CSU Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Programs

Degree Requirements

The DNP is a professional, practice-oriented doctorate, such as the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), in contrast to the research-oriented PhD. CSU DNP education is designed to allow nurses to develop advanced competencies for increasingly complex clinical practice and to prepare nurses for faculty and leadership roles. Nurses with DNP degrees represent the enhanced knowledge that can be applied in clinical settings to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes.

Program Length

The post-master's program is two years in length, with a minimum of 36 units taken across five semesters. The post-baccalaureate to DNP program with a specialty in nurse anesthesia requires year round, full-time study for three years, with 106 to 109 units required for completion of the degree.

Clinical Practice

Post-master's graduates of the DNP program are required to have a total of 1,000 clinical hours in an acceptable educational program. Hours completed through previous programs may be counted toward the 1,000 hours required by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and specified in The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (.pdf). Students enrolled in the post-baccalaureate nurse anesthesia specialty must complete over 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience as specified by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

Doctoral Project

The doctoral project is an integrative clinical scholarship experience, through which the student prepares a scholarly product, such as a pilot study, a program evaluation, a consulting project, or a quality improvement project. Each student will work under the guidance of a DNP faculty doctoral-project chair to complete the project in a specialty area of nursing practice.

Last Updated: January 04, 2018