Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP-FNP)

Degree: Doctor of Nursing Practice
Program of Study: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Program Code: 9611

About This Program . . .

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed for those nurses who are interested in assuming an advanced nursing practice role as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). DNP graduates are prepared as clinical experts in the delivery of primary care, with a focus on critical thinking, leadership, and policy skills needed to advocate and create changes in healthcare practice at all individual (patient and family) and aggregate (organization, community, public policy) levels. The program includes 1000 hours of immersion in clinical practice to build and assimilate knowledge for advanced practice at a high level of complexity. These experiences provide the context within which the final DNP scholarly project is completed.

The DNP degree is built upon the generalist foundation acquired through a baccalaureate in nursing; advanced placement is also available for students with a prior master’s degree in nursing. Graduates prepared for an advance practice role as a Family Nurse Practitioner will demonstrate practice expertise, specialized knowledge, and expanded responsibility and accountability in the care and management of individuals and families.

The program uses an online delivery format, providing flexibility for students to remain in their current work positions and home communities. Opportunities for personal interactions are included with faculty and peers in focused intensive sessions at selected points during the semester. Students will complete most clinical requirements in their home communities, but may need to travel for specialized clinical experiences including rural health care settings.

Important information about this program:

  • Admission to the program follows the general admissions policies & procedures for graduate programs outlined in the university catalog.
  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university is required, prior to beginning the program. Applicants must have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better in baccalaureate nursing coursework.
  • 78 Semester Hours are required for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree.
  • Applicants must hold a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in their state of practice.
  • It is recommended that students work closely with a faculty advisor when selecting courses and scheduling classes prior to registration.

All CMU doctoral-level graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, information literacy, and ethical reasoning. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, a graduate of this program will be able to:

  1. Build intra and interprofessional collaboration to improve health-care quality across diverse populations. (CMU 2) (NONPF – Leadership, Quality, Health Delivery System) (DNP Essentials – VI, VII, VIII)
  2. Compile and evaluate health care information systems to strengthen, support, or improve the health delivery system. (CMU 2) (NONPF – Scientific Foundation, Practice Inquiry) (DNP Essentials – III, IV, VIII)
  3. Interpret social justice, equity, and ethical policies in health care for complex decision making for individuals and populations. (CMU 6) (NONPF – Literacy, Policies, Ethics, Independent Practice) (DNP Essentials – V, VII)
  4. Develop theoretical and scientific practice initiatives and/or policies for quality improvement to promote a culture of safety in diverse organizational cultures and populations. (CMU 1, 6) (NONPF – Leadership, Quality, Policies, Ethics) (DNP Essentials – I, II, V)
  5. Modify complex clinical situations and health care systems through the integration and utilization of evidence-based practice to promote optimal outcomes. (CMU 3) (NONPF – Scientific Foundation, Leadership, Policies, Health Delivery System, Independent Practice) (DNP Essentials – I, II, VIII)
  6. Improve the delivery of care to individuals, families, and communities through advanced nursing science. (CMU 1, 4, 5) (NONPF – Scientific Foundation, Independent Practice, Practice Inquiry, Health Delivery System), (DNP Essentials – I, VI, VII, VIII)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Graduate Degree Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU graduate-level degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Graduate certificates consist of a minimum of 5 credit hours.  Master’s degrees consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours. Doctoral degrees consist of a minimum of 60 credit hours
  • All credits in a graduate program must be minimally at the 500-level.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • Students must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • Students may not apply coursework with a grade lower than a “B” toward graduation requirements.  
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Graduate Degree Requirements” in this catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.
  • All policies for graduate degrees are outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures ManualCapstone Guidelines Manual, and Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines Manual, all of which are provided on the Graduate Studies website

Specific to this degree: 

  • 78 semester hours are required for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Program Specific Requirements

(78 semester hours, no class grade lower than a “B” will be counted toward the degree. It is recommended that students work closely with a faculty advisor when selecting courses and scheduling classes prior to registration.)

