Doctor of Nursing Practice

            Consistent with our Jesuit philosophy, Scranton’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program will provide graduate education in a learning environment where ethical leadership, creative problem solving, service to patients and communities, inter-professional teamwork, appreciation of diversity, and commitment to practice excellence are the hallmarks.  The emphasis of our DNP program is on preparing local, regional, national, and international nurse leaders who will use their expertise to provide evidence-based care for improving the health of vulnerable populations.

 Executive Leadership Format

           Our DNP program is uniquely offered in an executive leadership format.  It is specifically designed to accommodate full-time practice and full-time academic commitment.  This hybrid model allows for on-campus and on-line course work.  It is the best of both worlds – incorporating the benefits of face-to-face on campus learning with the flexibility of on line learning.  Our 30-credit program can be completed in 21 months, with entry in fall and graduation two years later in May.    

           Students will take two courses for each of five semesters, meeting 2 to 4 scheduled weekends per semester.   The executive leadership model with planned on-campus meetings allows for increased collaboration among students and regular face-to-face contact between students and professors, thus enriching the academic experience and facilitating direct access to faculty and advisors for guidance and support.

Program Requirements

            In addition to coursework, each student will complete an evidence-based scholarly project with significant potential to positively change health care delivery or improve patient outcomes for vulnerable patients, families, communities, or populations.   Also, each student will complete clinical practice hours related to the scholarly project and /or to advance knowledge in the student’s area of specialization.  Advanced nursing practice students will be given credit for the clinical hours completed in their master’s specialty program and will complete additional hours to fulfill the 1000 clinical hours total required for the DNP program. The number of clinical hours required for each student will be divided between the two DNP Scholarly Project courses (NURS 780 and NURS 790).  A minimum of 125 hours is required in each DNP Scholarly Project course.  Additional hours above the 125 hour minimum will be dependent upon the student’s prior precepted clinical experience at the master’s level. 


First Year


NURS   700      Epidemiology and Biostatistics                                                          

NURS   710      Information Systems and Health Care Technology                           


NURS   720      Advanced Scientific Inquiry                                                               

NURS   730      Translating Evidence into Practice                                                    


NURS   740      Health Care Management for Advanced Practice Nurses                            

NURS   750      Promoting Health in Vulnerable Populations                                    


Second Year


NURS   760      Advanced Health Care Policy                                                            

NURS   780      DNP Scholarly Project I                                                                                              


NURS   770      Professional Leadership and Organizational Change                       

NURS   790      DNP Scholarly Project II   

Admission Requirements

            An applicant for the DNP degree program must possess a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program with preparation in an advanced nursing practice specialty, have an MSN GPA of 3.2 or higher, and be licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Pennsylvania.  The applicant must submit three professional references and a three to four page essay describing current and past clinical practice, scholarly career achievements, and the proposed topic for the scholarly project.  The topic may be a practice improvement issue or a clinical management problem.  The paper should cite appropriate sources where applicable and follow APA format.  A personal interview with the program director or a faculty member to clarify goals and objectives is required.  

 Application Information

            Students are admitted to the DNP program for the fall semester only. Completed applications for Fall admission must be received by August 1 of the year of expected enrollment.  Application information can be found at

  Practice and Employment Opportunities

            The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. DNP-prepared nurses are well-equipped to fully implement the science developed by nurse researchers prepared in PhD, DNSc, and other research-focused nursing doctorates.  The program will position graduates well for the changes and opportunities that are expected to arise for health care practice in the future, including advancement in independent practice, leadership positions in a variety of practice settings, executives in health care organizations, directors of clinical programs, faculty positions responsible for clinical program delivery, and teaching in the clinical setting.