Mar 19, 2019  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

Nursing Practice, DNP


Director/Program Coordinator: Michelle Skipper (3166-C Health Sciences Building; 252-744-6444; skipperm@ecu.edu)

Contact Information by Specialty Area:

  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner: Michelle Skipper (3166-C Health Sciences Building; 252-744-6444; skipperm@ecu.edu)
  • Nurse Anesthesia: Maura McAuliffe (3112 Health Sciences Building; 252-744-6443; mcauliffem@ecu.edu)
  • Nursing Leadership: Bradley Sherrod (3185 Health Sciences Building; 252-744-6469; sherrodb16@ecu.edu)

The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree is a practice-focused terminal degree earned by specialists in advanced nursing practice. The DNP focuses on developing nursing experts that can translate and apply research findings into clinical practice rather than in generating new knowledge.

The location and mission of the College of Nursing, as well as the expertise of the faculty, provide a unique opportunity for the application of research in the identification and resolution of individual and aggregate health systems problems related to nursing and health issues in rural underserved areas.

The DNP provides the knowledge base to:

  1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.
  2. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement in health care systems.
  3. Apply clinical scholarship and analytical methods to evidence-based practice.
  4. Use information systems technology and patient care technology to improve and transform health care.
  5. Demonstrate leadership in health care policy for advocacy in health care.
  6. Collaborate with inter-professional and intra-professional teams to improve patient and population health outcomes through the application of evidence based health resources.

The program’s emphasis on strong faculty mentorship and integration of the scientific process throughout the curriculum is reflected in each student’s DNP Project. The project is developed and implemented by the student to demonstrate use of the scientific process in translation of research in practice settings to advance and promote systems of improved patient outcomes. Components of the project include a podium presentation of the completed project and approval of the final written report by the DNP Project Team and DNP Program Director.

Upon graduation, students are prepared to assume leadership positions as clinicians, administrators in public and private health care organizations, policy makers and analysts, and university faculty. Additional course work may be required, depending on student objectives and focus.

I. Accreditation


ECU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and post-graduate APRN certificate are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750; Washington, DC 20001; 202-887-6791 (phone); 202-887-8476 (fax).

The Nurse Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA); 222 S Prospect Avenue, Park Ridge, IL 60068; 847-655-1160 (phone); 847-692-7137 (fax).

II. Degree Pathways


The DNP has two pathways to obtain the degree – the post-master’s (MSN to DNP) and the post-baccalaureate (BSN to DNP). The DNP program is offered as a MSN to DNP for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), certified nurse midwifes (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), and nurse practitioners (NP). The BSN to DNP is offered for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioners (AGPCNP) and family nurse practitioners (FNP) as an entry level program.

A. Post-Master’s Pathway


The MSN to DNP pathway builds on current East Carolina University (ECU) College of Nursing (CON) curricula which reflects The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (2011) and has been revised to demonstrate congruence with The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006). Because students at this level are already nurses with advanced nursing practice, the post-master’s pathway is not population specific, but rather focuses on the global essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. The post-master’s pathway provides three areas of specialty. They are advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and nursing leadership (NL).

The pathway expands the knowledge of students from the master’s level to the doctoral level and encompasses knowledge required as nurse leaders in increasingly complex healthcare systems.

The curriculum for the MSN to DNP pathway can be completed in 27-36 semester hours. The advanced practice registered nurse and nursing leadership specialty areas require 36 semester hours. The nurse anesthetist specialty area requires 27 semester hours.

B. Post-Baccalaureate Pathway


The BSN to DNP pathway curriculum is offered in three specialty areas. They are adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP), and the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) entry level program.

The curriculum for the post-baccalaureate pathway can be completed in 61-90 semester hours.  The AGPCNP program of study requires 61 semester hours, inclusive of  720 clinical practice hours; the FNP program of study requires 70 semester hours, inclusive of 840  clinical practice hours; and the CRNA program of study requires 90 semester, hours inclusive of a minimum of 2000 clinical practice hours.

III. On-Campus Intensives


Students enrolled in online courses/pathways are required to attend on-campus sessions for 1-5 days near the beginning of each semester (September, February, June) for DNP Intensives (on-site education).  Students in NURS 6610 - Health Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice  will have a minimum of three on-campus sessions. Intensives provide students with a collegial immersion alongside faculty and peers and facilitates successful achievement of program and professional objectives.

