Sep 28, 2022  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Practice, D.N.P.


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Lisa Long, Ph.D., RN, Post-Master’s Specialization Program Director 

Judy Audas, DNAP, APRN-CRNA, MSN, Nurse Anesthesia Specialization Program Director

Doctoral education starts from the student’s experience, develops through opportunities that are individualized, student-centered and transformational, and culminates in the graduate taking on the role of nursing expert at the highest level of autonomous advanced nursing practice. Doctoral learning include opportunities for the improvement of health outcomes across diverse populations based on the best evidence. The students and faculty promote academic excellence, professionalism, integrity, and inclusiveness within the advanced nursing community through shared responsibility, interprofessional collaboration, teamwork, and mentoring relationships. This individualized student-centered learning takes place in a scholarly community grounded in standards for rigor, the nursing imperative of caring, and a plurality of voices.

The Post-Master’s DNP Program is a fully online 20-22 month curriculum offered in 7-week course format. The Practicum project course is offered over 16 weeks.  Students complete courses in evidence based practice, leadership, health quality and safety initiatives, program planning and evaluation, finance of health care, and informatics.  Completion of practicum activities and a scholarly project are required for graduation. Graduates of the program are prepared for leadership roles in management of quality initiatives, executives in healthcare organizations, directors of clinical programs, advocacy/health policy, and faculty roles.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) is a specialization of the Doctor of Nursing Practice.  The program as designed, is a 36 month (106 credit hours) curriculum culminating in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) nurse anesthesia specialization with a population focus of the family/individual across a lifespan.  Graduates will be eligible for the National Board of Certification and Re-certification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) National Certification Exam (NCE) and to assume the role of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).  

Pending accreditation from the COA:  The NAP will offer two pathways to the DNP with a nurse anesthesia specialization: BSN to DNP and MS to DNP.  The BSN to DNP student will complete the entire 106 credit program, whereas the master’s prepared CRNA would complete the MS to DNP pathway which is composed only of the advanced nursing practice core, which totals 37 credits.  The master’s prepared CRNA would be given advanced standing for all anesthesia specialty course work.

Purpose

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program builds upon the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006), as stated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and criteria for the clinical doctorate (2008). This is a practice focused doctoral program. Practice focused doctoral programs are designed to prepare nurses in advanced nursing practice. The focus of the DNP program is on evidence-based practice which reflects application of credible research findings. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program includes integrative practice experiences and an intense practice immersion experience (AACN 2006).

Contact Information

Lisa Long, Ph.D., RN, DNP Post-Master’s Specialization Program Director, longl4@nku.edu

Judy Audas, DNAP, APRN-CRNA, MSN, NAP Specialization Program Director, audasj1@nku.edu or 859-572-5627

Admission Requirements: DNP Post-Master’s Specialization

To be considered for admission to the DNP Post-Master’s Specialization, an applicant must have:

  1. A minimum of a master’s degree and hold at least one degree in nursing at or above the bachelor’s level from a nationally accredited school.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and have successfully completed an undergraduate (or higher level) statistics course.  
  3. An unencumbered RN license in the United States or the country in which the student practices and verification of RN licensure.  
  4. NKU application for graduate admission, found at http://apply.nku.edu.
  5. Resume or Curriculum Vitae: educational background, employment history, awards and accomplishments.
  6. All official transcripts  
  7. TOEFL scores as needed per international student admissions requirements.
  8. Submission of a scholarly writing sample - a document written solely by the prospective student that demonstrates scholarly writing at the graduate level.  
  9. Current employment verification - DNP applicants must be employed at the time of application to the DNP program and remain employed to complete the DNP project.

