Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program prepares advanced practice nurses to practice at the highest level of professional nursing and to advance the application of nursing knowledge for the purpose of improving healthcare for diverse populations.

This post-graduate program can be completed in as few as 33 credit hours (seven to 10 semesters depending on the progression plan). Additional clinical and capstone credits may be required to meet program objectives.

Enrollment in nursing courses is based upon readiness, availability of space and an adequate cohort of students.

At the completion of the program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate will be able to practice at the highest level of professional practice to:

  1. Use science-based theories and concepts to:
    • Determine the nature and significance of health and healthcare delivery phenomena,
    • Describe actions and advance strategies to improve healthcare delivery, and
    • Develop, deliver and evaluate theory-based healthcare.
  2. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership that emphasizes the primacy of clinical work, continually improving health outcomes, and ensuring patient safety.
  3. Use analytical methods and research to develop best practices and practice guidelines and to facilitate the evaluation of systems of care that will improve patient outcomes.
  4. Use information systems and technology-based resources that support clinical and administrative decision-making, care systems, nurse-sensitive outcomes and quality improvement.
  5. Assume a leadership role in the development of healthcare policy.
  6. Establish, participate and lead inter-professional teams.
  7. Utilize a strong conceptual foundation in clinical prevention and population health.
  8. Base practice on biophysical, psychosocial, sociopolitical, and cultural principles; economics; nursing science; and ethics.
  9. Develop, implement, and evaluate practice and care delivery models, which are politically and culturally appropriate.

Adapted from AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice

DNP Progression Plan

View the progression plans below for more information.

Advanced Practice Nurse Post-MSN to DNP Progression

Grade and Dismissal Appeals Process

Review the procedure for grade and dismissal appeals. See also the Memorandum for Course Progression during the appeals process.

Post-MSN to DNP Course Descriptions

Students should work with their advisors to ensure they are completing the agreed upon progression plan.

View the list of course descriptions

Information Request

Our Student Services staff will be glad to answer your questions in person, by phone or by e-mail. To learn more about our program, complete the WVU Online information request and someone will be in touch.

For more information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, please contact:

A photo of Kim McCourt.
Kim McCourt
West Virginia University
Program Manager, Office of Student Services