IV. Requirements


(Select a pathway.)

A. Post-Master’s (MSN to DNP) Pathway


(Select a MSN to DNP specialty area.)

1. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Specialty Area


The DNP post-master’s advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) program provides an opportunity for the certified nurse midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse practitioner (NP), and neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) to expand competencies beyond the master’s level and encompasses knowledge required as nurse leaders in increasingly complex healthcare systems.

a. Admission Requirements

  1. One official transcript from each college or university attended
  2. A master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program with evidence of completion of graduate level pathophysiology, pharmacology and advanced physical assessment courses from nationally accredited schools
  3. Certification as an APRN
  4. Preferred minimum undergraduate BSN GPA of 3.0
  5. A minimum grade-point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale on all graduate work.
  6. A current non-restricted license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) is required in order to apply
    • Must have a current non-restricted license to practice as an RN in North Carolina upon admission to the program
    • International applicants must work with the Commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to validate credentials before applying for RN licensure
  7. Satisfactory performance on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores where English is not the first language (students on foreign student visas must present evidence of professional standing in their respective countries)
  8. Computer competency with proficiency in development and use of databases, patient information systems, statistical sets, and use of various statistical packages for data analysis
  9. A graduate research methodology course (a graduate level inferential statistics course within the past 5 years is strongly recommended, but not required)
  10. Written statement of personal career, educational and scholarship goals, including identification of practice interests and leadership goals consistent with program goals
  11. Three written professional references from individuals with expertise to comment on the applicant’s capability for doctoral scholarship (for example, university professors, employers; at least one of the references must be from a doctorally prepared nurse)
  12. A current curriculum vita
  13. A representative portfolio limited to no more than 25 pages demonstrating evidence of professional practice accomplishments, community service, and scholarship
  14. An interview with members of the DNP admission committee, to include a discussion of congruence between the student’s practice interests and career goals, and the expertise and research of the faculty
b. Application Requirements

Applications for study to begin in the fall semester will be accepted until the end of the first full week in January. Applicants are expected to ensure that the Graduate School and the College of Nursing receive all supporting credentials by the final filing date. Applicants are evaluated in five areas: GPA, GRE (if applicable), references, essay, and interview. Completed applications are considered in a competitive review process. All completed applications received by the final filing date will be given careful consideration. All completed applications are reviewed by the DNP admission committee shortly after the admission deadline. All completed applicant packets are discussed among the DNP admissions committee until consensus has been attained for competitive rankings for admission decisions. Every effort is made to complete the competitive admission process by the last week in February with admissions notifications mailed by the first week of March. Each applicant will be notified in writing of the admission decision after the admission process is completed.

Preference is given to those who demonstrate a capacity for creative inquiry, critical thinking, scholarship, and leadership. In the case of equally qualified applicants, preference will be given to individuals who intend to pursue doctoral study on a full-time basis. Students will be assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission. All admitted DNP students are required to attend a College of Nursing orientation session at the beginning of the fall semester.

c. Degree Requirements

The DNP post-master’s pathway advanced practice registered nurse specialty area program is offered as an online, 36 semester hour program of study. Students are required to complete a minimum of 36 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. Campus requirements and group learning will serve as a foundational component of the DNP program of study. A minimum of 12 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project credit hours will be divided over 4-5 semesters depending on project complexity. In order to achieve the DNP competencies, students must complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of post-baccalaureate practice hours as part of a supervised academic program. Practice hours earned in accredited MSN/APRN programs are included in the total of the minimum required hours. Students may enroll in either full-time or part-time programs of study, completing their degree requirements in 4 or 6 semesters, respectively.

As in other programs of doctoral study, students in this program may expect to enroll in more than the minimum required credit hours and to be aware that study opportunities that focus on particular areas of study are in addition to the basic program requirements. Additional study is individualized and depends on the student’s background and graduate preparation as well as the employment role identified as a career focus. This program of study enrolls both full- and part-time students. Students need to closely adhere to the plan of study, as some courses are offered only once a year. To deviate from the plan of study will mean a delay of one or more semesters before course enrollment is again possible.

