Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Curriculum
This program of study lists the courses that you will be required to complete to meet graduation requirements.
Total for DNP FNP & PNP Programs
900 Clinical Hours
Total for DNP Program
200 Project Hours
Total for DNP Program
Nurse as Educator
The focus of this course is on role development of the nurse as an educator. Emphasis is placed on preparing the student to perform effectively as a communicator of information which will enable the client to act as a responsible partner in his/her own health care. Recognizing teaching as an important clinical skill, this course engages students in formal inquiry into key components of patient education. Students have the opportunity to participate in the processes of needs assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of education programs. Students conduct critical analysis of educational materials, apply research findings to patient education, and conduct a cost analysis of educational programs. The impact of legal issues, ethical dilemmas, and changes in the health care delivery system on patient education is discussed.
Public Health Policy
The purpose of this course is to critically analyze the ways in which public policy affects local and global health processes and outcomes. Students examine the broad context of health and social policy that impacts the health of the community and drives how strategies to improve the health of communities are structured. This course prepares the student to demonstrate leadership as a DNP by taking an active role in health advocacy and health policy development. Issues such as social justice, access to care, health care financing, and nurses in the political arena will be explored.
Advanced Health Assessment
This is the first course in the clinical advanced practice nurse (APN) series with a focus on advanced physical assessment, enhanced communication skills, and the reinforcement of health promotion and disease prevention across the life span. The course work and clinical lab activities enhance the student’s history taking proficiency, physical assessment skills, critical thinking, and decision-making competency essential for planning, delivering, and evaluating health care in the population.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 621.
Epidemiology and Population Health
This course prepares DNP students to relate the science of epidemiology, including genetic and environmental epidemiology, to evidence-based nursing practice in providing care to populations. Course content will cover identifying and defining population outcomes, concepts of epidemiology used in population-based research, and using data and information technology to target at-risk populations to improve health outcomes. In addition, students will analyze health policy at the population level and interpret trends in care delivery.
Prerequisite: NURS 632
This course focuses on the development of nursing science through the use of nursing theoretical frameworks. Students are guided in the examination of the development of conceptualizations and in the critique of concepts, theories, and boundaries for nursing study, as well as the implications for using theories of nursing and theories in nursing. Emphasis is on critical thinking, via description, analysis, and evaluation of nursing theory for application to practice. The importance of research to the continuing development of nursing theory as a method of building nursing's unique knowledge base is emphasized throughout the course.
Pre/corequisite: Admission to Graduate Study or permission of course faculty.
Family Nursing Theory
This course examines the contemporary family’s structure, function and process. Various theoretical frameworks and models are explored and applied to nursing assessment of and intervention with the healthy and high-risk family system in a variety of clinical settings. Students utilize a wellness approach to optimize health within a developmental framework and promote family resilience and adaptation throughout the life span. Psychosocial, cultural, economic, gender, and spiritual variables and their impact on family life are analyzed.
Innovation in Information, Quality and Safety
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to manage information, promote quality and maintain safety across healthcare settings. Collaborative and diverse opportunities to bring about improvement in healthcare are included. The course combines evidence-based concepts from technology, information science, communication studies, organizational quality, and health care science in order to prepare clinicians to take an active role in transforming healthcare and clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on the nurse’s active role in retrieving, interpreting, and sharing information to support an evidence-based clinical practice.
Advanced Nursing Research
This graduate level course examines quantitative and qualitative nursing research methods, principles, and methods of measurement, as well as skills for critical evaluation of nursing research. Identification and analysis of research related to clinical practice and health care outcomes are included. Students develop skills and knowledge needed to review and recognize the strength of evidence and recommend practice changes if indicated. This course builds upon previous knowledge of the research process, critiquing of research, and understanding of the application of statistical findings.
Legal and Ethical Issues
This course provides a foundation for values, codes and principles governing decisions in advanced nursing practice, conduct and relationships. The format of the course is to use case analysis and introduce a broad range of clinical ethical issues and to present the theoretical and practical knowledge that enables practitioners to provide leadership in responding to the ethical challenges confronting the health care system today. There is specific emphasis on legal concepts, the judicial process, ethical decision-making, and exploring interdisciplinary collaboration to strenghen ethical dialogue and decision making.
