Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program Objectives

Due to the increased complexity of health care, strong doctoral-prepared nurses with a focus on the practice setting are needed. A primary goal of the DNP graduate will be to translate evidence into practice in ways that improve the quality and safety of patient care and enhance positive patients outcomes.

Two program options are available in the DNP:

  • Clinical Practice Focus
  • Leadership Practice Focus

Whether practicing as a clinician, in a nursing leadership role, or in the community, the Rutgers DNP graduate will be prepared to affect practice, design and implement programs that improve health and health care delivery, apply data management and informatics skills to evaluate outcomes, and influence policy.

At the conclusion of the DNP Program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Integrate biophysical, psychological, organizational, informatic, ethical, and legal knowledge with nursing science as a foundation for expert clinical nursing practice in a specific nursing clinical specialization.
  2. Demonstrate accountability in specialty practice according to accepted standards of patient care and safety.
  3. Translate research findings into evidence-based practice at the individual and health care system levels.
  4. Use information technology to evaluate the delivery of health care to individuals and internal and community systems.
  5. Effect desired change by developing and implementing policies at different levels of the health care system and with different constituencies.
  6. Provide multidisciplinary leadership through analysis of critical indicators and/or health care delivery systems in order to provide optimal patient care and safety in a specific nursing clinical specialization.
  7. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in the planning and delivery of health and illness management in a specific nursing clinical specialization.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice programs position Rutgers to be at the forefront of nursing education programs in the country. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended that by 2015, the standard for Advanced Practice Nursing Education be the DNP. Consequently, in fall 2012 Rutgers College of Nursing will no longer admit new nurse practitioner students into a master's program but has incorporated nurse practitioner education into the Post-BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum.

The Difference Between a DNP and a PhD

The PhD in Nursing will remain the accepted degree for nurse scientists. A PhD in nursing prepares nurse scientists who will GENERATE EVIDENCE to guide effective and safe nursing care. Whereas, a DNP degree prepares "practice" experts who will TRANSLATE EVIDENCE into practice across a variety of patient care settings.