Transform care and improve patient outcomes

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program Focus

The DNP has been designed with a focus on advanced practice and leadership roles, with a particular emphasis on translational techniques for evidence-based practice. The Post-Masters DNP program is unique and distinguished from the PhD Program in the School of Nursing in terms of program objectives as well as curriculum. The DNP program, in contrast to the PhD program, offers a clinically focused curriculum to prepare expert clinicians and has been structured to award a professional degree. 
In addition to the Post-Masters DNP program described in detail below, we are pleased to introduce a BSN to DNP program option available for Fall 2016 to a limited number of applicants. Learn more about the BSN to DNP option at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the program will meet outcome competencies and upon completion of the program will be able to:
  • Design and evaluate new models of care based on integration of theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing and related disciplines

  • Translate evidence to guide practice and improve outcomes of care

  • Analyze data which predicts and explains variations in practice

  • Provide inter-professional leadership within an increasing complex health care delivery system

  • Prepare leaders to use information systems and technology to support and improve patient care and health care systems

  • Prepare leaders to direct and deliver high quality, cost-effective care

  • Shape health policy and systems of health care in the local, regional, state, national, and international forums

  • Perform independently at the most advanced level of ethical specialty nursing practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program is a practice focused doctoral program designed to prepare expert nurse clinicians and executive leaders for the highest level of practice to improve health and healthcare outcomes. The emphasis is on innovative and evidence-based nursing practice, applying research processes to decision-making, and translating research findings to increase the effectiveness of both direct and indirect patient care outcomes.

Translational Research

All candidates are required to enroll in a sequence of three core courses devoted to translational development. The courses will focus on populations, translation of evidence to support quality care, management of care, senior leadership roles in healthcare and the development and implementation of health policy.

Scholarly Project

DNP candidates will prepare a scholarly project that demonstrates a synthesis of the student’s abilities, lay the groundwork for future practice scholarship and demonstrate mastery of an advanced practice specialty.

Post-Master's DNP Residency

DNP students must meet a minimum 1,000 hours of advanced clinical experience. The Residency will allow students to build and assimilate knowledge for advanced specialty practice at a high level of complexity. The Residency may be up to 6 credits based on the students’ previous clinical experience within their Masters education (applicants that did not complete an Advanced Practice, Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist focused Masters will be required to complete 6 credits of Residency, Applicants that completed an advanced practice Masters will complete 3 credits of Residency).


The post-Master’s DNP program is specifically designed to prepare expert level clinicians.  The curriculum is a web-blended format, students admitted to the post-Master’s DNP program are required to attend on-campus class two consecutive days per month (see dates below); additional course time is in synchronized and unsynchronized format.  The post-Master’s DNP program is offered fall term (September) start only; admitted students to the post-Master’s DNP program are offered a full-time (2 year) or part-time (3 year) program plan(sample program plans below). See the application requirements for additional information on admission requirements and the application process.
Course Name
Pre or
N800 Graduate Statistics for Advanced Practice and Research   3 Winter
N802 Epidemiology for Health Professionals   3 Fall
N803 Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship   1 Fall
N810 Scientific Foundations for the Practice Doctorate
3 Winter
N811 Health Informatics   3 Fall
N812 Clinical Leadership in Complex Systems   4 Winter
N815 Quality and Safety   3 Fall
N816 Policy Analysis and Transformation in Healthcare   3 Winter
N900 Seminar in Research Synthesis N810 3 Fall
N910 Translation, Implementation Science and Comparative Effectiveness N900 3 Spring/Summer
N950 DNP Residency   3-6
Fall, Winter &
N955 DNP Scholarly Project N900 5
Fall, Winter &

Sample Plans of Study for Post-Master's DNP Students


Fall Term Start, 3 year plan

Fall TermCreditsWinter TermCreditsSpring / Summer TermCredits
N802: Intro. to Epidemiology3N800: Graduate Statistics for Advanced Practice and Research3N910: Translation, Implementation, Effectiveness3
N900: Research Synthesis3N810: Scientific Foundations3  
Total Credits6Total Credits6Total Credits3
Year 2Fall TermCreditsWinter TermCreditsSpring / Summer TermCredits
N815: Clinical Leadership in Complex Systems3N812: Clinical Leadership in Complex Systems4N950: Residency1-3
N811: Health Informatics3N816: Policy Analysis, Transformation3N955: Scholarly Project1
N803: Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship1    
Total Credits7Total Credits7Total Credits2-4
Fall TermCreditsWinter TermCreditsSpring / Summer TermCredits
N950: Residency1-3N950: Residency1-3  
N955: Scholarly Project 2N955: Scholarly Project2  
Total Credits3-5Total Credits3-5


Fall Term Start, 2 year program

Fall TermCreditsWinter TermCreditsSpring / Summer TermCredits
N802: Intro. to Epidemiology3N800: Graduate Statistics for Advanced Practice and Research3N910: Translation, Implementation, Effectiveness3
N900: Research Synthesis3N810: Scientific Foundations3 N950: Residency 1-3
N815: Quality and Safety3N816: Policy Analysis, Transformation3N955: Scholarly Project 1
Total Credits9Total Credits9Total Credits5-7
Fall TermCreditsWinter TermCreditsSpring / Summer TermCredits
N811: Health Informatics  3N812: Clinical Leadership in Complex Systems4  
N995: Scholarly Project2N955: Scholarly Project2  
N950: Residency1-3N950: Residency1-3  
N803: Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship1   
 Total Credits7-9Total Credits 7-9 

On-Campus Dates

Winter 2015January 15-16; February 12-13; March 19-20; April 16-17
Sp/Su 2015May 7; June 4; July 9; August 6
Fall 2015September 17-18; October 8-9; November 12-13; December 10-11
Winter 2016January 14-15; February 11-12; March 17-18; April 14-15
Sp/Su 2016TBA
Fall 2016September 15-16; October 13-14; November 10-11; December 8-9
Winter 2017January 12-13; February 9-10; March 16-17; April 13-14
Sp/Su 2017TBA

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the U-M School of Nursing is accredited through June 30, 2019, by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.