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Doctor of Nursing Practice

An education at Quinnipiac embodies the University's commitment to three core values: high-quality academic programs, a student-centered environment and a strong sense of community. Learning occurs in a highly personalized, student-centered community, which promotes academic excellence.

Graduate nursing education broadens the scope of practice and provides for the acquisition of expertise in an area of specialization. Students prepare for leadership roles in advanced specialty practice, nursing leadership and organizational management.

The nursing faculty welcomes a diversity of ideas, persons and cultures and supports students to advance their nursing education. The program promotes holistic nursing approaches, professional collaboration and ethical scholarship in an exciting environment dedicated to learning.

Students may chose to pursue preparation as an advanced practice nurse in a specific topic area through a track program.

Post-bachelor's tracks:

Post-master's tracks (online):

The Quinnipiac Advantage—Key Features:

  • New state-of-the art facility
  • Convenient schedule for adult learners
  • Supportive classroom instruction
  • Rigorous and focused educational goals
  • Superb clinical affiliations
  • Immersion and residency experiences
  • Intensive international health option
  • Portfolio capstone project

The DNP program at Quinnipiac University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program Outcomes

The objectives of the DNP program are to prepare graduates for advanced nursing practice who are capable of providing holistic health care for diverse individuals, families or populations in a variety of settings. Specifically, the program seeks to produce graduates who:

  1. Demonstrate clinical reasoning through an understanding of science and evidence-based practice.
  2. Design, implement and evaluate quality improvement initiatives across the systems in which health care is delivered.
  3. Analyze and critique the available evidence for best practices in health care.
  4. Apply technology and information fluency to conduct practice inquiry.
  5. Advocate for rational health policies to improve patient care and enhance effective use of resources.
  6. Demonstrate leadership through interprofessional collaboration to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  7. Direct health promotion and disease prevention efforts to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  8. Provide competent, culturally sensitive, and ethically based care to individuals and/or populations in a defined specialty of advanced nursing practice.

Admissions Requirements

An applicant to the doctor of nursing program must be a registered nurse or NCLEX eligible nurse and have a bachelor's degree in nursing or another field. Applicants to the nurse anesthesia program must be registered nurses with two years of recent (within the past five years) critical care experience. An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required. Additionally, applicants to the post-master's DNP tracks must have a master's degree in nursing or a related field. Applicants to the post-master's nurse anesthesia DNP must already be certified registered nurse anesthetics (CRNA). 

Applicants should submit the following:

  • A completed admissions application including a resume and a letter of intent addressing the following: 1) professional goals and motivations, 2) a nursing experience that has influenced or shaped your practice, 3) a health care problem that interests you for potential doctoral study
  • Official transcripts from all schools previously attended
  • Official recent results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or (IELTS) International English Language Testing System for international applicants
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons with authority to evaluate your professional ability
  • Proof of current licensure or eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Connecticut
  • Post-master's program applicants are required to provide verification from their prior master's program indicating the total number of supervised clinical hours that they completed as a part of that program. Download the form

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis up until the deadline of May 1, except for nurse anesthesia which is Oct. 15. When all application materials are received, an interview with the graduate nursing program director and/or member of the faculty will be arranged for eligible candidates.

For additional information please contact:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Phone: 203-582-8672 or 800-462-1944

DNP Curriculum + Requirements

Post-bachelor’s Program
Students who are registered nurses and have a bachelor’s degree may pursue doctoral training as an advanced practice nurse in one of three specialty areas as an advanced practice registered nurse:

  1. adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (see section below for details)
  2. family nurse practitioner
  3. nurse anesthesia

Full-time students enrolled in the adult gerontology or family nurse practitioner tracks can complete the degree requirements for a doctor of nursing practice in three years, with a two-day-per-week schedule. Students who are new to nursing or those who wish to begin their education at a more relaxed pace can choose a four-year option, which allows for part-time study during the first two years. This option allows for full-time work in the first two years of the program and part-time work in the final two years.

All students in the nurse anesthetist track are full time and complete the degree in three years. Clinical experience is graduated throughout the program, beginning with part time hours and ending with full time hours plus a call rotation.

