Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree
Distance Graduate Education
The DNP degree, established in 2013, focuses on educating advanced practice registered nurses to the highest standards of the profession to care for people living in Montana and beyond and to lead change in health care systems. The program prepares graduates to meet the educational eligibility requirements to sit for national nurse practitioner certification that corresponds with the role and population focus. Two areas of specialty are available for DNP-degree seeking students at MSU – Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (see Options below).
The graduate program curriculua are taught by faculty in the College of Nursing and Engineering who have systems and clinical leadership experience and expertise. Rich clinical opportunities exist in Montana for nurses seeking to expand their outreach and grow to the level of an advanced practice registered nurse as a DNP with either a Family or Psych/Mental Health population focus. Certified and experienced advanced practice registered nurse faculty and preceptors guide DNP students through the clinical portion of the DNP curriculum. Students work with doctoral faculty nationally recognized for their broad and wide-ranging expertise to lead their DNP scholarly projects. The college provides educational preparation plus exciting opportunities to practice in rural and frontier areas of Montana.
Scholarly Project: Each student completes a DNP Scholarly Project developed in collaboration with a faculty chairperson and committee. Examples of exciting and innovative student projects include: development of mental health outreach programs to the rural elderly; examination of alternative health practices for healing; establishment of pediatric cancer support groups for the rural client; and development of a school-based clinic. An oral defense of the scholarly project and final professional paper is required for the DNP degree.
Distance Graduate Program: All graduate courses are offered via distance delivery with video conference used to supplement content. See teaching methods for more information. Travel to Bozeman may be required for some coursework.
Technical Requirements: Computer proficiency and reliabel Internet access is required for graduate students who are admitted to the program: refer to Technical Requirements (pdf).
The annual application deadline is December 15th for the following fall semester admission.
Family Nurse Practitioner Option
The DNP - Family NP Option prepares advanced practice registered nurses at the doctoral level to demonstrate clinical expertise, judgement, scholarship, and leadership in the primary health care setting through the lifespan. Depending upon individual state regulations, nurse practitioners may practice independently with full prescriptive authority (check with your individual state). Graduates may generate new knowledge through innovation of practice change, the translation of evidence, and the implementation of quality improvement processes in specific practice settings, systems, or with specific populations to improve health or health outcomes.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Option
The Psychiatric Mental Health NP Option prepares advanced practice nurses to demonstrate clinical expertise, judgement, scholarship, and leadership to provide the highest level of nursing practice in a variety of settings. The focus of the Psychiatric Mental Health NP Option is to provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health needs for patients across the lifespan. The doctorally prepared Psychiatric Mental Health NP can provide treatment in a variety of ways, including with medication, crisis intervention, individual, group, and family psychotherapy.
Depending upon individual state regulations, nurse practicioners may practice independently with full prescriptive authority (check with your individual state). The DNP prepared PMHNP can work with children, adolescents, adults, and seniors in a wide range of practice settings. Graduates generate new knowledge through innovation of practice change, the translation of evidence, and the implementation of quality improvement process in specific practice settings, systems, or with specific populations to improve health or health outcomes.
Post Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice:
The Post Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is available to currently licensed, certified and practicing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, certified nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists) who do not wish to add an additional practice population focus national certification. Graduates generate new knowledge through innovation of practice change, the translation of evidence, and the implementation of quality improvement processes in specific practice settings, systems, or with specific populations to improve health or health outcomes.
Please note: Post-graduate APRN applicants who are seeking national certification in a new population-focused area of practice (one in which they are not currently practicing or certified) must meet the educational and certification criteria for the additional practice area, as well as, the educational criteria for the DNP and should not apply to this option. Applicants seeking additional national certification should instead apply to the BSN to DNP – Family or BSN to DNP-Psychiatric Mental Health option.
Clinical Placement Coordinator
We have a dedicated staff member at your service to provide Clinical Placement & Support services. This allows you to focus on learning to be a nurse leader in your clinical environment. In the graduate program you wil work directly with our Clinical Placement Coordinator who will place you in a clinical setting with a preceptor, based on your field of interest. Your Clinical Placement Coordinator will serve as a go-between for all of your cinical placement issues that may arise.
Contact Kate Hallowell, 406-994-3500, for Graduate Admissions questions.
Interested in Non-degree Graduate Coursework?
Facts to consider- Non-degree Graduate Coursework Information Guide
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Montana State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).