The DNP post-master’s pathway advanced practice registered nurse specialty area program requires a minimum of 36 s.h. as follows:

2. Nurse Anesthetist Specialty Area


The DNP post-master’s pathway nurse anesthetist (CRNA) specialty area program provides an opportunity to expand competencies beyond the master’s level and encompasses knowledge required as nurse leaders in increasingly complex healthcare systems.

a. Admission Requirements

  1. One official transcript from each college or university attended
  2. A master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program with evidence of completion of graduate level pathophysiology, pharmacology and advanced physical assessment courses from nationally accredited institutions of higher learning
  3. Certification as an APRN
  4. Preferred minimum undergraduate BSN GPA of 3.0
  5. A minimum grade-point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale on all graduate work.
  6. A current non-restricted license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) is required in order to apply
    • Must have a current non-restricted license to practice as an RN in North Carolina upon admission to the program
    • International applicants must work with the Commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to validate credentials before applying for RN licensure
  7. Satisfactory performance on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores where English is not the first language (students on foreign student visas must present evidence of professional standing in their respective countries)
  8. Computer competency with proficiency in development and use of databases, patient information systems, statistical sets, and use of various statistical packages for data analysis
  9. A graduate research methodology course (a graduate level inferential statistics course within the past 5 years is strongly recommended, but not required)
  10. Written statement of personal career, educational and scholarship goals, including identification of practice interests and leadership goals consistent with program goals
  11. Three written professional references from individuals with expertise to comment on the applicant’s capability for doctoral scholarship (for example, university professors, employers; at least one of the references must be from a doctorally prepared nurse)
  12. A current curriculum vita
  13. A representative portfolio limited to no more than 25 pages demonstrating evidence of professional practice accomplishments, community service, and scholarship
  14. An interview with members of the DNP admission committee, to include a discussion of congruence between the student’s practice interests and career goals, and the expertise and research of the faculty
b. Application Requirements

Applications for study to begin in the fall semester will be accepted until the end of the first full week in January. Applicants are expected to ensure that the Graduate School and the College of Nursing receive all supporting credentials by the final filing date. Applicants are evaluated in five areas: GPA, GRE (if applicable), references, essay, and interview. Completed applications are considered in a competitive review process. All completed applications received by the final filing date will be given careful consideration. All completed applications are reviewed by the   DNP admission committee shortly after the admission deadline. All completed applicant packets are discussed among the DNP admissions committee until consensus has been attained for competitive rankings for admission decisions. Every effort is made to complete the competitive admission process by the last week in February with admissions notifications mailed by the first week of March. Each applicant will be notified in writing of the admission decision after the admission process is completed.

Preference is given to those who demonstrate a capacity for creative inquiry, critical thinking, scholarship, and leadership. In the case of equally qualified applicants, preference will be given to individuals who intend to pursue doctoral study on a full-time basis. Students will be assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission. All admitted DNP students are required to attend a College of Nursing (CON) orientation session at the beginning of the fall semester.

c. Degree Requirements

The DNP post-master’s pathway nurse anesthetist specialty area program is a 27 semester hour program of study. Students are required to complete a minimum of 27 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. Campus requirements and group learning will serve as a foundational component of the DNP program of study. A minimum of 12 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project credit hours will be divided over 4-5 semesters depending on project complexity. In order to achieve the DNP competencies, students must complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of post-baccalaureate practice hours as part of a supervised academic program. Practice hours earned in accredited MSN/APRN programs are included in the total of the minimum required hours. Students may enroll in either full-time or part-time programs of study, completing their degree requirements in 4 or 6 semesters, respectively.

As in other programs of doctoral study, students in this program may expect to enroll in more than the minimum required credit hours and to be aware that study opportunities that focus on particular areas of study are in addition to the basic program requirements. Additional study is individualized and depends on the student’s background and graduate preparation as well as the employment role identified as a career focus. This program of study enrolls both full- and part-time students. Students need to closely adhere to the plan of study, as some courses are offered only once a year. To deviate from the plan of study will mean a delay of one or more semesters before course enrollment is again possible.

The DNP post-master’s pathway nurse anesthetist specialty area program requires a minimum of 27 s.h. as follows:

Note:

Campus requirements and group learning will serve as a foundational component of the DNP program of study. A minimum of 12 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project credit hours will be divided over 4-5 semesters depending on project complexity. Students may enroll in either full-time or part-time programs of study, completing their degree requirements in 4 to 6 semesters.

