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Online DNP Curriculum

Curriculum Details


Perfect for working professionals, our online format with synchronous components, in which you’ll attend class at the same time as other DNP students, provides flexibility and convenience. The DNP curriculum at Carlow University, designed with the values of the Sisters of Mercy in mind, prepares you to lead the profession ethically through opportunities and challenges, toward a more just and merciful world.

Our courses move in a cohort model, meaning you’ll share a class schedule with the same group of individuals throughout the program. In this format, you all work toward your diverse goals on your own schedules, while supporting each other along the way.

In the DNP program, you’ll complete:

  • 12-16 courses
  • 1,000 clinical practice hours
  • A practice-based scholarly project

For the scholarly project, you will work with a Carlow faculty committee chair, a self-chosen community expert, and a Carlow statistician. Most students complete their clinical hours and much of their scholarly projects at their places of employment and challenge themselves to find ways to impact nursing practice.

Core Courses


This graduate level writing course will help the student refine writing skills from the fundamentals of writing through argumentation. Through a series of small writing assignments, this course will prepare the student for scholarly writing and research.

The United States is a multicultural nation. Such diversity creates a significant challenge for interactions at all levels of society. This graduate level course provides the theoretical foundation to examine key concepts related to cultural competence as experienced in personal and professional life. Approaches and tools to enhance the quality of the cross-cultural interaction will be provided. This is a doctoral level required course.

This course focuses on data acquisition and utilization of information systems/technology supportive of clinical and administrative decision-making relevant to patient care, care systems, and quality improvement. Students will be prepared to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based quality health care practices and drive clinical transformation for patient populations, individuals, and aggregates. This course requires the student to demonstrate the skills to effectively utilize data for health care decision making based on the process of outcomes management.

This doctoral level nursing course is the foundation for designing, conducting, and analyzing evidence-based quality improvement (EBQl) and intervention studies to improve health care quality, safety, costs, and health outcomes. Students will learn advanced strategies to navigate through databases to find and appraise relevant internal and external evidence. Problem prevalence, significance, translatability, and passion to conduct a scientifically rigorous study or impactful EBQI project is emphasized.

This course focuses on critically appraising and synthesizing evidence for the EBQI project and for clinical decision-making. Emphasis is placed on design; methodology; data management; and measurable outcomes for evidence-based quality improvement. The analysis and interpretation of data from quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs will be examined. Students incorporate rigorous evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in an effort to reduce variation in care and optimize population health outcomes. PREREQUISITE: NU 811

This Doctoral Level core nursing course teaches about the culmination of the DNP scholarly project. Students will incorporate the best evidence in an intervention study or evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI) project while integrating clinical expertise, patient preferences, and values. Particular attention will be given to data management and intervention fidelity with regard to data collection, data analysis, extraneous variables and measurable outcomes. Leadership strategies that involve stakeholders to sustain and disseminate practice change are critical to influencing health outcomes and making decisions about resource allocation. PREREQUISITES: NU 795, NU 811, NU 812

This graduate-level course relates to health promotion for populations. Public health concepts and system-level population determinants of health are examined; strategies are analyzed and developed. This is a course for DNP students.

This course helps meet the AACN DNP Essentials 1, 2, 3, 5 addressing multi-disciplinary collaboration and systems leadership.

This required scholarly project courses provide the student the opportunity to collaborate with a faculty chair mentor to develop and implement an evidence-based quality improvement project. The project culminates in review of proficiency of doctoral preparation by an academic committee consisting of the DNP chair and a community expert. The final DNP product is evidence that the student has achieved a level of expertise and mastery of the requisite knowledge within a self-selected field of inquiry.

The purpose of the clinical practicum courses is to refine leadership strategies and best practice models in the delivery of high-quality care. The focus of these courses is to evaluate progress toward achievement of the DNP AACN Essentials. The emphasis is on incorporation of evidence and concepts from previous coursework to improve the status of individuals, communities, and organizations. STUDENTS MUST HAVE COMPLETED ONE SEMESTER IN DNP PROGRAM BEFORE TAKING THESE COURSES

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