Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Accepting Applications Through Summer 2014

Preparing practice scholars to become leaders in bringing evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice, improving health care outcomes and strengthening nursing management and education.


Are you ready to become a key player in today’s complex health care environment? Does a scholarly role that translates evidence-based knowledge into practice and care delivery interest you? Vanderbilt’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has been built upon our internationally recognized advanced practice nursing (APN) programs. With a Vanderbilt DNP degree, you will be prepared to critique nursing and other scientific findings to design programs of care delivery that are locally acceptable, economically feasible and have significant impact on health care outcomes.


The Vanderbilt School of Nursing DNP experience offers:

  • Entry with a BSN degree earning the MSN with a seamless transition into the DNP program.
  • Entry with an MSN  for a( 4-semesters full time or 6-semesters part time), 74-credit hour program of study of which 39 hours may be transferred from your MSN degree.
  • Learning built upon Vanderbilt’s 100-year history of leadership and excellence in nursing teaching, practice and research.
  • Practice integration tailored to each student’s scholarly interests, with practice partners in health care agencies/organizations who support and facilitate the application of knowledge and skills from coursework to their practice settings.
  • Actively practicing faculty who will mentor you in an environment rich with evidence-based knowledge creation.
  • An extensive faculty practice network that presents many different models of care.
  • A combination of on-campus study and online/distance learning methodologies for both real-time and virtual scholarly interaction and faculty mentoring – DNP students do not have to relocate or give up employment.
  • Due to State Boards of Nursing and/or State Higher Educational rules, the School may not be able to provide courses or scholarly practice hours in your location of choice, but every reasonable effort will be made.
  • Modern facilities in the newly renovated Godchaux Hall and state-of-the-art nursing informatics, with technology to support learning and practice.

DNP Program Objectives

Central to the DNP curriculum is the application of evidence-based practice methods within practice settings throughout the program of study. Evidence-based practice is classically defined as the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values to facilitate clinical decision making. The terminal objectives of the DNP program are to produce a practice scholar who will be able to:

  1. Assess, analyze, evaluate, and manage complex health environments serving diverse populations to improve patient and population health outcomes;
  2. Apply clinical scholarship and available evidence to make clinical and system decisions that reflect professional values and ethical standards;
  3. Develop, test, and disseminate standards of care, clinical practice models and health policy using informatics, organizational and systems leadership skills;
  4. Advocate for clinical prevention, population health initiatives and evidence-based health policy through collaboration with other professionals and stakeholders.


Our DNP program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and meets recommendations of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.