3. Nursing Leadership Specialty Area


The DNP post-master’s pathway nursing leadership specialty area program of study is designed to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for leadership positions within health-care delivery systems. Students develop specialized knowledge and practice in leadership, including but not limited to administrative and organizational theory and ethics, financial management, human resource management, health policy, and law and regulation.

a. Admission Requirements

  1. One official transcript from each college or university attended
  2. A master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program in leadership, nursing administration or healthcare administration
  3. Certification as an APRN (if applicable)
  4. A minimum grade-point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale of graduate work
  5. A current non-restricted license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) is required in order to apply
    • Must have current non-restricted license to practice as an RN in North Carolina upon admission to the program
    • International applicants must work with the Commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to validate credentials before applying for RN licensure
  6. Satisfactory performance on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores where English is not the first language (students on foreign student visas must present evidence of professional standing in their respective countries)
  7. Computer competency with proficiency in development and use of databases, patient information systems, statistical sets, and use of various statistical packages for data analysis
  8. A graduate level inferential statistics course within the past 5 years is strongly recommended, but not required
  9. A graduate research methodology course
  10. Written statement of personal career, educational, and scholarship goals; identification of practice interests, leadership goals consistent with program goals
  11. Three written professional references from individuals with expertise to comment on the applicant’s capability for doctoral scholarship (for example, university professors, employers; at least one of the references must be from a doctorally prepared nurse)
  12. A current curriculum vita or resume
  13. A representative portfolio limited to no more than 25 pages demonstrating evidence of professional practice accomplishments, community service and scholarship
  14. An interview with members of the DNP admission committee, to include a discussion of congruence between the student’s practice interests/career goals and the expertise and research of the faculty
b. Application Requirements

Applications for study to begin in the fall semester will be accepted until the end of the first full week in January. Applicants are expected to ensure that the Graduate School and the College of Nursing receive all supporting credentials by the final filing date. Applicants are evaluated in five areas: GPA, GRE (if applicable), references, essay, and interview. Completed applications are considered in a competitive review process. All completed applications received by the final filing date will be given careful consideration. All completed applications are reviewed by the DNP admission committee shortly after the admission deadline. All completed applicant packets are discussed among the DNP admissions committee until consensus has been attained for competitive rankings for admission decisions. Every effort is made to complete the competitive admission process by the last week in February with admissions notifications by the first week of March. Each applicant will be notified in writing of the admission decision after the admission process is completed.

Preference is given to those who demonstrate a capacity for creative inquiry, critical thinking, scholarship, and leadership. In the case of equally qualified applicants, preference will be given to individuals who intend to pursue doctoral study on a full-time basis. Students will be assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission. All admitted DNP students are required to attend a College of Nursing orientation session at the beginning of the fall semester.

c. Degree Requirements

The DNP post-master’s pathway nursing leadership specialty area program requires a minimum of 36 s.h. as follows:

B. Post-Baccalaureate (BSN to DNP) Pathway


(Select a BSN to DNP program of study.)

1. Nurse Practitioner Program


    Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty Areas

The DNP post-baccalaureate pathway nurse practitioner program of study includes adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) and family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialty areas and is designed to prepare nurses for entry into advanced practice. The program focuses on developing nursing experts in translating and applying research findings in clinical practice. Graduates of the program are prepared as nurse leaders in inter-professional health care teams and work to improve systems of care, patient outcomes, quality, and safety.

The AGPCNP program of study requires 61 semester hours, inclusive of 720 clinical practice hours, while the FNP program of study requires 70 semester hours, inclusive of 840 clinical practice hours.

