Doctor of Nursing Practice

Program Overview

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed to prepare nurse leaders for the highest level of professional nursing practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline. Doctoral nursing practice encompasses advanced clinical practice that influences health care outcomes for individuals, families, and populations including the direct care of individual patients, management and care coordination for individuals and populations, administration of nursing and health care organizations, and the development and implementation of health policy. Graduates of DNP programs are prepared for direct care roles (e.g. nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives) and systems-focused roles (e.g. administrative, public health, and policy roles) or a blend of these roles.

The DNP curriculum at UIC consists of three domains of competencies for advanced practice in direct clinical care or systems: a) core practice competencies, b) specialty-specific practice competencies, and c) role competencies.  Our mission is to develop advanced practitioners of nursing into evidenced-based, intra-disciplinary providers who meet the needs of a rapidly expanding healthcare field.

At completion of the DNP program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the specialty competencies needed for doctoral practice in nursing
  • Translate science to influence healthcare policy
  • Implement evidence-based practices to optimize healthcare outcomes and reduce disparities
  • Practice strategic management skills to improve the effectiveness of nursing interventions  and health systems outcomes
  • Develop transdisciplinary ventures to create innovative healthcare delivery models
  • Demonstrate fiscal leadership in planning and in management for nursing practice
  • Integrate technology with nursing practice skills to improve quality and accessibility of care
  • The College of Nursing offers a variety of Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) specialty concentration options as Nurse Practitioners (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS).  These are part of the programs of three College of Nursing departments:

Students are admitted to the DNP program during the fall semester. Applicants pursuing DNP degree will choose one of the following entry routes:

  • Post-Baccalaureate (BSN to DNP)
  • Post-Master’s
  • Post-Master’s with New Specialty
  • DNP transition (RN, non-BSN)The Post-Master’s curriculum builds on direct care or systems-focused competencies that were previously acquired through formal coursework leading to a Master of Science degree in Nursing.Post-Master’s applicants who would like to acquire a new role (such as an administrator adding the Family Nurse Practitioner option) will need to complete additional courses and practicum in the selected area of role specialization. Courses are generally taught in a blended curriculum, requiring online and classroom sessions.  The DNP transition (RN, non-BSN) is a route of entry for students with an RN license and a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. DNP transition students are required to take an additional 1 to 4 courses during the first Fall/Spring semesters following admission to the College of Nursing and before beginning any coursework in the DNP degree.
  • The transition courses are as follows:
  • DNP Transition
  • Post-Master’s with New Specialty
  • Post-Master’s
  • NURS 210 Health Assessment
  • NURS 242 Concepts & Processes for Contemporary Nursing Practice
  • NURS 385 Clinical Concepts & Processes for Population-Focused Nursing
  • NURS 322 Introduction to Nursing Research & Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Required transition courses will be determined upon admission on an individual basis. All transition courses are delivered online in eight-week modules through the School of Continuing Studies and taught by UIC College of Nursing faculty.