This course focuses on the causality of alterations in human physiologic function across the lifespan. Normal physiology and pathological phenomena produced by altered states of health across the lifespan are contrasted. The human physiologic responses to these altered states are related to pertinent diagnostic values, tests, and methods. This course serves as a basis for subsequent courses that deal with the clinical diagnosis and management of health problems.
Pre/corequisite: Matriculated graduate status.
Leadership for Advanced Practice Nurse
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed by the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) to function in the role of a leader in health care. Emphasis is placed on the development of individual APNs as informed and collaborative leaders within the health care system who use current research based evidence in their role. Utilizing the nursing process, and leadership theory and organizational theory, students analyze the effectiveness of health care organizations and develop interventions to improve the organizational effectiveness. Issues related to the APN's role as an active participant in the legislation of health care policy are explored.
Statistics and Methods for the DNP Project
This course is designed to enhance the DNP student's ability to select and apply methods (beyond Quality Improvement) required to implement a range of scholarly project designs. Quantitative methods include data collection, descriptive and inferential statistical analyses (including linear regression) utilizing appropriate software packages. Qualitative approaches for data collection and analysis will be introduced. The course will focus on identification and selection of methods appropriate for answering clinical questions, and interpreting and presenting results obtained from these methods.
Scholarly Writing and Program Development
Program development is an ongoing systematic process for the planning, funding, implementation and evaluation of programs. Content will cover principles and models for program planning, grant writing, and formative and summative outcomes measurement. In addition students will gain practical skills in project management, program delivery and marketing. Students will acquire content knowledge, writing proficiency, research skills, organizational ability, and principles of persuasion. This course will provide students with the background necessary to develop competitive funding proposals and achieve success in health, social, and behavioral programs in a variety of settings.
Prerequisite: NURS 608
Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
An integrative approach to pharmacology is emphasized. The principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicology are presented. The characteristics of the major drug classifications and clinical practice implications are addressed as well as the legal and regulatory implications of drug administration and the essentials of prescription writing. The opportunity to explore related topics alone or in a group is provided, e.g., substance abuse, self-medication with over-the-counter drugs, drug therapy for pain management, drug therapy in a specialty area (maternal, pediatric, gerontologic health care), and alternatives to drug therapy.
Pre/corequisite: Matriculated graduate status; NURS 621.
Clinical Management/FNP I
This is an entry level clinical course in which the student integrates basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and builds on advanced health assessment knowledge. Students develop an understanding of the pathologic changes and clinical manifestations that characterize common acute disorders. Students apply new understanding of pathophysiology and evolving clinical decision making skills to the interpretation of assessment data and the diagnosis and treatment of primary care clients and their families across the lifespan. Students perform complete health assessments and provide client care with supervision. In collaboration with the health care team, students are involved in the implementation and evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions and integrate research, teaching and consultation skills as a beginning basis for clinical practice.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 612, NURS 565, NURS 607, NURS 616
Clinical Management/FNP II
This course reflects a building of knowledge and skills from the previous clinical course, Clinical Management in Primary Health Care: Family NP I. Students continue to progress in the nurse practitioner role and in the delivery of health care to individuals with acute and chronic health care needs. In collaboration with the health care team, students are involved in the implementation and the evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions used in the care of patients across the lifespan. Effective use of skills required for clinical management, education, consultation, referral, and follow-up are emphasized. Therapeutic interventions based upon evidenced-based research are integrated along with complimentary and alternative healing approaches appropriate for individuals and their families with health care problems. Course work, classroom activities, and clinical assignments enhance students' critical thinking and decision-making skills, specifically for complex health care problem evaluation.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 640, NURS 641.
