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What is a DNP?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is an academic designation. The DNP is the first practice doctorate available for nurses. Practice doctorates apply knowledge gained from evidence-based practice to patient care. The DNP offered by Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), in partnership with Goshen College (GC), is a post-MSN, 36-month program (33 credits, 10 courses) with an accelerated option.

The DNP is a practice doctorate, not a research doctorate. Rather than writing a dissertation based on original research, the DNP graduate completes an evidence-based practice (EBP) project. This project requires that the student spend a significant amount of time examining an EBP question based on the student’s specific area of interest. Students might choose to focus their DNP project on the care of individuals, aggregate, systems or organizational level.

The DNP educates nurses to improve safety, effectiveness and efficiency in patient care. Essentially, the DNPgraduate uses the research completed in the EBP project to influence their practice.

Who is eligible to apply to the program?

Anyone who has earned a Master’s in Nursing from a CCNE- or NLNAC-accredited program or any master’s in a business/health-related degree (e.g. MPH, MBA, MHA) from a regionally accredited school, with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher

  • If the applicant’s bachelor’s degree is not in nursing, the master’s degree must be in nursing.
  • If the Master’s degree is not in Nursing, the Co-Directors will review the applicant’s transcripts and professional experience for evidence of meeting the MSN Essentials.
  • Non-MSN applicants must be working in the field of nursing/healthcare (either directly or indirectly).
  • The program will be longer than 33 credits if the master’s degree is not in nursing.

Why would someone seek a DNP?

These are some of the reasons someone might seek a DNP:

  • The DNP is a terminal degree. Some nursing programs, including GC and EMU, will allow someone with a DNP to teach in their program.
  • The DNP program educates nurses to be change agents in their clinical settings.
  • The DNP allows a professional to enhance their education and stay involved with patient care.
  • Some DNP graduates will expand their work as administrative leaders.
  • This degree will provide tools for the nurse who wishes to be part of improving the healthcare system.
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) will be required to have a DNP by 2025.
  • Any masters-prepared nurse who wishes to be an interdisciplinary leader should seek the DNP.

Who are partners in offering the DNP?

Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College are partners in offering the DNP.

What does the GC/EMU partnership mean for me?

  • You can enroll at either EMU or GC.
  • You will take courses from faculty at both EMU and GC.
  • Your degree will be granted by the institution where you enrolled.
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