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DNP Academics & Curriculum

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed to prepare nurses at the highest level for advanced clinical practice.

The DNP program is designed to meet the educational needs for the complexity of today's health care environment. Coursework will provide a strong foundation to accelerate evidence translation, critically appraise the practice environment, drive organizational change and lead interprofessional approaches to achieve quality outcomes. Courses are offered in a flexible hybrid format - which includes a blend of online coursework with some in-person late-afternoon class sessions.

Post-Baccalaureate Program of Study

Students entering the DNP Program with a baccalaureate degree complete coursework and clinical hours that prepare them as a nurse practitioner in their chosen specialty practice area or as a clinical nurse leader. Available specialty practice areas include:

Total program completion time for part-time post-baccalaureate students is five to six years including summer sessions.

Post-Master's Program of Study

Students entering the DNP program with a clinical master’s degree typically complete a full year of coursework (part-time; 2 courses/semester) before beginning the clinical practicum component of the DNP curriculum (DNP courses). Total program completion time for part-time post-master’s students is three years.

Clinical Practicum

Working with course faculty and DNP advisors, students select meaningful practicum experiences based on the DNP Essentials. As a student, you will enjoy priority access to the vast, rich resources of our academic medical center for an outstanding educational experience. A minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours is required to complete your DNP degree.

DNP Project

The hallmark of the DNP program of study is the development of a DNP project in which the student designs,
implements, and evaluates an innovative initiative to improve clinical practice in their proposed project setting and/or influence health policy.

DNP Projects are conducted independently during DNP practicum courses under the guidance of each student’s DNP committee and in close collaboration with practice partners and mentors. Students are required to follow the protocols and policies of practice administration in accessing and using clinical data as well as obtaining IRB approval.

Documentation of the project is a cumulative scholarly paper from which a publishable manuscript can be developed and publicly defended with a private critique in the final semester.

DNP Program Handbook


DNP Curriculum


Connect With Us

Interested in earning your DNP? Connect with us to discuss what a DNP degree from the University of Rochester means for you. 

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