Admission Requirements: DNP - Nurse Anesthesia Specialization (BSN to DNP)

  1. Meets all NKU Graduate Admission Requirements.
  2. Submission of completed online application prior to deadline.
  3. Baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing from a fully accredited nursing program.
  4. Unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse (licenses in KY and OH required prior to admission).
  5. One year minimum full-time of critical care* experience as RN within the past 2 years with employer verification. 
  6. GPA of 3.0 or higher on 4.0 scale on all college course work.
  7. Science GPA 3.0 or higher on 4.0 scale.
  8. Prerequisites:  Statistics; Anatomy; Physiology; Chemistry; Microbiology with a cumulative science GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  9. Graduate level writing skills.
  10. Three professional recommendations/references. 
  11. Goal statement.
  12. CCRN, ACLS, BLS certification required for application.  PALS required prior to admission.
  13. Shadowing experience documentation with either a CRNA or anesthesiologist.
  14. Review the Program Technical Standards.
  15. Successful interview with Admissions Committee for selected applicants.
  16. Non-refundable matriculation fee of $1,000 if accepted into the program.  Matriculation fee will be applied to student’s account on admission.  If applicant does not enroll in program, the matriculation fee is forfeited.
  17. After acceptance, documentation of clinical requirements including immunizations, physical examination, background check, drug test and other documentation as needed.

*Critical care is defined by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) as: “Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to: surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care…..” (Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs, Practice Doctorate, 2018)

Admission Requirements: DNP - Nurse Anesthesia Specialization (Post-Master’s CRNA)

  1. Meets all NKU Graduate Admission Requirements.
  2. Submission of completed online application prior to deadline including all official college/university transcripts.
  3. Master’s degree or higher in nursing, nurse anesthesia, or a related field from a fully regionally accredited college or university in the United States with 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  4. BSN from a fully regionally accredited college or university in the United States if master’s degree is not in nursing with 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  5. Completion of a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).
  6. Current unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in state of residence.
  7. Current unencumbered APRN licensure, or other authorization to practice as a nurse anesthetist, in state of residence.
  8. Current certification or recertification by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
  9. Pre-requites courses (graduate or undergraduate):  Statistics equivalent to NKU STA 205 or above with B or better and research equivalent to NKU NRS 320 or above with B or better.
  10. Graduate level writing skills as demonstrated by:
    • Two (2) page writing sample identifying personal goals related to the NKU Nurse Anesthesia program goals, as well as identifying DNP project interest.
    • Current CV
  11. Professional recommendation/reference supporting competency as a CRNA.
  12. Successful interview with Admissions Committee for selected applicants via telephone or in person.
  13. Non-refundable matriculation fee of $1,000 if accepted into the program.  Matriculation fee will be applied to student’s account on admission.  If applicant does not enroll in program, the matriculation fee is forfeited 

Policy on Advanced Standing for post-MS CRNA-DNP Students

As a single degree program, advanced standing will be offered to CRNAs meeting the above admission requirements.

The curriculum is divided into two distinct curricular cores including a) the entry into nurse anesthesia practice core and b) the advanced nursing practice core.

  • The entry into nurse anesthesia practice core includes coursework providing the BSN prepared student with the necessary competencies for entry into nurse anesthesia practice.
  • The advanced nursing practice core includes coursework providing both the BSN prepared student and the master’s prepared CRNA with the advanced nursing competencies as established by national nursing organizations (e.g., American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs Competencies).

Nurse anesthetists meeting all required admissions criteria will be given advanced standing for entry into nurse anesthesia practice. Advanced standing will be offered en bloc. The CRNA awarded advanced standing status will be required to complete only the advanced nursing practice core courses to meet the requirements for the DNP degree. Per NKU policies, the official transcript will reflect that advanced standing was awarded, but will list neither specific courses nor credits for which advanced standing was granted and grades from these courses will not be factored into the NKU GPA.

Application Process: DNP - Nurse Anesthesia Specialization (BSN to DNP)

The application process has two parts. The first consists of the documents required to be submitted. The second part is the interview.  

Documents to be submitted:  The completed application file will contain the following documents. No application will be considered until all documents have been received.

