Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Post Master’s On-Line Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the practice-based terminal degree within the nursing discipline with focus on the most advanced level of nursing practice. Advanced nursing practice includes nurses with a commitment to clinical practice including but not limited to nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists, along with nurses in leadership and management positions. The DNP gives those with commitment to clinical practice an opportunity to achieve the highest degree in nursing practice while focusing on a specific area of practice improvement.

Why Earn a DNP?

The DNP is comparable to terminal practice degrees in other healthcare disciplines.  Upon completion of the DNP, graduates have increased skills in a higher level of advanced nursing practice and are prepared to design and implement evidence-based practice improvement  initiatives to be utilized in today’s quality driven healthcare system.

Graduates of the Spalding University DNP program will be prepared to synthesize scientific, theoretical, and policy data from a variety of sources to improve healthcare systems and health outcomes for individuals and populations while collaborating with other disciplines within the healthcare system. Additionally, DNP graduates will be prepared to take leadership and advocacy roles in quality improvement initiatives within the healthcare system while utilizing evidence-based best practice findings as a basis for change.


 DNP prepared nurses have many career options in today’s healthcare arena including:

  • Advanced practice nursing
  • Leadership roles in healthcare management
  • Expert in healthcare Quality Improvement Initiatives
  • Nursing faculty member

Required Clinical Hours

A DNP candidate must  complete a minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours as required by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing  and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Each student  is allowed to count up to 600 clinical hours from previous MSN program. The remaining 400 clinical hours must be obtained while the student is enrolled in the residency courses in the Spalding’s DNP program with 100 of these hours credited to development and completion of the DNP Practice Improvement Project.

Each applicant for the Spalding University DNP program must submit the Verification of Post-Baccalaureate Clinical Hours Form.  This form is to be forwarded to the student’s MSN degree granting school of nursing in order to verify previous post-baccalaureate clinical hours. It is the responsibility of the applicant to assure this form is returned to the DNP Committee before acceptance into the DNP program.

Upon receipt of the Verification of Post-Baccalaureate Clinical Hours Form,  members of the  DNP Curriculum Committee shall review each to determine any disparity in total post-baccalaureate hours and establish a plan for the student to meet the KBN/CCNE requirement for clinical hours.  It is expected that some MSN graduates may not have obtained the anticipated 600 post-baccalaureate clinical hours and therefore required clinical hours while enrolled in the Spalding University Post Master’s DNP program will be determined on a case by case basis by the DNP Curriculum Committee members.

Key Features

Spalding University’s Post Master’s DNP Program includes:

  • An attractive on-line format with only 3 required on-campus visits over the length of the program
  • A Curriculum with 5-7 credit hours per semester with completion in 6 total semesters
  • One of the few DNP programs nationwide that includes coursework in clinically relevant genetics, genomics and population health
  • Clinical residency requirements that can be completed in students’ home locale
  • A high quality advanced practice doctoral program built upon the success of its well established, highly successful, regionally renowned master’s level nurse practitioner program



For more information please contact:
Delwin Jacoby,
Director, Post Master’s DNP Program