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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 13D: Program of Study

1. University Requirements

The student, with the assistance of the student’s advisor, should develop a proposed program of study, and then complete, sign, and submit the Program of Study for DNP form to the College of Nursing Graduate Program Coordinator who in consultation with the Director of the DNP program will assure that the Program of Study for DNP meets the minimum requirements of the respective program and Graduate School. The program director will sign and submit the Program of Study for DNP form to the dean of the Graduate School for approval to assure that it meets the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. The Program of Study for DNP form should be submitted no later than the end of the 4th semester of the student’s program.

2. Course Requirements

Program of Study for Post-Baccalaureate’s DNP with Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Specialty Track

Minimum of 74 total credits of 500-level coursework and 1,000 practicum hours required

  • 38 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for core DNP program
  • 9 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for the DNP Project (NURS 557, 558, 559)
  • 27credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses from the FNP Post-Baccalaureate DNP Specialty Track
  • Completion of a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours

Program of Study for Post-Baccalaureate’s DNP with Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Specialty Track.

Minimum of 74 total credits of 500-level coursework and 1,000 practicum hours required

  • 38 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for core DNP program
  • 9 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for the DNP Project (NURS 557, 558, 559)
  • 27 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses from the PMHNP Post-Baccalaureate DNP Specialty Track
  • Completion of a minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours

Program of Study for Post-Baccalaureate’s DNP with Advanced Population Health (APH) Specialty Track,

Minimum of 74 total credits of 500-level coursework and 1,000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours required

  • 38 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for core DNP program
  • 9 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for the DNP Project (NURS 557, 558, 559)
  • 27 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses in Population Health (PH) Courses
  • Completion of a minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours

Program of Study for Post-master’s DNP General (Non-Specialty) Program

Minimum of 33 total credits of 500-level coursework and 1,000 practicum hours required.

Completion of graduate level nursing theory and nursing research courses (3 semester credits; 5 quarter credits for each) is required. If not completed prior to admission, post-master’s students must complete NURS 503 and NURS 504 as part of their DNP program of study in addition to the minimum number of hours described below.

  • 24 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for core DNP program
  • 9 credits minimum of 500-level NURS courses for the DNP Project (NURS 557, 558, 559)
  • Completion of a minimum of 500 post-baccalaureate/clinical master’s practicum hours
  • Completion of a minimum of 500 post-master’s practicum hours

3. Practicum Experiences and Requirements

Practicum experiences are hands-on, immersion experiences that allow DNP students to develop and demonstrate competence in the areas of clinical care, primary care, public health/population health, education, organizational systems, policy development, quality improvement, political action, leadership, and practice inquiry. For post-baccalaureate students: they must complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of practicum experience in their post-baccalaureate studies: 1) DNP nurse practitioner students will obtain a minimum of 500 of the 1000 hours in direct patient care supervised by a nurse practitioner or physician to meet certification requirements after graduation. Seminar hours are included as practicum hours. 2) For post-master’s students: they must complete the number of hours required to ensure that the total number of practicum hours they have completed following completion of the bachelor’s degree is 1,000.

The purpose of DNP practicum courses is to provide opportunities for students to gain professional experience in all the competencies listed above. Faculty and preceptor mentorship occurs across the curriculum. Graduates are expected to be dynamic leaders in the health care arena to assure that quality care, health safety, improved healthcare outcomes and health access occurs across all levels of society.

Practicum experiences allow students to apply and integrate all of the following into their advanced practice roles: theoretical content, research findings, clinical guideline development/ evaluation/revisions to meet Evidence Based Practice, leadership, collaboration, program evaluation, organizational system changes, assessment, intervention and clinical management strategies of individuals, families, and communities. Students typically engage in seminars with other students and faculty as part of practicum experiences.

Practicum experiences are defined by the specialty track in which the student is registered. Such clinical requirements are begun in collaboration with the lead faculty of the Specialty Track, the Clinical Placement Coordinator, and the student. Faculty approval is required before the student can begin working in any practicum site. The College of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook includes details about Clinical Placement Requirements.

Practicum Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Studies: Students must complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of practicum experience in their post-baccalaureate studies. Seminar hours are included as practicum hours.

Practicum Requirements for Post-master’s Studies: Students must complete the number of hours required to ensure that the total number of practicum hours they have completed following completion of the Bachelor’s degree is 1,000.

4. Program Progression

a. Students must maintain an overall grade of “B” (3.0 on the 4.0 grading scale) or higher to progress through each semester of the DNP Program.

b. Students must complete all the DNP and clinical specialty course work before or concurrent with their registration for the DNP Project courses (NURS 557, 558, and 559).

c. Students must receive a grade of “B” (3.0 on the 4.0 grading scale) or higher to pass each DNP Project course (NURS 557, 558, and 559).

d. Students may repeat once any DNP Project course (NURS 557, 558, 559) if they do not receive a passing grade (B or higher). When repeated, only the last grade contributes to the grade point average and total hours earned; however, the original course grade and the repeated course grade is retained on the student’s academic transcript.

e. Once NP students begin work on the DNP Project, they must remain continuously enrolled in at least one credit of an NP clinical course (NURS 540 for FNPs or NURS 599 for PMHNP) until the DNP Project courses are satisfactorily completed.

f. Students who do not enroll continuously in clinical/practicum courses for any reason must request a Leave of Absence from the program in accordance with the Graduate School’s Leave of Absence policy (see Chapter 5.A.6) and College of Nursing guidelines.

g. The Advanced Population Health DNP student is not bound by this same criterion because they do not sit for a licensing exam after graduation.

 

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