Doctor of Nursing Practice
Phone: 216.368.1907
Latina Brooks, PhD, CNP, FAANP, Program Director

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) is an innovative academic program designed to prepare nurses for leadership positions in advanced nursing practice roles. The Post-Master's DNP program is flexible in meeting the needs of distance education students, with an executive format and cohort model that has partnerships with institutions around the country.

The DNP program admits students at three different stages in order to accommodate students with diverse educational backgrounds.

  • Post-Licensure DNP (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) stage: MSN degree awarded).  This entry point into the DNP program is designed for registered nurses entering the MSN program. Students who apply to the MSN and DNP programs at the same time follow a blended curriculum in which students begin taking DNP courses while in the Masters’ program. Students are awarded an MSN degree when they complete MSN requirements and then continue with additional DNP courses. After receiving the MSN degree, students may sit for the certification exam in their advanced practice specialty and then apply to a Board of Nursing for credentials to practice as an APRN. Students already enrolled in the MSN program may also apply to the DNP program during the MSN program but are required to complete courses from both programs.
  • Nurse Anesthesia DNP: (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse; DNP degree awarded). This entry point into the DNP program is designed for registered nurses preparing to be Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). Detailed information about this program may be found at
  •  Post-Master's DNP (Practice Doctorate stage; DNP degree awarded): This stage of the DNP program prepares nurses with MSN degrees to be clinical leaders at the pinnacle of their field. Students acquire in-depth knowledge in nursing theory, inquiry, policy, and leadership. Most post-masters’ DNP students are already practicing as advanced practice nurses, administrators, or educators. Once admitted to this phase of the program, they choose one of two elective sequences: education leadership or practice leadership.
  • Student Learning Outcomes

Scientific Underpinnings for Practice

  • Integrate nursing science and theory with knowledge and theory from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, cultural, and organizational sciences to develop and evaluate new practice approaches.

Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking

  • Demonstrate leadership in the development and evaluation of care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations from findings of nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political and economic sciences.
  • Develop and evaluate effective strategies and ensure accountability for leading organizations, addressing quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, and managing ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care and research.

Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice

  • Use analytic methods to critically appraise existing evidence to determine best practices.
  • Apply relevant findings and use quality improvement methods to develop recommendations to improve practice and the practice environment.
  • Disseminate findings from evidence-based practice and research to improve health care outcomes.

Information Systems/Technology and Patient Care Technology for the Improvement and Transformation of Health Care

  • Evaluate programs that monitor outcomes of care, care systems, and quality improvement including consumer use of health care information systems.
  • Provide leadership in the evaluation and resolution of ethical and legal issues within health care systems relating to the use of information, information technology, communication networks and patient care technology.

Health Care Policy and Advocacy in Health Care

  • Demonstrate leadership in the critical appraisal, development, and/or implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health policy.

Inter-professional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes

  • Collaborate using communication, consultative, and leadership skills, with intra-professional and inter-professional teams to improve quality and safety in health care.

Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving the Nation’s Health

  • Analyze scientific data and synthesize concepts related to clinical prevention and population health in developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address health promotion and disease prevention efforts.

DNP Program Requirements


Progression in the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program is contingent upon satisfactory academic achievement in all required courses.

Doctor of Nursing Practice students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above in all courses taken for credit as a DNP student at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing to be awarded the DNP degree. All DNP students must successfully complete an oral presentation of their DNP project.

A grade of “I” (Incomplete) in a course is awarded when a student is meeting expectations in that course, is earning a passing grade, and due to extenuating circumstances is unable to complete a portion of the work on time for grade submission. This must be pre-arranged with course faculty, before the date on which grades are due. If a student receives a grade of “I” they have until the 11th week of the following semester to complete the outstanding work. In this case the “I” will convert to the grade earned. If a student does not complete the outstanding work by the 11th week of the following semester, in accordance with University policy, the grade will be converted to a failing grade (“F” or “NP”). Please refer to the full Incomplete policy in the School of Graduate Studies section of the CWRU Bulletin.

If a student receives a grade of “F” or “NP” as the final grade in a required course, that grade will be entered on the transcript. The student will be required to repeat the course during the next semester in which the course is offered and will not be allowed to enroll in other courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite.