  1. NKU application for graduate admission, found at http://apply.nku.edu
  2. Applications will be accepted through August 31.  All materials must be submitted by August 31 deadline.
  3. Three professional recommendations sent directly from recommender.  Suggested recommenders include: Nurse Manager; Professor; APRN, preferably CRNA; or MD.
  4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae: educational background, employment history, awards and accomplishments.
  5. All official transcripts of post-baccalaureate study.
  6. Documentation of one year full-time critical care experience as a RN within the past 2 years.
  7. Verification of CCRN, BLS, and ACLS certification.
  8. Documentation of shadowing experience
  9. TOEFL scores as needed per international student admissions requirements.
  10. Submission of goal statement indicating graduate level writing skills.  Please include your educational and professional goals, limiting statement to one page.
  11. Successful interview with Admissions Committee.  Due to the competitive nature of the admission process meeting minimum standards does not guarantee admission.  All applicants will be screened and the most qualified will be invited for interview.  Interviews will be held in October.
  12. Non-refundable matriculation fee of $1,000 if accepted into the program.  Matriculation fee will be applied to student’s account on admission.  If applicant does not enroll in program, the matriculation fee is forfeited.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Curriculum Requirements - Post-Master’s Specialization


All courses are in the online format.  Students should consult with their graduate program director regarding the most current sequencing of courses.

Total Hours: 35-36


Curriculum Requirements - BSN-DNP Nurse Anesthesia Specialization


First Year NAP


Second Year NAP


Third Year NAP


Curriculum Requirements - Post-Master’s CRNA Nurse Anesthesia Specialization


DNP Project Process


The DNP Project Team is comprised of the DNP student, practice mentor, and a graduate faculty member who serves as chair. The faculty member must hold a terminal degree. The practice mentor must have expertise in the DNP student’s field of interest. The DNP Project Team Chair is facilitating the learning within the DNP Project.  The DNP’s scholarly project deliverables are a written manuscript worthy of publication and a public presentation of the completed DNP project. 

All DNP projects are submitted to the NKU Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review.  IRB processes in the facility in which the DNP project is implemented may be required as well. The student will discuss the IRB processes with their DNP Project Team Chair prior to data collection. The IRB process and IRB forms are described and found on the NKU IRB website at https://inside.nku.edu/rgc/research-compliance/irb.html.

  1. The DNP program shall have a project proposal process that provides for the Office of Graduate Education, the program, and the candidate, a written and signed document defining the expectations of the program for a successful project.
  2. The “approval of the project proposal” is deemed successful when the project chair files appropriate paperwork with the Office of Graduate Education signifying approval for the candidate to move forward.  Until the project presentation is scheduled, the initial proposal may be amended with unanimous agreement of the project team.
  3. A project presentation may not be scheduled without a signed project proposal. The candidate and/or DNP faculty shall initiate the scheduling of the presentation.  Project presentation scheduling requires the concurrence of all members.
  4. The DNP program must provide alternatives for candidates to alter or change project chairs and team membership.
  5. The “completion of the project” is deemed successful when both the chair and the practice mentor of the Project Team vote approval.
  6. Project presentation shall be open to the public.

Information for this process can be found under Doctoral Degree Specific Information under Degree & Certificate Exit Program Requirements in the Graduate Catalog.

Graduation Requirements


To be eligible for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the student must:

  1. Successfully complete all course requirements, DNP project requirements and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. File Application for Graduation via myNKU during the semester prior to the one in which he/she intends to complete all degree requirements. The dates by which this document must be on file are published on the Office of Graduate Education website and Office of the University Registrar website.
  3. Satisfy all financial and administrative obligations to the University.

To be eligible for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with nurse anesthesia specialization, the student must also:

  1. Satisfactory completion of minimum clinical and didactic requirements of the COA and NBCRNA.

Post-Master’s DNP Practicum


DNP Practicum Hours are individualized experiences with preceptor/s. The American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN) requires 1000 post-baccalaureate hours for the DNP degree (AACN, 2015). Post-Master’s DNP students will have between 500 and 1000 hours to complete depending on the number of practicum hours you completed in the MSN program.   Please provide a letter to your DNP 896  course faculty from your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program that reflects the number of practicum hours you completed in your MSN program. This number (up to 500 hours) will be subtracted from 1000 and the remaining hours will be spread across the four practicum/project courses. Master’s prepared Advance Practice Nurses (Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives) with Advanced Certification will receive up to 500 practicum hours with evidence of documented academically supervised practicum hours with a 1:1 ratio being observed (AACN, 2015).

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