dnp graduate student

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The University of Alabama in Huntsville, College of Nursing offers both the Post-Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP and the Post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP pathways. The added content in the post-baccalaureate to DNP pathway will allow a seamless progression from the completion of a baccalaureate degree to advanced practice. Advanced practice specialty training at the doctoral level is needed to address the growing complexity of patient care and health care systems. In addition, expanding accountability of clinical expert nurses in advanced practice roles requires competencies in population-based care, leadership, health policy, health system improvement, research and evidence-based practice.

The CON DNP Program offers two DNP pathways, the post-baccalaureate and the post-master’s. The post-baccalaureate to DNP pathway is for nurses with a BSN degree entering directly into the DNP Program without first earning an MSN degree. The post-master’s to DNP pathway builds on the advanced practice knowledge and skills obtained through a master’s degree program, with a focus on a clinical specialty area.

The existing Joint DNP program will continue until existing students have completed requirements for the DNP degree.

The purposes of the DNP program are to prepare graduates at the highest level of nursing practice to:

  • provide complex hospital and community-based care for patients and families.
  • redesign and evaluate nursing and health care systems.
  • address dire shortages of clinical nursing faculty to mentor and educate new nurses.

DNP Program Highlights

  • Very competitive tuition with no additional fees regardless of residence. See for yourself.
  • Nurse Faculty Loan Program is available for students who plan to teach after graduation. Loan supports tuition, books, software, and other reasonable educational expenses.
  • Fully online program with one required DNP Intensive in the Spring semester.
  • Eligible students include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and individuals certified in leadership/administration or informatics.
  • Enrollment as either part-time or full-time student.
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DNP Program Outcomes

  1. Synthesize scientific evidence for the development of clinical interventions for practice.
  2. Evaluate policy, care delivery, and organizational systems for current and future health care needs.
  3. Demonstrate intra and interprofessional collaboration to address health disparities and to improve health care quality across diverse populations and cultures.
  4. Incorporate knowledge of current and emerging health technologies to improve care delivery and organizational systems.
  5. Translate scientific, theoretical, and ethical principles into health care for individuals, families, and populations.
  6. Assume complex leadership roles to advance clinical practice and health care delivery at the organizational and systems level and to improve health outcomes of individuals and populations.
  7. Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies in health care.
  8. Deliver evidence-based care using clinical reasoning and analysis of complex healthcare issues to improve patient outcomes.

The DNP focus is to prepare expert practitioners who can also serve as clinical faculty. The DNP will initially be offered as post-master's entry to nurses with a specialized advanced nursing master's degree.

The UAH College of Nursing Graduate programs align with the following professional nursing standards and guidelines:

  • AACN The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006)

The post-baccalaureate to DNP pathway also encompasses:

  • NONPF Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies (2017)
  • AONE Nurse Executive Competencies (2015)
  • National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education: Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs (2016)

UAH DNP Graduates


Dana Bageon, DNP, FNP-BC

"Completing my DNP at UAH strengthened my leadership skills and clinical knowledge.  I am able to identify clinical issues, apply evidence-based solutions, and evaluate the outcomes. With the support of my professors, I was able to complete my degree while continuing to work."


Justin Ford, DNP, AG-ACNP-BC

"The DNP program at UAH provided me with the experience and knowledge required to influence change within the healthcare system and become a leader in nursing. I have grown both personally and professionally as a result of completing this DNP program."