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    University of Tennessee Chattanooga
  Jul 27, 2017
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2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Doctor of Nursing Practice, D.N.P.

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The UTC DNP curriculum is based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2006) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Regardless of the entry point, DNP curricula are designed so that all students attain DNP end-of-program competencies. Because different entry points may exist, the curricula will be individualized for candidates based on their prior education and experience. For example, early in the transition period, most students entering the DNP will have a master’s degree based on the AACN Essentials of Master’s Nursing Education (1996). Graduates of such programs would already have attained many of the competencies defined in the DNP Essentials. Therefore, their program will be designed to provide those DNP competencies not previously attained.   The DNP curriculum will comply with accreditation standards specified by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  CCNE is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency and is an autonomous accrediting agency contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing.

Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

The first candidates for the degree will be post-MSN students who are certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, clinical nurse specialists or other nursing specialists.

  1. Admission to the program is accomplished in two steps: admission to the UTC Graduate School and admission to the DNP program.
  2. Applicants to the DNP must meet the general UTC Graduate School requirements of graduation from a regionally accredited college or university.
  3. Applicants must complete a Graduate School Application.
  4. Official transcripts from all schools attended, both undergraduate and graduate, must be sent directly to the Graduate School. 
  5. Applicants holding the MSN degree must present a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0-point scale from their highest degree earned or they may present an acceptable MAT or GRE score for consideration if their GPA is below 3.0.
  6. Applicants holding the BSN degree but not the MSN degree must send Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to the Graduate School and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
  7. A non-refundable application fee, a resume and a completed DNP application, along with three letters of reference, must be sent to the Graduate School. One of the letters must be from a person familiar with the applicant’s professional nursing practice. 
  8. Upon completion and submission of the Graduate School’s requirements, and after admission to the Graduate School, the Graduate School Office will forward all required items to the School of Nursing.
  9. Applicants will participate in the interview process with the DNP Admissions Committee. The School of Nursing DNP Admissions Committee will make a decision for acceptance into the program based upon the overall potential for the applicant’s success in the program. This recommendation will be forwarded to the Director of the School of Nursing and the Dean of the Graduate School for official action.
  10. Applicants must provide evidence of current RN licensure.
  11. For applicants holding the MSN degree, evidence of certification in an advanced practice specialty must be provided.

Retention/Progression Policies

  1. Conform to the “Continuation Standards” as stated in the UTC Graduate Catalog.
  2. Successful achievement of a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above in the doctoral program.
  3. Students earning a “C” or less or “No Credit” in any course will be required to repeat the course the next semester that it is offered. Any student who earns a “C” or less or “No Credit” in two courses during their enrollment will be considered for dismissal from the School of Nursing. Students must also meet the standards of the Graduate School related to academic progression. 
  4. Maintain clinical requirements and other policies as published in the School of Nursing DNP Student Handbook.

Dismissal Policies

Students who violate professional or academic policy will be subject to dismissal from the nursing program.

  1. Students found guilty of unprofessional conduct, negligent habits or other causes as specified in the Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations of Registered Nurses will be dismissed from the program.
  2. Students who violate the American Nurses Association (ANA) code of ethics policy will be dismissed from the program.
  3. Students who have a cumulative GPA that falls below 3.0 will be subject to the UTC Graduate Catalog Continuation Standards.
  4. Students earning a “C” or less or “No Credit” in any course will be required to repeat the course the next semester that it is offered.  Any student who earns a “C” or less or “No Credit” in two courses during their enrollment will be considered for dismissal from the School of Nursing.  Students must also meet the standards of the Graduate School related to academic progression.
  5. A graduate student will be dismissed from the program if they receive a No Credit grade in a clinical course in more than one grading period. A grading period is defined as either Fall, Spring, Summer I or Summer II.

Program of Study

Each doctoral student must file a Program of Study form during the first semester of coursework. A list of all core courses and electives, if known, must be included on the Program of Study form that is routed to the DNP Coordinator. The Program of Study form must be reviewed by the School of Nursing Graduate Program Coordinator and then approved by the doctoral advisor, DNP Coordinator, the Director of the School of Nursing, and the Dean of the Graduate School. If a student fails to file a Program of Study form, he/she may receive a registration hold and timely program progress may be suspended.

Admission to Candidacy

A student will be admitted to candidacy under the following conditions:

  • successful defense of the DNP Translational Project Proposal
  • satisfactory progress on the graduate coursework attempted in the Program of Study and a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better
  • professional and ethical fitness is deemed satisfactory

Upon completion of the above‐noted conditions, the Application for Admission to Candidacy form should be sent to the Office of the Graduate School.

Completion of Program

All doctoral students shall complete all degree requirements for the DNP within a ten-year limit. All doctoral course work and the successful defense of the translational project must be completed within ten years.

DNP Qualifying Examination

The DNP Qualifying Examination will be the student’s successful defense of the DNP Translational Project Proposal. The faculty will determine if a student is prepared and competent to implement the proposed project. To be eligible to defend the project proposal, a student must have completed the first two semesters of the DNP program. The DNP Qualifying Examination/defense of proposal will be graded as approved, conditional approval with changes, or disapproved based on the student’s performance. The student’s DNP Translational Project Committee and the Graduate Academic Coordinator or DNP Coordinator will evaluate the student’s defense of the project proposal. The student must receive a majority approval or conditional approval at the time of the DNP Qualifying Examination/defense of proposal in order to progress in the program. If the student is not successful and the proposal is not approved, the student may repeat the DNP Qualifying Examination/project proposal defense once. If the student fails to receive an approval for the project proposal subsequent to the second attempt, the student may be dismissed from the DNP program.

Translational Project

The translational project in the DNP program demonstrates synthesis of the student’s work, lays the foundation for future scholarship, and relates to a specialized area in advance practice. The final translational project must benefit a group, population or community rather than an individual patient. The translational project proposal must be reviewed and approved by committee members. The culminating project reflects scholarly work that translates evidence into improved practice or health outcomes that affect aggregates. Each doctoral student will disseminate his or her final translational project in a public presentation that is approved by the student’s translational project committee. The student will further disseminate the final translational project in a publishable manuscript under the guidance of the student’s committee.


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