DNP 1.0 Curriculum Components

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program has eight goals focused on preparing advanced practice nurses. A minimum of 90 credits are required distributed in three areas: Advanced Practice, Leadership, and Practice Inquiry. Among the core required courses for the DNP are a Tripartite Immersion Practicum clinical (for DNP students who begin study prior to Autumn 2013) and a Capstone Project.

The AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice recommend post-master's DNP study be a minimum of 12 months of full-time study and post-baccalaureate DNP study be a minimum of 36 months of full-time study.

Minimum Degree Requirements: DNP 1.0

To be awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in the University of Washington School of Nursing, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Maintain an active, unrestricted Washington State RN license throughout the program of study.
  2. Supervisory committee approval of the DNP Program of Study. The Program of Study must meet the School of Nursing DNP program requirement of a minimum of 90 credits distributed in the areas of Advanced Practice, Leadership, and Practice Inquiry and enable the student to meet the SoN DNP Program Goals.  Students with a prior, approved Master’s degree may waive 30 credits. The Program of Study must include the Tripartite Immersion Practicum Clinical (for DNP 1.0 students who began their programs of study prior to Autumn 2013 only) and the Capstone Project as part of a 1,000 clinical hour minimum
  3. Supervisory committee approval of both written and oral presentation of the Capstone Project Proposal.
  4. Successfully fulfill the approved Program of Study
  5. Complete 90 credits minimum (waive 30 credits for a prior Master’s degree), which must include:
  6. Satisfactory presentation of the Capstone Project, both written and oral
  7. Submit a signed Final Examination Warrant after satisfactory completion of the Capstone Project presentation and the fulfillment of the approved Program of Study
  8. In addition to the School of Nursing degree requirements, students must satisfy University of Washington degree requirements in Graduate School Memorandum No. 45 for Practice Doctorates.

Advanced Practice

The term Advanced Practice refers to any form of nursing intervention that influences health care outcomes for individuals or populations. This includes the direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, administration of nursing and health care organizations, and the development and implementation of health policy. Preparation at the practice doctorate level, including advanced preparation in nursing, is based on nursing science and is at the highest level of nursing practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum will prepare registered nurses as clinicians in advanced nursing practice in health and illness with expanded leadership, research, and clinical skills.

Core Advanced Practice Course

  • NCLIN 798: Tripartite Immersion Clinical


Leadership is defined as the dimension of the DNP program encompassing an array of knowledge and skills essential to advanced practice. These include leadership paradigms and perspectives; leadership processes such as critical reflection and negotiating; professional role development including legal and ethical codes; leadership skill development; integration of leadership in clinical research and practice roles; and systems and organizational policy and function. While leadership is an integral part of advanced practice and practice inquiry, in order to accentuate it, Leadership has been identified as a separate DNP program component apart from Advanced Practice. The purpose of the Leadership requirement is to ensure that each DNP student will gain leadership and systems skills pertinent to his or her area of specialization and advanced practice role.

Core Leadership Courses

  • NSG 530: Professional Identity and Leadership Processes in Nursing
  • NURS 525: Managing Clinical Effectiveness within Care Systems*
  • Social Justice (check with your advisor for suitable courses)
  • Remaining coursework should cover the following:
    • Organizational and Systems Management
    • Policy
    • Health Informatics

Practice Inquiry

Practice inquiry is defined as an on-going, systematic investigation of questions about practice and nursing therapeutics with the intent to appraise and translate all forms of best evidence to practice, and to evaluate the translational impact on health care. Through the process of translating science to practice, advance practice nurses observe, describe, understand and appraise clinical phenomena and its interface with empirically and theoretically based knowledge. The investigation contributes to the collective advancement of nursing science, practice and health care.

A minimum of 12 credits for the Capstone Project are required.

Core Practice Inquiry Courses

  • NMETH 520: Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice (waived for Post-Master's DNP students)
  • NMETH 527: Introduction to Health Informatics & Systems Thinking*
  • NMETH 533: Appraising Evidence for Clinical Practice**
  • NMETH 534: Translating Evidence to Clinical Practice
  • NMETH 801: Capstone Project

*Required for students entering the DNP program beginning 2011.
**Prior completion of a statistics self-study module is recommended for students who completed NMETH 520 before Winter Quarter 2011.