Nurse Practitioner Specialties in the DNP

The Family Nurse Practitioner

This track prepares nurses for advanced practice through a course of study focused on the health care of families across the lifespan. The courses in this specialty focus on advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and management of acute and chronic illness in families. These courses are combined with specialty seminars and clinical experiences that emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of illness on the patient and family. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam.


The Psychiatric/Mental Health Specialty

This track prepares nurses for advanced practice with a focus on mental health issues across the lifespan. The curriculum builds upon four core PMHNP competencies: advanced health assessment (physical and psychosocial); diagnosis (diagnosis of mental disorders, pathophysiology, and neurophysiology); psychotherapy (individual, group, and family); and medication management (pharmacology and psychopharmacology). Other courses develop competencies in health care systems, best-practice research utilization and translation, and health care quality improvement. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam.


Clinical Practicums

It is the responsibility of the student to originate contact with a potential preceptor and request a guided clinical experience with them or in specified agencies. Instructors and advisers assist identifying suitable preceptors but it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to locate these experiences and to check with the State Board of Nursing for their respective state. Please know that it takes approximately 3-6 months to establish a clinical affiliation agreement, if one is not already in place. When accepted into the program you will learn about required clinical experiences during your first summer seminar.

  • All courses for the BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP are web-based. There is a once-a year, mandatory, on-campus, week-long requirement. Those who cannot attend this yearly seminar are not admitted nor if admitted can they progress in the program if they do not attend. As the time varies each year, notification of the dates for the week long campus requirement is sent out upon admission and at the beginning of the Spring semester in January.
  • In addition, the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric/Mental Health, BSN to DNP specialties conduct a week-long clinical immersion each year after the first year. Students are provided information on when these immersions will take place after acceptance into the program and during orientation. Students who cannot or do not attend cannot progress in the program.
  • Students should have a basic understanding on computer use and feel comfortable navigating the internet and using various applications to complete assignments. Additional help will be provided for those students with little or no computer skills.

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