DNP—Community Health Nursing

Community Health Nursing students

Our Community Health Nursing (CHN) track in the Doctor of Nursing (DNP) degree program is designed for nurses who are interested in improving population health, healthcare, and community systems in the U.S. and around the world. Our multi-disciplinary curriculum teaches you to:

  • Become a leader to work effectively with diverse stakeholders and communities
  • Use skills in community assessment and engagement, policy and program development and evaluation, budgeting, and management to drive healthy change, policy, and high impact solutions to health problems

Our DNP-CHN alumni describe their career paths as richer and their passion for nursing energized by gaining a solid foundation to be a leader in the nursing profession.

Initially launched in 2008, this is the first post-baccalaureate DNP-CHN curriculum in the Northwest region. A master’s degree is not required to apply.

Sites of practice

Our graduates are expertly prepared in:

They excel in traditional and non-traditional nursing practice roles in different employment sectors.

Examples of practice roles for DNP-CHN graduates from the UW School of Nursing:

Employment Sectors

Practice Roles

Education Manager of School Health Services, RN-BSN Program Director, Nursing Faculty
Healthcare Division Director in hospital and public health institution, Hospital-based Population-level Care Manager or Coordinator, Chronic Disease Program Manager, Director of Clinical Services at a community and migrant health center
Government Nurse Manager and Director at urban and rural public health departments, Community Health Director, Advanced Practice Nurse Specialist at public health department, AACN/CDC Public Health Nurse Fellow, Equity & Environment Program Manager
Tribal Institutions Community Health Program Supervisor
Nonprofits Director of a national environmental health nonprofit, Program Director and Assistant Director at local and regional nonprofits, Mental Health Project Manager, Regional Director of Health Equity at a voluntary health agency, Chief Nursing Officer at a nonprofit for global health
Business Self-employed Public Health Nurse Consultant, Employee Health Nurse and Program Supervisor

Curriculum

All Doctor of Nursing Practice tracks are offered as full-time study only.

Our CHN track offers a multi-disciplinary curriculum. With your cohort, you will:

  • Learn to use evidence-informed decision-making models and analytic skills to nimbly respond to pressing societal needs
  • Become equipped with cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research to lead sustainable change in community and public health practice
  • Develop skills to serve vulnerable populations and communities through intensive practicum internship
  • Build a professional network from a wide range of disciplines

You can become a specialist in your preferred area of community and population health by focusing your course papers, projects, internship and coursework on your areas of interest in:

  • Community and public health systems for children, youth and families; OR
  • Cross cultural and global health; OR
  • Worker well-being and safety

Year one

Year one of the DNP program is offered in a hybrid format (50 percent in-person, 50-percent distance learning), and requires that you be on campus one to two days per week. You will complete core DNP academic classwork with peers across all DNP tracks in the School of Nursing. Content of year one courses includes:

  • Leadership
  • Appraisal and application of evidence to advance practice
  • Health equity
  • Health systems and policy
  • Wellness and health promotion, and
  • Quality improvement

Year two

Some DNP courses include distance learning methods, but many courses are in-person and require weekly attendance. Your second year includes track-focused classes, seminars, and clinical experiences.

Year three

As in year two, many courses require in-person attendance with some courses including distance learning methods. In the final year of your program, you will continue clinical training.

In addition, you will work with your supervisory committee to complete a DNP project in collaboration with a local clinical agency or organization as part of your capstone experience. This project is presented in the form of a final examination.

Role of the DNP

Our DNP program prepares you not only for an advanced practice role but also teaches you how to look at cutting-edge research and apply that evidence to your practice.

The DNP program’s additional academic and clinical hours beyond a master’s-level degree gives you a solid foundation to become a leader in the nursing profession. You will work with faculty who are nationally recognized for their research, and also with agencies around the Puget Sound region to gain hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical experience.

By combining advanced practice nursing skills and knowledge of how to evaluate evidence-based research, you are empowered to become a more efficient and effective practitioner.

National certifications

Graduates of our DNP-CHN program are eligible to apply for the following national certifications:

Accreditation

The University of Washington Doctor of Nursing Practice program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through 2024.