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University of Phoenix Doctor of Nursing Practice blends clinical practice with research to develop the future of advanced practice nurse practitioners

By University of Phoenix

The new professional doctorate aligns with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s vision to provide an additional terminal nursing degree option.

PHOENIX – Sept. 14, 2020 – University of Phoenix (UOPX) is offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) that enhances the discipline of nursing through the unique faculty expertise of the Ph.D. nurse researcher and DNP Nurse clinician/practitioner. The new professional doctorate blends research with practice to prepare advanced practice nurse practitioners to improve patient outcomes and deliver high-quality care based in research evidence.

The program aligns with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) vision that universities provide a terminal degree alternative to the Doctor of Nursing that prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing practice.1 With a DNP, nurses are positioned to apply both clinical expertise with independent research to respond to the growing patient-care responsibility of nurses in our nation’s healthcare organizations.

Historically, an emphasis was placed on research-focused doctorates to drive knowledge development in the nursing field.2 However, complex emerging healthcare trends ― such as aging, health disparities in communities and disease prevention ― and rapidly changing healthcare delivery have spotlighted the need for practice-focused doctoral degrees to ensure nurses are prepared to answer the healthcare dilemmas of the future.3

“Our Doctor of Nursing Practice is focused on leadership that integrates evaluation and application of research evidence and leadership into practice,” said Dr. Kathleen Winston, dean, College of Nursing. “For the advanced practice nurse, the program can help develop innovative and evidence-based nursing practice to drive scholarship and advancement of the nursing profession.”

Supporting AACN’s vision is made possible through an innovative program design in the College of Nursing that includes an equal balance of Ph.D. and DNP faculty designing and teaching the program. The DNP incorporates the distinctive Learn-Practice-Apply learning model to develop nurse leaders equipped to make an immediate impact in their industry and community through dedicated doctoral faculty partners.

Support is provided by an assigned project chair who remains with the candidate until their final applied research project. Along the way, students will advance the science of nursing by publishing research and giving presentations, with the program culminating in the creation and submission of a manuscript to a professional journal.

“In 20 years of delivering doctoral education, we’ve developed a holistic approach to research necessary to drive innovation in today’s increasingly integrative world of work,” said Fran Nelson, associate dean. “We’ve created an encouraging, supportive and motivating environment for doctoral students that prepares them for educational success.”

To learn more about the DNP and additional program offerings, visit the College of Nursing program page.

About University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue their career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. The University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs from select locations across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit