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DNP

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the highest practice degree in nursing. VCU's DNP program emphasizes patient safety, quality improvement, leadership and health policy. Our graduates are prepared to lead as nurse practitioners or nurse executives.

Nurse Practitioner Roles:

VCU offers three nurse practitioner concentrations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner 
    • Students will be prepared  to provide primary care services including wellness/preventative, episodic and chronic care to children, adolescents, adults, pregnant and postpartum women, and older adults. Courses focus on episodic, comprehensive, chronic, and continuous care characterized by a long-term relationship between the patient and the clinician. 
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 
    • Students will be prepared to provide primary mental health care to individuals, families, or populations across the life span. Courses focus on assessment, diagnosis, and management of mental health problems including the promotion of optimal mental health, and prevention and treatment of psychiatric disorders. 
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Students will be prepared to provide direct acute care to the entire spectrum of adults including young adults, adults and older adults. Courses focus on the care of adult patients who are characterized as physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, and/or are highly vulnerable to complications. 

Nurse Executive Roles:

  • Nursing Leadership and Organizational Science
    • Students will be prepared for leadership and management roles in health care settings. Courses focus on financial management, human resource management, performance improvement, and leadership at the unit or organizational level.  

If you are interested in applying for either role: nurse practitioner or nurse executive, please review the application instructions

VCU’s DNP program offers two points of entry:

  1. Post-B.S. to DNP: Bachelor’s prepared registered nurses can apply to this pathway to become either a nurse practitioner or a nurse executive.
  2.  Post-Master’s to DNP: Registered nurses or nurse practitioners who hold a master’s degree can apply to this pathway to earn a clinical practice doctorate.

 

Both tracks are offered with part time or full time plans of study. The post-B.S. to DNP full-time program takes 3 years while the part-time plan takes 4 years. The post master’s to DNP full-time program is 2 years and part time is 3 years.

Why choose VCU's DNP program?

  • VCU’s DNP program is ranked No. 38 in the country by U.S. News and World Report
  • Our school is a part of an academic health science campus anchored by VCU Health System, a Magnet-recognized hospital that received the prestigious American Hospital Association McKesson Award for Quality and Safety.
  • Students are taught by doctorally educated faculty who are nationally recognized for their contributions to education and advanced practice. Current VCU Nursing faculty have been named as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing, received prestigious national awards and have been awarded grant funding to support not only research but also clinical practice and teaching innovations. 
  • Our collaboration with the nationally recognized Langston Center for Innovation in Quality and Safety gives students opportunities to develop patient-centered, population-focused and cost-effective initiatives designed to improve health care.

Deciding between a DNP or PhD? Find out which doctorate is right for you.

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