College of Health and Human Services2021-2022


Nursing Practice, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed to allow nurses holding a master’s degree (MS) in nursing to obtain a terminal degree in nursing. The DNP builds on master’s education and includes content related to healthcare leadership, policy, and population health. Students will develop in-depth knowledge of interprofessional collaboration, information systems and healthcare technology, and the analysis, synthesis, translation, and dissemination of scientific and evidence-based professional literature. Learning experiences provided in this program include design and implementation of quality improvement and practice change projects, systematic and comprehensive investigation of topics related to population health, healthcare systems, and advanced nursing practice. DNP graduates will have the knowledge to inform and lead practice innovation, policy development, and improve delivery of health care in our complex and evolving healthcare system. DNP-prepared nurses may hold positions in academia, clinical practice and healthcare administration in hospitals, government agencies, private industry, and clinical practice settings. The DNP at Northern Arizona University is a clinical doctorate with emphasis on enhancing leadership expertise in rural and underserved populations.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with Standards from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Upon completion of the degree, students will be able to:

  • Clinical Practice and Prevention: Synthesize concepts, including psychosocial dimensions and cultural diversity, related to clinical prevention and population health in developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address health promotion and disease prevention efforts, improve health status/access patterns, and/or address gaps in care of individuals, aggregates, or populations.
  • Communication:
    • Develop and implement practice models, peer review, practice guidelines, health policy, standards of care, and/or other scholarly products using effective communication and collaborative skills.
    • Design, select, use, and evaluate programs that evaluate and monitor outcomes of care, care systems, and quality improvement including consumer use of health care information systems.
  • Critical Reasoning:
    • Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.
    • Use science-based theories and concepts to determine the nature and significance of health and health care delivery phenomena, describe the actions and advanced strategies to enhance, alleviate, and ameliorate health and health care delivery phenomena as appropriate and evaluate outcomes.
    • Design and implement processes to evaluate outcomes of practice, practice patterns, and systems of care within a practice setting, health care organization, or community against national and/or international benchmarks to determine variances in practice outcomes and population trends.
  • Leadership:
    • Develop and evaluate care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations based on belief systems and scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences.
    • Demonstrate leadership ability in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international health policy.
  • Professionalism and Professional Values:
    • Develop and/or evaluate effective strategies for managing the ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, the health care organization, and research.
    • Ensure accountability for quality of health care and patient safety for populations with whom they work.
    • Guide, mentor, and support other nurses to achieve excellence in nursing practice

Global Health:

Global Engagement: Develop creative solutions for health care systems to address health equity and social justice thus reducing health disparities in rural and/or disadvantaged populations.

Diversity Education: Analyzes social and cultural components of health and wellness to create solutions that are culturally and socially relevant and acceptable.

Environmental Sustainability: Synthesize interprofessional and interdisciplinary knowledge and approaches that promote sustainable environmental health policies and conditions as well as reduce human health exposures.

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