DNPs advance nursing profession, change patients’ lives

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares nurses to translate knowledge from basic science into clinical practice. DNPs take evidence that has been established in other areas and apply it to improve patient and community health outcomes. Through the use of translational research, advanced practice nurses have the opportunity to change lives and lower healthcare costs.

“DNPs are taking science and putting it into practice,” said Brandon King, DNP, APRN-CNP, visiting assistant clinical professor in nursing and director of TU’s adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program. “With the evolving nature of health care, there is a significant need for more DNPs,” says King. “We are transitioning from fee-for-service payment models to value-based care models. This is an area in which advanced practice nurses can have a dramatic impact on patients’ lives and on health care in general.”

Nurses and nurse practitioners treat patients, but a DNP prepared nurse has additional training in translational research methods and rapid sequence quality improvement methods that apply to an entire patient population. TU’s DNP programs include a significant clinical component that allows students to translate skills from the simulation lab before being matched with preceptors to perform clinical work within the community.

TU offers three tracks leading to a DNP: Acute care, family nurse practitioner and post-master’s to DNP (for APRNs).

Acute Care 
The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Program prepares nurses for advanced practice in providing acute care and critical care for patients from adolescent to end of life. The AG-ACNP practices across all settings in providing restorative care for acute illness and acute exacerbations of chronic disease. While most AG-ACNPs practice in the hospital setting, others may practice in specialty clinics.

Family Nurse Practitioner
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program is designed to prepare nurses for advanced practice in providing primary care across the lifespan. The FNP program provides intensive preparation to provide comprehensive primary care with an interdisciplinary focus.  The program prepares students using didactic learning, laboratory skills, human patient simulation and extensive clinical experiences providing care for all ages of patients.

Post-master’s to DNP
The post-master’s DNP program at TU is designed to provide advanced practice nurses (i.e., CRNA, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or certified nurse midwife) with the opportunity to advance their education and knowledge in translational research, while effecting change in their clinical practice.

The post-master’s DNP completion track builds on previous academic work and clinical experience. Students will complete core DNP research, theory courses, and DNP project building courses. Students will complete 500 clinical practice hours in their practice in the implementation and completion of the DNP project.

For more information on TU’s DNP programs, visit