FAQs | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Frequently Asked Questions

Chatham University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

+ What is a DNP?

A DNP is a doctoral degree in nursing. A nurse who has earned the credentials of a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) is equipped with the skill sets to initiate and sustain organizational practice changes. A DNP prepared nurse is viewed as a system leader to guide the profession in identifying key clinical problems based on observations and data analysis, and to translate findings from research into clinical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for the individual, the community, and the nation.

+ What is the difference between a DNP and PhD prepared nurse?

A nurse with the credentials of DNP is considered to have a practice doctorate, while the nurse credentialed as PhD is considered to have a research doctorate. A DNP prepared nurse uses research findings to influence practice, while a PhD prepared nurse conducts research to identify evidence. See DNP versus PhD Contrast Grid.

+ What is Evidence-based Practice?

Evidence-based practice is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, and the best research evidence when addressing a clinical problem that has been identified in practice.

+ How many credits is a DNP?

Chatham University's post-master's DNP program consists of 27 credits that can be completed in three or five semesters.

+ When can I start the DNP program?

A new cohort begins each Fall and Spring semester.

+ Can I go part-time or full-time?

Students can choose either part-time or full-time enrollment upon admission. Doctoral study as a full-time student can be very challenging, particularly if you are serving in multiple roles.

+ When do I have to come to campus?

Chatham University's DNP program has a one-time two-day on-campus residency requirement. Students come to campus near the end of the program to showcase their planned evidence-based practice change projects and meet their peers from all over the country.

+ Where do the required 500 clinical hours come from?

The 500 hours required as part of the application to Chatham University's DNP program come from academically supervised experiences in a Masters program. Students having a certification as an advanced practice nurse can submit evidence of their certification to satisfy this requirement.

+ What if I did not have 500 clinical hours as part of my Masters program?

Students who were in specialty tracks who did not have the opportunity to log 500 academically supervised clinical hours may enroll in Chatham University's NUR697: Nursing Practice Experience course. This is a masters level course that allows students to acquire more academically supervised hours.

+ I want to be a nursing faculty member. Is this the right program for me?

Chatham University's DNP program prepares students to practice as leaders in the promotion and use of evidence-based practice in healthcare delivery systems. Students have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of teaching practice, curriculum design, and evaluation methods by completing the Professional Nurse Educator Certificate upon graduation of the DNP program.

+ What is the DNP project?

A DNP project is the culminating scholarly project of a DNP program. At Chatham University, it is a fully designed, implemented, and evaluated evidence-based practice project that is completed over the course of the program.

+ Where do I complete the DNP project?

At Chatham University, DNP projects are usually implemented at the student's place of employment but can be implemented at other approved sites if needed.

+ What is a BSN-DNP?

A BSN-to-DNP is an integrated degree program where students earn both a Masters and a DNP degree. Chatham University offers a BSN-to-DNP Executive Track that is designed for baccalaureate prepared nurses who want to expand their opportunities to lead change at the executive level.

+ How many credits is the BSN-to-DNP?

Chatham University's BSN-to-DNP Executive Track is 53 credits and can be completed in seven or nine semesters.

+ Does the MSN get conferred with the BSN-to-DNP?

Students completing the BSN-to-DNP Executive Track will graduate with both an MSN and a DNP degree.