Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program prepares post-master's nurses to promote, translate, and integrate evidence-based practice within health care settings. D.N.P. graduates engage in quality improvement, evidence-based practice, policy development and program evaluation.  The D.N.P. program expands upon the knowledge base and skill set of the masters-prepared nurse and broadens this knowledge base to include informatics, policy analysis, health care organizational concepts, and expanded clinical expertise. The D.N.P. is a professional practice terminal degree that requires expanding practice experiences and clinical experiences in a variety of health care settings. An on-site experience is required while enrolled in the program. The D.N.P. program prepares the graduate to provide interprofessional leadership; innovation; coordination and evaluation of quality improvement and evidence-based practice; and advocacy for policy change.

DNP Students who are not Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) must complete NURS 6294 to fulfill the practicum gap hours needed to become a D.N.P.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Evaluate, translate, and disseminate research into nursing practice addressing the complex needs of patients; the ability to develop clinical practice guidelines, design evidence-based interventions, and evaluate practice outcomes.
  2. Facilitate meaningful organization-wide changes in health care delivery and to interface with government officials to shape initiatives in the health care agenda and health policy.
  3. Participate in technological innovation, evaluate the appropriateness of healthcare consumer information, and participate in legal and ethical decision-making within the health care system.
  4. Critically analyze health care policy with the goal of advocating for social justice and the nursing profession.
  5. Provide leadership in the development and implementation of practice models, standards of care, and other scholarly projects.
  6. Evaluate and interpret data for clinical prevention and population health; the ability to use epidemiological, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental information to improve the health of individuals, communities, and the ability to synthesize psychosocial dimensions and cultural impacts related to population health.
  7. ​Advance levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and delivery of evidence-based nursing care reflective of advanced nursing practice.


All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

This academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

40-44 semester credit hours (SCH).

Required Courses
NURS 6294DNP Residency (Required for non-APRNs)0-4
NURS 6183Systems and Care Models3
NURS 6283Implementation and Evaluation Models and Frameworks for Application3
NURS 6293Population Health3
NURS 6323Informatics and Research in Nursing3
NURS 6412DNP Project I: Plan Development2
NURS 6411DNP Practice Immersion I1
NURS 6512DNP Project II: Project Management2
NURS 6522DNP Practice Immersion II2
NURS 6364DNP Project III: Implementation and Evaluation4
NURS 6902Special Topics (DNP IV: Project Dissemination )2
NURS 6622DNP Practice Immersion IV2
NURS 6393Biostatistics for Nursing Practice3
NURS 6434Quality Improvement Methodologies4
NURS 6493Evidence-Based Practice: Translating Best Practices3
Choose one of the following3
Organizational Systems: Transformational Change in Health Care Systems
Total SCHs40-44

Admission Requirements

  • A cleared background check with the TWU-designated vendor is required for admission.
  • Students who have applied to the DNP program must have an assessment of the number of clinical hours they are bringing forward as post-master's students. An analysis of these hours and the student's ability to meet the 1000-hour threshold required for graduation from a DNP program will be a consideration in the admission process.
  • Must have proof of a negative ten (10) panel drug screen on file with the TWU-designated vendor.

Clinical Course Requirements

Prior to enrollment in any clinical nursing course, each DNP student must show proof of:

  • Professional liability insurance provided through a TWU student liability group policy.
  • Current professional licensure to practice with an unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Texas, and if applicable an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license in Texas.
  • Current immunizations as required by The College of Nursing.
  • Prior to enrollment in the clinical courses, the DNP student must have completed at least 1 year of full-time experience as a master's degree prepared RN; and if applicable as an APRN.
  • Successful completion of the ten (10) panel drug screen is required within ninety days of beginning the first clinical course. 
  • Students are required to meet clinical agency requirements such as drug testing, immunizations,  and personal health insurance (and other requirements if indicated by the clinical agency) prior to beginning clinical courses.

Special Requirements

  • Grade of B or higher is required in all courses. A student who has earned a grade of less than B (C, D, F) in two different nursing courses at the graduate level or who has earned a grade of less than B (C, D, F) twice in the same graduate-level course will be removed from the nursing program. For the purpose of removal from the nursing program, a grade of less than B is counted as a grade of less than B even if the course has been successfully repeated.
  • Students admitted to the doctoral program provisionally, based on GPA (but no less than a 3.0), must complete the first 12 semester credit hours of coursework with a grade of B or higher in each course; at least 6 semester credit hours must be in nursing courses. A provisionally admitted student will be dismissed from the program if a grade of C or lower is made in any course during the provisional period.

Clinical Required during the Program

  • Minimum of 540 clinical contact hours in the selected area(s) of clinical expertise.

DNP Project

  • The DNP Project includes several scholarly components (paper, project proposal, and final project presentations) that provide an analysis of an organizational and/or clinical practice gap that will be addressed by one of the following: evidence-based practice; health policy; quality improvement initiatives; program development, implementation, and evaluation; or development of a clinical practice guideline. The DNP project encompasses various methodologies to address organizational and/or clinical practice gaps that exist in the hospital, clinic, community, or other clinical settings which support the needs of diverse patient populations.