Required Core Courses
NURS 500Theoretical Foundations3
NURS 501Evidence-Based Practice3
NURS 504Advanced Health Policy and Ethics2
NURS 505Advanced Quality Improvement and Leadership3
NURS 536Leading Through Quality, Policy, and Ethics3
NURS 625Statistics for Health Sciences3
NURS 626Clinical Epidemiology3
NURS 700Translational Evidence-Based Practice2
Advanced Nursing Practice Cognate
NURS 525Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 526Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing3
NURS 527Advanced Health Assessment2
NURS 535Health Promotion and Disease Prevention2
NURS 577Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment1
NURS 586Clinical Procedures1
NURS 588Diagnostic Testing1
NURS 600Advanced Practice Nursing Issues2
NURS 601Primary Care of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent3
NURS 602Primary Care of the Adult3
NURS 603Primary Care of the Older Person3
NURS 604Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations: Capstone1
NURS 605Mental and Behavioral Health2
NURS 610Clinical Practicum: Infant, Child, and Adolescent2
NURS 615Clinical Practicum: Mental and Behavioral Health1
NURS 620Clinical Practicum: Adult3
NURS 627Health Information Systems in Advanced Nursing Practice2
NURS 630Clinical Practicum: Older Person2
NURS 640Clinical Practicum Capstone: Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations3
NURS 650Clinical Preceptorship I3
NURS 652Clinical Preceptorship II3
DNP Scholarly Project
NURS 660Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Identification2
NURS 725Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Development2
NURS 750Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Design and Defend3
NURS 760Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Implementation and Evaluation3
Other Requirements
Oral Defense of Proposal
Total Semester Credit Hours78
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
NURS 500 Theoretical Foundations 3
NURS 501 Evidence-Based Practice 3
NURS 525 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
NURS 526 Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing 3
NURS 527 Advanced Health Assessment 2
NURS 577 Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment 1
 Semester Credit Hours6
Summer Semester
NURS 535 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 2
NURS 586 Clinical Procedures 1
 Semester Credit Hours3
Second Year
Fall Semester
NURS 605 Mental and Behavioral Health 2
NURS 615 Clinical Practicum: Mental and Behavioral Health 1
NURS 602 Primary Care of the Adult 3
NURS 620 Clinical Practicum: Adult 3
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
NURS 601 Primary Care of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent 3
NURS 603 Primary Care of the Older Person 3
NURS 610 Clinical Practicum: Infant, Child, and Adolescent 2
NURS 630 Clinical Practicum: Older Person 2
 Semester Credit Hours10
Summer Semester
NURS 536 Leading Through Quality, Policy, and Ethics 3
NURS 588 Diagnostic Testing 1
 Semester Credit Hours4
Third Year
Fall Semester
NURS 600 Advanced Practice Nursing Issues 2
NURS 604 Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations: Capstone 1
NURS 640 Clinical Practicum Capstone: Primary Care of Rural and Underserved Populations 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Spring Semester
NURS 505 Advanced Quality Improvement and Leadership 3
NURS 625 Statistics for Health Sciences 3
NURS 660 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Identification 2
 Semester Credit Hours8
Summer Semester
NURS 627 Health Information Systems in Advanced Nursing Practice 2
 Semester Credit Hours2
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
NURS 626 Clinical Epidemiology 3
NURS 700 Translational Evidence-Based Practice 2
NURS 725 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Development 2
 Semester Credit Hours7
Spring Semester
NURS 650 Clinical Preceptorship I 3
NURS 750 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Design and Defend 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Summer Semester
NURS 504 Advanced Health Policy and Ethics 2
 Semester Credit Hours2
Fifth Year
Fall Semester
NURS 652 Clinical Preceptorship II 3
NURS 760 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project: Implementation and Evaluation 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
 Total Semester Credit Hours78

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a certificate. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.