a. Admission Requirements

  1. One official transcript from each college or university attended
  2. A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program
  3. Preferred minimum undergraduate BSN GPA of 3.0
  4. A minimum grade-point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale on all graduate work
  5. A current non-restricted license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) is required in order to apply
    • Must have a current non-restricted license to practice as a RN in North Carolina upon admission to the program
    • International applicants must work with the Commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to validate credentials before applying for RN licensure
  6. Satisfactory performance on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores where English is not the first language. Students on foreign student visas must present evidence of professional standing in their respective countries
  7. Computer competency with proficiency in development and use of databases, patient information systems, statistical sets, and use of various statistical packages for data analysis
  8. Though not required, a graduate level inferential statistics course within the past 5 years is strongly recommended
  9. Written statement of personal career, educational, and scholarship goals; identification of practice interests, leadership goals consistent with program goals
  10. Three written professional references from individuals with expertise to comment on the applicant’s capability for doctoral scholarship (for example, university professors, employers) At least one of the references must be from a doctorally prepared nurse.
  11. A current curriculum vita
  12. A representative portfolio limited to no more than 25 pages demonstrating evidence of professional practice accomplishments, community service and scholarship
  13. An interview with members of the DNP admission committee to include a discussion of congruence between the student’s practice interests/career goals and the expertise and research of the faculty
b. Application Requirements

Applications for study to begin in the fall semester will be accepted until January 10th. Applicants are expected to ensure that the Graduate School and the College of Nursing receive all supporting credentials by the final filing date. Applicants are evaluated in five areas: GPA, GRE (if applicable), references, essay, and interview. Completed applications are considered in a competitive review process. All completed applications received by the final filing date will be given careful consideration. All completed applications are reviewed by the DNP admission committee shortly after the admission deadline. All completed applicant packets are discussed among the DNP admissions committee until consensus has been attained for competitive rankings for admission decisions. Every effort is made to complete the competitive admission process by the last week in February with admissions notifications by the first week of March. Each applicant will be notified in writing of the admission decision after the admission process is completed.

Preference is given to those who demonstrate a capacity for creative inquiry, critical thinking, scholarship, and leadership. In the case of equally qualified applicants, preference will be given to individuals who intend to pursue doctoral study on a full-time basis. Students will be assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission. All admitted DNP students are required to attend a College of Nursing orientation session at the beginning of the fall semester.

c. Degree Requirements

The DNP post-baccalaureate pathway nurse practitioner program requires a minimum of 61-70 s.h. as follows:

Clinical core courses - 34-43 s.h.

(Select one of the below specialty areas.)

2. Nurse Anesthesia Program


The DNP post-baccalaureate pathway nurse anesthesia specialty area entry level program is a face to face 36-month course of study designed to prepare professional nurses as practitioners of nurse anesthesia eligible for national certification from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. A minimum of 90 semester hours including 12 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project credit hours will be divided over 9 semesters. In order to achieve the DNP competencies, students must complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of post-baccalaureate practice hours as part of a supervised academic program. Students enroll in a full-time program of study, completing their degree requirements in 9 semesters.

This nurse anesthesia program only enrolls full-time students. Students need to closely adhere to the plan of study, as some courses are offered only once a year.

a. Admission Requirements

  1. Admission to the DNP program requires that student meet the minimum admission requirements for graduate study as established by the university and the following requirements established by the College of Nursing
  2. One official transcript from each college or university attended
  3. A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program
  4. A preferred minimum BSN GPA of 3.0
  5. Satisfactory performance on Test of Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores where English is not the first language (students on foreign student visas must present evidence of professional standing in their respective countries)
  6. Acceptable score on the Graduate Records Examinations (GRE) within the past five years
  7. A current non-restricted license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) is required in order to apply (must have current non-restricted license to practice as an RN in North Carolina upon admission to the program)
  8. Must have one year adult critical care experience as an RN
  9. A statement describing the applicant’s interest in graduate study, career goals, and the DNP degree’s relationship to those goals
  10. Five professional references (two on forms provided in nurse anesthesia addendum packet)
  11. Completion of a supplemental nurse anesthesia admissions addendum packet
  12. A personal interview with a member of the Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee
  13. A statistics course with a grade of “C” or higher

Note: The out-of-state student must procure a North Carolina RN license upon admission to the program.

b. Application Requirements

Applications to the DNP post-baccalaureate nurse anesthesia specialty area entry level program are accepted throughout the year for consideration by the Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee.  Applicants are expected to ensure that the Graduate School and the College of Nursing receive all supporting credentials by the final filing date. All completed applications are reviewed by the Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee. The application deadline for the nurse anesthesia program is October 30. Each new class will begin in May. All admitted DNP students are required to attend a College of Nursing orientation session at the beginning of the fall semester.

c. Degree Requirements

The DNP post-baccalaureate pathway nurse anesthetist specialty area program requires a minimum of 90 s.h. as follows: