Chatham University

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Curriculum

Chatham University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is a program of 27 credits that can be completed in three to five semesters and 500 clinical hours (self-directed clinical capstone project). Each course required for the DNP program is 14 weeks in length and offered in online format. Students may determine a focus specific to their interests for their capstone project pending faculty approval. They may choose a full time or part time schedule, and only one residency is required. The residency is approximately 2-3 days in length and will take place on the Chatham campus in Pittsburgh, and will consist of networking, project presentation, faculty review, and collaborative learning. Residencies take place before a student’s final semester in the program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Program Structure

Total 27 Credits

Core MSN Courses must be completed or validated through portfolio analysis/experiential learning

Structure & App of Contemporary Nursing Knowledge
3 Credits
This course introduces the advanced practice nurse to the world of contemporary nursing knowledge, as formalized in conceptual models of nursing and nursing theories applied to clinical practice. There is emphasis on the metaparadigm, philosophies, conceptual models, theories, and empirical indicators linking them to clinical practice.
Developing Evidence-Based Practice
3 Credits
This course prepares students with skills and competencies needed to build and assimilate knowledge for establishing a scholarly trajectory at a high level of complexity. This clinical course consists of 125 clinical hours and is the foundation for the culminating Capstone project focusing on improving practice.
Ethics and Public Policy in Healthcare Delivery
3 Credits
This course focuses on ethical issues and public policy in healthcare. Students develp strategies to manage ethical dilemmas and analyze health policy to educate, advocate and provide leadership in shaping healthcare policy.
Quality Improvement in Health Care
3 Credits
This course focuses on quality improvement initiatives, including the protection of human subjects. The emphasis is on skills and competencies needed to provide leadership in quality and systems change. This course includes 125 clinical hours and is the foundation for the culminating Capstone project focusing on improved practice and outcomes.
Advancing Practice: Scholarship and Grant Writing
3 Credits
This course provides further investigation of evidence-based practice advancing nursing leadership and clinical outcomes. Students will develop skills for clinical scholarship including manuscript development and grant writing.
Communication and Collaboration for Health Care Leadership
3 Credits
This course focuses on strategies to improve professional communication with peers, subordinates, and patients in the health care environment.
Information Technology and Data-Driven Decision Making
3 Credits
This course provides students with an opportunity to examine the value of technology and information systems to support evidence-based practice, guidelines and policy across various health settings. Various methods for gathering, managing, and synthesizing data will be introduced in order to conduct analyses for quality improvement, financial and outcome evaluations.
Capstone Experience
6 Credits
This course provides an opportunity for the student to implement and evaluate a planned evidence-based practice change project. This project lays the groundwork for future scholarship. This course culminates in a tangible and deliverable academic product derived from the practice immersion experience. A total of 250 clinical hours are included in the course.
Those students who would like to seek admission into the DNP program but do not have evidence of 500 academically supervised clinical hours may enroll in the following course as a means to complete the required hours. Please contact the Admissions Specialist for the Nursing Department for more information on how to register for this course.
Nursing Clinical Practicum
3 Credits
The Nursing Clinical Practicum experience provides an opportunity for students to gain clinical experience related to a clinical area of interest, leading to advanced knowledge and experience. The student will select clinical areas matching their areas of interest, working under the guidance of a faculty or clinical coordinator and a preceptor.

Typical Program Schedule

Students can enroll in a full-time or part-time track

Part-Time DNP Course Track

1st Semester 2nd Semester 3rd Semester 4th Semester 5th Semester
NUR700 NUR704* NUR706 NUR703 NUR799*
NUR702* NUR707   NUR705  

Full Time DNP Course Track

1st Semester 2nd Semester 3rd Semester
NUR700 NUR704* NUR705
NUR702* NUR706 NUR799*
NUR703 NUR707  

Part Time DNP Course Track

1st Semester 2nd Semester 3rd Semester 4th Semester 5th Semester
NUR 700 NUR 706 NUR 704* NUR 703 NUR799*
NUR702*   NUR707 NUR705  

Full Time DNP Course Track

1st Semester 2nd Semester 3rd Semester
NUR700 NUR704* NUR705
NUR702* NUR706 NUR799*
NUR703 NUR707  

* Indicates clinical course


Students will be assigned an advisor who will assist them in making sure they are taking the right courses and proceeding on schedule to complete their degree.

Additionally, students will have access to the Students Support Center - where they will find helpful information about student services through the Chatham College for Continuing and Professional Studies and other Chatham University resources and opportunities. This is where current students find timely reminders for University deadlines, resources for becoming an effective distance student, and updates about CCPS policy. Students also have the opportunity to post questions for the Success Center or fellow students to answer about programs, technology, or other available resources.

Transfer Credit Policy

Given the integrated nature of the courses, all 27 credits of the DNP program must be completed at Chatham University.