Clinical Management/FNP III
This is a culminating clinical course in which students are managing client care with increasing independence. The collaborative model guides the student in the implementation and evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions used in the care of the patients across the lifespan. Students further develop leadership, research, teaching, and consultation skills as a basis for clinical practice. Practice issues are identified and discussed in a structured environment that incorporates ethical concepts and effective use of resources for beginning autonomous practice. Theoretical concepts of organizational systems and health care politics and policy are applied to the advanced practice setting to identify and solve complex problems.
Pre/corequisites: NURS 642.
DNP Clinical Immersion
1-2 credits by advisement
The focus of this course is to expand, deepen, or enrich advanced practice skills relevant to area of clinical specialization. In clinical and simulated settings, learning opportunities will promote the integration of advanced practice competencies, leadership, and practice inquiry. Emphasis will be placed on self-directed and precepted learning experiences, in-depth clinical skill building, and decision making, continuity of care, and interprofessional collaboration.
Foundations of the DNP Project
This doctoral level course focuses on providing the resources for students to evaluate, translate, and integrate published research results into clinical practice. Building on previous course work, students will continue to identify clinical practice problems, develop answerable clinical research questions, search for best evidence, and appraise evidence using epidemiological, biostatistical, and scientific principles. In addition, students will integrate best evidence while taking into account patient values and preferences. Evaluating the effectiveness of evidence on outcomes is included.
Organizational Behavior and Systems Leadership
Organizational and systems leadership skills critical for culturally sensitive nursing practice to improve healthcare and outcomes are enhanced. Focus is on transformational leadership, measurement of outcomes, data driven decision–making, and the business realities of leading within healthcare. The emphasis is on skills and competencies needed to provide a scientific knowledge base for leadership in quality healthcare and systems of change focusing on not only the outcome, but safety, fiscal principles, efficiency and quality.
Advancements in Information, Quality and Safety
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to promote quality, maintain patient safety and manage information across healthcare settings. Collaborative and diverse opportunities to bring about improvement in healthcare are included. The course combines evidence-based concepts from technology, information science, communication studies, patient safety, organizational quality, and health care science to prepare nurses to take an active role in transforming healthcare and clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on the nurse’s active role in retrieving, interpreting, and sharing information to support an evidence-based clinical practice.
DNP Project I
50 Clinical Hours
This course is the first of three sequential clinical courses that focuses on the DNP project development providing experiential learning opportunities for the student. The course challenges the student to finalize their DNP project proposal building upon the foundation of clinical, behavioral and social sciences. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with doctoral faculty and mentor experts to refine and develop their project proposal including submission of the final project proposal paper, Institutional Review Board (IRB) application and project implementation once approved by the IRB. Throughout the three sequential clinical courses, the DNP student will employ the expanded advanced practice nursing role competencies focusing on their populations of interest. The student meets a minimum of 50 clinical hours.
Prerequisite: NURS 710
DNP Project II
50 Clinical Hours
This course is the second of three sequential clinical courses with a focus on the implementation of the DNP project developed in NURS 722 providing experiential learning opportunities for the student. As the approved project progresses the student continues with the opportunity to collaborate with doctoral faculty and mentor experts to collect and analyze data to evaluate the scholarly project's outcomes. Throughout the three sequential clinical courses, the DNP student will employ expanded advanced practice nursing role competencies focusing on their populations of interest. The student meets a minimum of 50 clinical hours.
Prerequisite: NURS 722
DNP Project III
50 Clinical Hours
This course is the third of three sequential clinical courses with a continued focus on the completion of the DNP project developed in the previous two clinical courses providing experiential learning opportunities for the student. As the project progresses the student continues with the opportunity to collaborate with doctoral faculty and mentor experts to analyze data and formulate the final project outcome(s). The student will be required to develop a project dissemination plan to include a local, state or national conference and a manuscript ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The sequential clinical courses provide students with experiential learning competencies for future scholarship. The student meets a minimum of 50 clinical hours.
Prerequisite: NURS 723
DNP Project Defense
This is the culminating DNP course, where the student will provide a final presentation and defense of their project.
Prerequisite: DNP Project III