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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program overview

For fall matriculation
Apply by March 15

MS and DNP Programs
Download the fact sheet


Information Sessions

Wed., January 22, 2014

Tues., February 12, 2014

Wed., March 26, 2014

Wed., April 16, 2014

Mon., May 12, 2014

Thurs., June 12, 2014

Time:  4:00pm-6:00pm
Room: Textile, Lower Level, Room 012A

RSVP to Victoria Vital at 508.910.6487 or by Email

Directions to the campus

Map of the campus

The DNP program at the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing prepares advanced practice nurses who will:

  • Function as adult primary care nurse practitioners or adult health or community health clinical nurse specialists working in increasingly diverse populations, complex healthcare systems and clinical nursing education;
  • Transform patient care through interdisciplinary collaboration, population-focused and evidenced-based health interventions, and measurement of the outcomes of these interventions at both the individual and community aggregate levels; and
  • Be the future leaders that advance nursing and health care practices in Southeastern Massachusetts, the Commonwealth, and beyond.

The graduate of the DNP program will lead the transformative reform of health systems to achieve and maintain safe clinical practice environments, promote health, wellness and high quality patient care, and translate research into innovative practices that improve health outcomes and contain health care costs to both patients and society.

The DNP course work includes translation research methods, theory, health policy, population health, informatics, systems leadership, leadership residencies, and a capstone project to achieve the goals for the DNP and to meet national accreditation and certification standards.


Faculty and principal area of expertise

  • Deborah Armstrong, Lecturer; PhD(c), University of Massachusetts Worcester; Spinal cord injury, Pathophysiology
  • Marilyn Asselin,  Assistant Professor; PhD, University of Rhode Island; Reflection in practice
  • Elizabeth Chin, Lecturer; PhD(c), University of Massachusetts Worcester; Chronic Illness
  • James Fain, Dean; PhD, University of Connecticut; Diabetes self care in diverse populations
  • Kerry Fater, Professor; PhD, CNE, University of Connecticut; Professional competence, professional development, curriculum development, education
  • Kathryn Gramling, Associate Professor; PhD, University of Colorado; Relational ontology, theory, aesthetics
  • Ruth Griffin, Assistant Professor; DNSc, Columbia University; Mental Health, Post-partum depression, chronic mental illness, children’s pain
  • Susan Hunter Revell, Assistant Professor; PhD, University of Rhode Island; Spinal cord injury, technology in the classroom
  • Lori Keough, Assistant Professor; PhD, University of Massachusetts Worcester; Diabetes, self care in adolescents
  • Mary McCurry, Assistant Professor; PhD, Boston College; Decision making, family care givers,technology in the classroom
  • Gail Russell, Professor; EdD, NEA-BC, Columbia University;
    Leadership in health systems
  • Kristen Sethares, Associate Professor; PhD, CNE, Boston College; Congestive heart failure, self care
  • Sharon Sousa, Associate Dean; EdD, Boston University; Severe mental illness, self care
  • Barbara Weatherford, Assistant Professor; PhD, University of Massachusetts Worcester; Organizational culture and patient care safety, leadership

Degree and certificate options

Doctor of Nursing practice (DNP) with a focus in one of three areas:

  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Health Clinical Specialist
  • Community Health Clinical Specialist

An RN-BS student with GPA of 3.3 or better and the recommendation of RN-BS program director may take up to 9 graduate credits (from among the following courses: NUR 500, 511, 520, 550 or 605) that count as undergraduate electives. If the student applies and is admitted to graduate study immediately after receiving the BS degree, the courses will also count toward the DNP degree.

In addition, the Graduate Admissions Program (GAP) is open to registered nurses who hold a BS or BA degree in another field. GAP students take NUR 503 Transition to Advanced Practice Nursing in which they complete a portfolio that documents how they attained undergraduate nursing program outcome objectives. With an academic advisor, students review this portfolio and select an additional course to round out their preparation for graduate nursing study.

Finally, a 27 credit, post-MS, DNP program is available for nurses who hold an MS in Nursing and certification in as an APRN.


Program Requirements

In addition to completing the UMD admission package, applicants to the DNP program must:

  • Have a GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate study.
  • Hold a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from a program accredited by the NLNAC or CCNE. Registered Nurses with a bachelor degree in a related field may seek admission through the GAP program.
  • Hold a current license to practice professional nursing in MA or be eligible to obtain a license. Please submit a copy of your license.
  • Have at least one year of clinical experience in acute care nursing
  • Submit three references that document competence and leadership in professional nursing practice. If possible, one reference should be from a supervisor who is a professional nurse that holds a DNP and one from a nurse educator.
  • GRE is NOT required.
  • Applications are due March 15 for Fall matriculation.

Degree Requirements

DNP students complete 63 academic credits that include over 1000 hours of clinical practice. In addition, students complete a scholarly project that translates research into practice and measures the effectiveness of this intervention in terms of both health outcomes and cost effectiveness.


Program Highlights

The nursing faculty create rich and meaningful student experiences that build on undergraduate education and clinical competencies to address the career aspirations of the student. Classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences are structured to expand the skills and grow the confidence of the student as APRNs and nurse leaders. The support and collaboration of community partners–both clinicians and health care agencies–are essential components of this program.


Faculty Research

The faculty of the College of Nursing conduct research in two broad areas—living with chronic illness and innovations in nursing education. Support for this work comes from a variety of sources:

  • the US Department of Health Education and Welfare
  • National Science Foundation
  • the National Institutes of Health
  • the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
  • professional groups and community agencies

Recently, Dr. Kristen Sethares’ work on heart failure and patient self-care was recognized when she was an invited presenter at the Chancellor’s Colloquium.

Our faculty are recognized experts and are actively involved in service projects in southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. They serve as consultants for our practice partners and professional groups. Faculty are frequently invited speakers at professional meetings and give peer-reviewed poster and podium presentations throughout the US. Many faculty volunteer for local, regional, national and international health initiatives.


Alumni

The UMass Dartmouth graduate nursing program opened in the late 1980s and has produced over 230 MS graduates who work in southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. In 2007, the PhD in Nursing admitted its first cohort of students and has grown steadily.

The new DNP program positions the graduates of UMass Dartmouth in 2015 and after to meet revised certification criteria for advanced practice nurses. This is a very important new program for the College.

Many graduates continue their affiliation with the College of Nursing by serving as preceptors, mentors, clinical instructors and guest lecturers for our students. We are very proud of the many accomplishments of our graduates and their continuing commitment to UMass Dartmouth.

Some examples are:

  • Dr. Mary McCurry, Assistant Professor and the DNP Program Coordinator here at UMass Dartmouth is a graduate of the ANP track of the MS program.
  • Janine Fontaine, Director, Maternal and Infant Services, SouthCoast Health System graduated from the Community Nursing track.
  • Carol Billington, Vice President, Patient Care Services, St. Anne’s Steward Hospital graduated from the Adult Health track.

Contact information

Mary McCurry, PhD, RNC, ANP, ACNP
Graduate Program Coordinator
Dion 318-B
508-910-6092


Please forward all credentials to

Office of Graduate Studies

UMass Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

Questions?

graduate@umassd.edu
508-999-8604 voice
508-999-8183 fax
umassd.edu/graduate

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