DNP Project

The DNP program culminates in successful completion of the DNP project. The DNP project is designed by the student in collaboration with a three-member committee approved by the Program Director. The project must focus on a practice issue related to improving patient outcomes. The written product can take the form of a written report or a manuscript suitable for publication. The procedures and written report must conform to the regulations of the FPB School of Nursing.

Students must successfully present their completed DNP project in an oral presentation with their committee members who are responsible for certifying that it meets acceptable scholarly standards. The presentation is open to faculty and students; the chair determines whether the defense is open to those outside of the University. The committee determines the adequacy of the oral presentation and written product. A student will pass if two or more of the committee members agree that the student successfully responded to questions during the oral presentation and the written product met scholarly standards.

Completion of Program

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice program (PMDNP) students have five years to complete the program. In unusual circumstances, students may petition the Program Director for individual consideration of this policy. 

If a student does not register for courses without an approved LOA for two years (Fall & Spring), it will be necessary for the student to apply to be reinstated in the program. The student should submit the Post-Master’s DNP application form, essays and one recent recommendation. The essays should address how the student plans to be successful in completing the program. The student should contact the advisor to determine if the advisor agrees with the plan and the advisor and Program Director will make the decision about the need to repeat coursework. Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies’ full policy regarding Leave of Absence and absence for maternity/paternity leaves and military service. 

The France Payne Bolton School of Nursing has a unique approach to "distance" learning. Most classes are held in an Intensive Format, meeting for a specified number of days with additional meetings held online. For example, a 3-credit course will meet for 5-6 days. Three courses are taught online across the semester. Intensive sessions are given three times a year (January, May, and August) for at least two weeks. Papers and projects are due in the semester following the intensive session. NUND 619 (proposal development) and 620 (scholarly project) are arranged with the advisor and NUND 611 is arranged with the advisor and preceptor/s.

DNP Curriculum

The DNP curriculum listed below is intended for Post-Master's DNP students.  Each student is expected to satisfactorily complete the Required Courses AND the two courses listed for one Elective Sequence. 

Students completing the MSN/DNP Program should refer to that curriculum. The Nurse Anesthesia DNP Curriculum can be found below the Post-Master's DNP Curriculum. 

Required Courses                                                                                                             Required Credits                                                                                            
NUND 450Applied Statistics (Online)3
NUND 504Theories for Nursing Practice and Scholarship3
NUND 506Leadership in Organizations and Systems3
NUND 508Health Care Policy and Planning3
NUND 510Application of Health Information Technology and Systems (Online)1
NUND 540Practice Focused Inquiry I (NUND 450 and NUND 504 are prerequisites)3
NUND 541Practice-Focused Inquiry II3
NUND 610Translating Evidence into Nursing Practice (Online)3
NUND 611DNP Practicum2
NUND 619DNP Project Proposal Development2
NUND 620Scholarly Project3

Educational Leadership Elective Sequence 

NUND 509Curriculum and Instruction3
NUND 609Theoretical Foundations of Educational Testing and Evaluation2

Practice Leadership Elective Sequence 

NUND 507Business Concepts in Advanced Nursing Practice3
NUND 607Advanced Leadership and Management in Healthcare2

Executive Leadership Elective Sequence 

NUND 512Advanced Leadership and Management in Health Care Organizations2
NUND 612Transformational Leadership in Executive Nursing Practice3

 Nurse Anesthesia DNP 

NURS 430Advanced Pharmacology3
NURS 444AEthical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice1
NURS 453AAdvanced Physiology & Pathophysiology I2
NURS 453BAdvanced Physiology & Pathophysiology II3
NURS 459Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS 553Cultural Diversity Topics1
NUAN 443Professional Role1
NUAN 450Pharmacological Strategies in Anesthesia Practice2
NUAN 458Principles of Anesthesia I4
NUAN 459Principles of Anesthesia II4
NUAN 460Advanced Principles of Anesthesia 14
NUAN 461Advanced Principles of Anesthesia 23
NUAN 462Advanced Principles of Anesthesia III3
NUAN 507Nurse Anesthesia Practice Management1
NUAN 550AAnesthesia Seminar I1
NUAN 550BAnesthesia Seminar II1
NUAN 550CAnesthesia Seminar III1
NUAN 551ANurse Anesthesia Advanced Clinical Practicum I1
NUAN 551BNurse Anesthesia: Advanced Clinical Practicum II1
NUAN 551CNurse Anesthesia -Advanced Clinical Practicum III1
NUAN 551DNurse Anesthesia-Advanced Clinical Practicum IV1