Health + Behavior

UCLA School of Nursing is launching Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program

Its focus is to translate research into advanced clinical practice

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Responding to the evolving landscape of health care, the UCLA School of Nursing is introducing a new degree program — a Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP — to start in Fall 2018. 

The program focuses on the translation of research into advanced clinical practice to improve health outcomes. The program builds on traditional master’s nursing programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement and systems leadership.  

“The changing demands of a complex health care environment require the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise,” said Linda Sarna, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing. “Our new DNP program is ideal for the advanced practice nurse who wants to translate nursing science to clinical practice and improve health care outcomes.”

The program is designed for working professionals, will be offered on Fridays and some weekend days, and will take seven quarters to complete. Clinical hours may be obtained in the student’s work environment. The new program is self-supporting, meaning that it receives no state funding. The DNP program is different from a Ph.D. program because it is clinical and practice-focused rather than research-focused.

A central component of the program is called the Scholarly Project. All students will be required to demonstrate research and quality improvement skills by completing such a project. Directly related to a practice issue in a clinical setting, the Scholarly Project may be completed at the student’s place of employment.

“This degree is all about the better educated nurse,” Sarna added. “This [program] opens the door to a future of endless possibilities for nurses — as leaders in clinical settings, as administrators and as educators.”                         

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program joins the top-ranked pre-licensure (Bachelor of Science and Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse), Advanced Practice, and Doctor of Philosophy programs at the school.

Across the United States, there is a strong demand for this program. Last year the number of students enrolled in DNP programs increased from 18,352 to 21,995.

Applications will open in Spring 2018 for Fall 2018 enrollment. For more information, visit the School of Nursing’s webpage on the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

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