Scholarship and Grant Writing

    This course provides further investigation of evidence-based practice advancing nursing leadership and clinical outcomes. Students will develop skills for clinical scholarship including manuscript development and grant writing.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • NUR707 Information Technology and Data-Driven Decision Making
  • 3
    NUR706 Communication and Collaboration for Health Care Leadership

    This course focuses on strategies to improve professional communication with peers, subordinates, and patients in the health care environment.

    NUR707 Information Technology and Data-Driven Decision Making

    This course provides students with an opportunity to examine the value of technology and information systems to support evidence-based practice, guidelines and policy across various health settings. Various methods for gathering, managing, and synthesizing data will be introduced in order to conduct analyses for quality improvement, financial and outcome evaluations.

    NUR799 Capstone Experience

    This course provides an opportunity for the student to implement and evaluate a planned evidence-based practice change project. This project lays the groundwork for future scholarship. This course culminates in a tangible and deliverable academic product derived from the practice immersion experience. A total of 250 clinical hours are included in the course.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • NUR707 Information Technology and Data-Driven Decision Making
  • 6

    +Practice Experience Requirements

    DNP students are required to complete 500 practice experience hours during the DNP program (NUR 702 - 125 hours, NUR 704 - 125 hours and NUR 799 - 250 hours). The DNP practice experience is an advanced immersion experience that allows DNP students an opportunity that includes, but is not limited to: gaining and applying advanced skills in the clinical setting; linking policy making within clinical systems, or local, regional, or national organizations; translation of evidence-based research into practice through policy or practice innovation; and to serve as change agents in health care delivery settings. Qualified preceptor and program experience site are identified and approved during the first semester of coursework. A signed affiliation agreement with the identified agency and an approved preceptor must be in place with the practice experience agency prior to engaging in practice experiences. It is the responsibility of the student to comply with agency requirements.

    +Transfer Credits

    Given the integrated nature of the courses, all 27 credits of the DNP program must be completed at Chatham University.

    +Protection of Human Subjects

    To ensure for the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects, all students enrolled in the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at Chatham are required to submit their proposed evidence-based practice change project plan to an Institutional Review Board (IRB), or faculty approval substitute, for review and decision prior to implementing any aspect of the project.

    +BSN to DNP Executive Track

    BSN to DNP Executive Track


    For specific questions about the Program, please reach out to the Graduate Admissions Recruiter at 412-365-1825 or at graduate@chatham.edu.