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DNP Program Information

Overview and Learning Outcomes of the DNP Program at DeSales.

For DNP Students

  • Curriculum

    Clinical Practice Hours

    Clinical Leadership Track: to achieve the terminal DNP competencies, a total of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical practice hours are required. DeSales requires a minimum of 500 clinical practicum hours obtained during a master of science in nursing program as part of the admission criteria.

    Executive Leadership Track:  upon acceptance, the Director of the DNP Program will perform a gap analysis of all post-Master’s applicant transcripts to determine the amount of hours of practice post-baccalaureate is required in order to achieve the DNP competencies. The program will provide up to 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program that aligns with the corresponding DNP Essential(s) and to verify that standards specific to advanced practice have been met.

    All DeSales DNP students will complete, in either full- or part-time format, 525 hours as part of the Scholarship Residency, Leadership Residency, and DNP Capstone courses.

    For full example schedules, view the DNP Curriculum

    For more details about courses, view the Graduate Catalog

  • Residency

    Online Option

    Each new cohort is in residence on-campus for orientation and an introduction to the first two courses for four days in August. For the final semester, students meet on-campus to defend their scholarly project. Hotel accommodations and meals are provided with no additional out-of-pocket cost.

    Hybrid Option

    Each new cohort is in residence on-campus for orientation and an introduction to the first two courses for four days in August. Subsequently, cohorts are required to be in residence on-campus for three days, Friday through Sunday, three times per year each August, January, and April. Hotel accommodations and meals are provided with no additional out-of-pocket cost.

    Sample Orientation Day (New Cohorts)


    • 8AM-11AM: Welcome Breakfast / Introductions / Program Overview
    • 11AM-12PM: Student IDs and Bookstore Purchases
    • 12PM-1PM: Lunch
    • 1PM-4PM: Technology Requirements & Library Orientation
    • 4:15PM-6:15PM: Welcome Dinner

    Sample Residency (New Cohorts)


    • 8AM-12PM: Class
    • 12PM-1PM: Lunch
    • 1PM-5PM: Class

    Sample Residency (Established Cohorts)


    • 8AM-12PM: Breakfast/Class
    • 12PM-1PM: Lunch
    • 1PM-5PM: Class

    Note: Residency Schedules listed above are samples and subject to change. Cohorts are notified directly of each residency schedule.

  • Student Support

    New Student Orientation

    The DeSales DNP program includes a thorough orientation to the curriculum, policies, procedures, technology, and course methods. In addition, eight hours of each of the first two courses are taught in real-time during the orientation residency. 

    All accommodations, food, and travel to and from the campus are included in the cost of tuition. DeSales will arrange everything for the cohort in advance to provide an optimal learning environment.


     As a DNP student, you are expected to have your own laptop computer and are responsible for the maintenance of your own personal hardware. However, DeSales does provide support for your required software and networking systems.


    The DeSales HelpDesk will guide you through any problem you are experiencing with a DeSales technology system. 

    Center for Educational Resources and Technology (CERT)

    CERT provides free instructional workshops and support to help you get the most out of your distance learning experience.

    • On campus: "HELP" (x4357) 
    • Off campus: 610.282.1100 ext. 4357

    Trexler Library

    Access to Trexler Library is available both on-campus and online. The Library maintains an extensive collection of medical books in electronic format that are available through our online catalog.

    Cooperative library agreements exist between DeSales and two major consortial partners. Trexler Library's collection is augmented by the collections available at all Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) institutions. Trexler Library is also a member of LYRASIS, the nation's largest regional library consortia. This enables students to retrieve resources not held at the DeSales library or other LVAIC institutions.

    Trexler Library

    Extensive healthcare resources available from Trexler Library include:

    • Cochrane Reviews
    • Joanna Briggs Institute
    • CINAHL Plus Full-Text
    • PsychINFO
    • EBSCO Health Source: Nursing Academic Edition
    • Epocrates
    • Nursing Reference Center
    • PubMed 
  • Overview and Program Learning Outcomes

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree provides the terminal practice degree, which is the recommended entry level for the advanced practice nurse by the year 2015. 

    "Advanced Nursing Practice" is the term applied to any form of nursing intervention that influences health care outcomes for individuals or populations, including the direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, administration of nursing and health care organizations, and the development and implementation of health policy (AACN, 2004).

    The intention of the DNP degree is to provide the additional knowledge and competencies to equip advanced practice, and executive nurses to affect health outcomes, consistent with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN, 2007) specifications for practice doctoral programs in nursing.

    DNP Program Learning Outcomes

    The DNP Program provides a quality, practice-based education for masters-prepared nurses who will influence and manage the challenges of the delivery of health care for individuals, families and populations within the tenets and beliefs of Christian humanism. 

    The DNP Program prepares graduates who:

    1. Exemplify Christian humanism through valuing and facilitating full human development via partnerships with individuals and aggregates.
    2. Integrate theory and science to support ethically and legally sound practice decisions.
    3. Engage in scholarly activities through the evaluation, integration and dissemination of scientific evidence to support clinical practice.
    4. Synthesize strategies to promote improvement in quality outcomes in healthcare organizations, education, and clinical systems.
    5. Assume leadership positions within the health care system, political arena, academic centers, and professional organizations.
    6. Influence individual and population health outcomes through interdisciplinary collaboration.
    7. Formulate health policy related to practice to influence health care delivery and health outcomes.
    8. Evaluate the design, selection and implementation of information technology to support and improve health outcomes.
    9. Evaluate strategies for planning and delivering population-based care within the context of the cultural dimensions of health.
    10. Lead initiatives aimed toward the improvement of health outcomes using advanced communication skills.

    DNP Student Learning Outcomes

    At the completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, students will:

    1. Integrate Christian humanism in advanced nursing practice that values and facilitates full human development via partnerships with individuals and aggregates.
    2. Initiate resolutions to ethical dilemmas arising from system or organizational conflict. 
    3. Analyze new knowledge and evidence based practice to deliver high quality health care, initiate policy change, and improve health care delivery practices for individuals and aggregates.
    4. Demonstrate advancement of clinical practice that contributes to quality, safety, and improved health outcomes.  
    5. Apply advanced concepts of leadership and advocacy to influence policy, health systems, and consumerism in order to effect population health service improvement. 
    6. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and consultation to meet the health needs of individuals and aggregates. 
    7. Synthesize seminal theoretical, ethical, and legal concepts into health care delivery practices. 
    8. Demonstrate proficiency in the application and evaluation of information technologies to meet the complex demands of health care. 
    9. Integrate cultural sensitivity through an awareness of global health concerns to decrease health disparities. 
    10. Design comprehensive care for complex patients across the lifespan utilizing innovative, evidence based methods.
    11. Exemplify qualities required to assume leadership positions within the health care system, political arena, academic centers, and professional organizations.

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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Gambet Center