2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    Sep 20, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Major, DNP

The College of Nursing offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice program (DNP), designed for MSN graduates who are interested in earning a clinical doctoral degree in nursing.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) - Graduates of the program are expected to:

  • Integrate nursing science with other disciplines as the basis for the highest level of evidence-based advanced nursing practice to address health disparities and to improve the quality of healthcare.
  • Demonstrate and promote professionalism, advocacy, social justice, equity, ethical principles, and scientific integrity in advanced nursing practice.
  • Engage in and promote intra and inter-professional collaboration in clinical practice models, health policy, and standards of care for individuals, families, and communities across culturally diverse populations.
  • Generate system and outcomes research and analyze evidence from nursing and related sciences to translate findings into practice.
  • Utilize current and emerging information systems/technology to support, evaluate, and improve: 1) nursing care, 2) healthcare systems, and 3) patient and population health.
  • Synthesize and use appropriate theories, concepts and scientific data to support, evaluate and improve patient and population health.
  • Assume leadership in advanced practice, health policy, mentoring, scholarship, and scientific inquiry.


  • Submit online application to the Graduate Admissions Office. Meet admission requirements of Graduate School.
  • Hold a Bachelor's or Master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education.
  • Have a minimum cumulative graduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for previous college work.
  • Achieve competitive score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination if undergraduate GPA is below 3.3. If undergraduate GPA is 3.3 or above, then applicants are exempt from the GRE requirement.
  • Have TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the internet-based test if native language is not English.
  • Complete College of Nursing Graduate Program Data Form.
  • Submit College of Nursing Graduate Rating Forms from three college level instructors and/or nurses and administrators who have supervised applicant's professional work.
  • Submit an essay describing personal and professional aspirations.
  • Schedule a personal interview with the College of Nursing DNP admissions committee. International applicants may be interviewed by telephone or teleconferencing at the discretion of the admissions committee.

See College of Nursing website (www.nursing.utk.edu) for current application deadlines and additional information on admission procedures.

Special Requirements and Policies

  • Prior to enrollment in the DNP program, each student must successfully complete a criminal background check.
  • Each student must hold personal professional liability insurance and health insurance.
  • As Registered Nurses, DNP students must be licensed to practice nursing in the state where employed and in all states where their clinical experiences will occur (if different from state of employment).
  • Each student must present evidence of meeting current health requirements. See College of Nursing website, www.nursing.utk.edu.
  • Each student must present evidence of current health care provider CPR certified.
  • A maximum of 6 graduate hours taken before acceptance into the DNP program may be applied toward the degree.
  • A minimum grade of B in all DNP and other graduate-level nursing courses and a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for continuation the program.

Residence Requirement

Residence is defined as a minimum of 6 credits of registration for a given semester on the campus where the program is located. The summer term is included in this period. During residence, it is expected that the student will be engaged in at least 6 hours on-campus study toward a graduate degree. For the doctoral degree, a minimum of two consecutive semesters of residence is required, except in programs where alternative or additional residence requirements have been approved. A statement as to how and during what period of time the residence requirement has been met will be presented with the Application for Admission to Candidacy along with signatures of approval from the major professor and the department head/program director.


The following courses are required for all students.

  Hours Credit
NURS 612 - Health and Health Care Policy/Planning   3
NURS 613 - Nursing Leadership in Complex Systems   3
NURS 620 - Philosophy of Scientific Practice   4
NURS 622 - Methods for Translational Research   3
NURS 623 - Bioethics, Cultural and Societal Issues within Healthcare   2
NURS 624 - Evidence-Based Practice and Use of Information Technology   3
NURS 625 - Healthcare Economics   3
NURS 630 - Project Organization Seminar   1
NURS 631 - Advanced Practice Option I   3
NURS 632 - Advanced Practice Option II   4
NURS 633 - DNP Practice Immersion   1-12
NURS 634 - DNP Capstone   3
Epidemiology 3
Inferential Statistics         3
  Total 39-50

Requirements for Family Nurse Practitioner concentration

NURS 501       3 hours
NURS 504       3
NURS 505       3
NURS 515       3
NURS 570       6
NURS 571       3
NURS 572       2-4
NURS 573       8
Total hours 31-33

Requirements for Mental Health Practitioner concentration

NURS 501       3 hours
NURS 504       3
NURS 505       3
NURS 515       3
NURS 519       3
NURS 560       6
NURS 561       6
Total hours 27

Requirements for Nurse Anesthesia concentration

NURS 501      3  hours
NURS 504      3
NURS 505      3
NURS 506      3
NURS 516      2
NURS 517      2
NURS 518      2
NURS 522      3
NURS 523      2
NURS 524      3
NURS 525      3
NURS 526      2
NURS 544      4
NURS 545      8
NURS 546      2
NURS 547      9
NURS 548     10
NURS 549     10
NURS 583       2
Total hours 76

Requirements for Nursing Administration concentration

NURS 501       3 hours
NURS 590       6
NURS 591       6
Total hours 15

Requirements for Nursing of Women and Children concentration

NURS 501       3 hours
NURS 504       3
NURS 505       3
NURS 515       3
NURS 527       5
NURS 528       2
NURS 550       2
NURS 551       2
NURS 562       2
NURS 563       2
Total hours 27

Students will be admitted to candidacy after successfully passing a comprehensive examination and defending the capstone project proposal. The capstone project produces a tangible and deliverable academic product that is derived from the practice immersion experience and is reviewed and evaluated by an academic committee. The capstone project committee is composed of a minimum of two doctorally-prepared (DNP or PhD) faculty. When appropriate, a third committee member may be selected, who holds special expertise relative to the specific project. The third member may be a faculty member from another academic unit, or external to the university.