Post-master's Program
For students with a master’s degree in nursing or a related field, the post-master’s doctoral option offers an opportunity to advance career goals more rapidly in two years in one of three tracks:

  1. care of populations
  2. nurse anesthesia
  3. nursing leadership

Students in the care of populations track focus on public health and “big picture” health care analysis, which is useful for systematic chronic disease management and health care services design. Those in the licensed certified registered nurse anesthesia track utilize their clinical work experience to advance their professional scope of practice, preparing them for an evolving health care environment as clinicians and leaders.

Students in the nursing leadership track may come with or without past experiences in management. The courses prepare students for leadership responsibilities and roles across the health care field.

Scholarly Portfolio
Upon admission, students are assigned an adviser, who meets with them for academic and scholarly advising over the course of the program. All students in the DNP program engage in scholarly inquiry through a variety of projects that are embedded in core and specialty courses throughout the program. Students are encouraged early to identify a theme or focus of inquiry. These completed projects are collected in a capstone portfolio. In the final semester, students reflect on how these projects have helped them achieve the overall program objectives during their course of study. The student’s ongoing portfolio work is evaluated by the full time faculty teaching the courses, in which the projects reside and the final synthesis will be graded as pass/fail by a faculty committee.

Post-bachelor's DNP: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Track

The adult-gerontology nurse practitioner track is designed for students with bachelor's degrees. It is offered in a full-time or part-time format. Working independently and collaboratively with nurse practitioners and other members of the health care team, graduates are prepared to provide high-quality, cost-effective and holistic primary care across the lifespan of adults. Graduates are eligible to take a national examination for certification as adult nurse practitioners.

Learn more about the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner track.

Post-bachelor's DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner Track

The family nurse practitioner track is designed for students with bachelor's degrees. It is offered in a full-time or part-time format. Working independently and collaboratively with nurse practitioners and other members of the health care team, program graduates are prepared to provide high-quality, cost-effective and holistic primary care across the lifespan. Graduates are eligible to take a national examination for certification as family nurse practitioners.

Learn more about the family nurse practitioner track.

Post-bachelor's DNP: Nurse Anesthesia Track

The nurse anesthesia track is designed for students with bachelor's degrees. It is offered in a three-year, full-time format and offers coursework in advanced physiology and pathophysiology, anatomy with cadaver lab, advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, basic and advanced principles of anesthesia, physics and advanced chemistry for anesthetic practice, patient safety, ethics, professional aspects, biostatistics, clinical scholarship, health care leadership, epidemiology and evidence-based practice. 

Read more about the post-bachelor's to DNP nurse anesthesia program.

Post-master's DNP: Care of Populations Track (online)

The post-master’s care of populations track is for master’s prepared nurses who want to further develop population health management skills. In addition to the DNP core classes, a select group of classes explore health care systems, organizational dynamics, and population-focused inquiry. Five hundred hours of practice and field experience related to the student’s interests enhance learning. The track is open to all master’s prepared nurses.

Read more about the post-master's DNP care of populations track.

Post-master's DNP: Nurse Anesthesia Track

This two- or three-year program is designed for the practicing nurse anesthetist. The program prepares the CRNA for leadership positions in clinical practice, education and management. The curriculum contains coursework in ethics, biostatistics, epidemiology, evidence-based practice, human factors and patient safety, health policy, clinical scholarship and leadership. 

Read more about the post-master's DNP nurse anesthesia track.

Post-Master's DNP: Nursing Leadership Track (online)

The online 31-33 credit post-master's doctor of nursing practice nursing leadership track is designed to develop a wide range of skills for master's-prepared nurses aspiring to assume leadership roles across a variety of health care settings, as well as for those who currently hold leadership positions. The track can be completed online with the exception of a residency component. 

Read more about the post-master's DNP nursing leadership track


Quinnipiac endorsed as one of few holistic nursing programs in the nation

The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) has again endorsed the School of Nursing's undergraduate and graduate programs. The school is one of 12 nursing schools with holistically-endorsed programs, and only the second school with endorsed DNP programs.


School of Nursing receives $10,000 grant to support students

The School of Nursing has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation. The gift will be used to support nursing students with scholarships and emergency financial assistance in times of a serious need.