UW-Eau Claire offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree option for individuals pursuing education in advanced practice nursing. The DNP is a clinical doctorate intended for nurses assuming leadership roles in the areas of advanced clinical practice (nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist) or nursing administration. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is requiring the DNP degree to be the entry level of practice for advanced clinical practice nurses by 2015. Both MSN-to-DNP and BSN-to-DNP options are available.
Goals and purposes
Graduates of the DNP program will be able to:
• Expand advanced nursing practice by
integrating the art and science of nursing
with theory and knowledge from
biophysical, psychosocial, political,
ethical, technical, analytical, cultural,
spiritual, environmental, and
• Promote culturally sensitive, holistic
advanced nursing practice care and
services in a global community, with
emphasis on disease/illness prevention
and health/wellness promotion as well as
restoration and maintenance.
• Synthesize leadership skills, systems
analysis, and advocacy expertise.
• Integrate clinical expertise and
competence with population-focused
management, evidence-based practice,
and health care policy.
• Analyze health-related information
systems and technology for the
improvement of health care.
• Develop, implement and evaluate
evidence-based approaches to advanced
• Evaluate the outcomes of advanced
• Apply clinical scholarship and leadership
skills to advanced nursing practice.
• Evaluate personal scholarship,
professional growth, and excellence
For MSN-to-DNP students, the program consists of 30 credits taken at the 800-level. The 800-level courses include five core courses, two seminar and practicum courses (provide 450 clinical hours), and capstone project experience courses. The courses are offered as hybrids that combine online components with on-campus immersion days and can be taken over four terms (summer, fall, winterim and spring) for full-time students and over two years for part-time students.
Students must earn a grade of C or better in course work and clinicals to successfully progress. The clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and an agency facilitator.
For the BSN-to-DNP students, the program consists of approximately 68 credits (including 6 credits of cognates/electives) and 1,050 clinical hours for the administration role preparation; and approximately 73 credits and 1,087 clinical hours for nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist role preparations. The full-time program plan is for 3 years, with 4 and 5 year part-time options available. For full-time students, the first year of courses are 700-level courses taught predominantly at the Eau Claire campus on Mondays; and the second year of courses include 700-level courses generally taught on Tuesdays at the Eau Claire campus, along with a few 800-level courses. The third year consists of all 800-level courses and generally are taught on Wednesdays. The 800-level courses are offered as hybrids that combine online components with immersion (on-campus) days.
• U.S. News & World Report magazine
consistently ranks UW-Eau Claire among
the top public regional universities in the
Midwest in its annual America’s Best
• UW-Eau Claire’s reputation as an
interactive university has been cited in
publications such as Kiplinger’s Personal
Finance Magazine, Money Magazine and
The Chronicle of Higher Education.
• UW-Eau Claire is a member institution of
The Council of Graduate Schools and is
accredited by the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools.
800-level DNP courses
- Advanced Epidemiology & Biostatistics for Population Health, 4 cr.
- Philosophical, Theoretical, & Ethical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice, 4 cr.
- Clinical Scholarship for Advanced Nursing Practice 4 cr.
- Organizational Leadership & Health Policy for Advanced Nursing Practice 4 cr.
- Advanced Nursing Practice and Informatics, 2 cr.
- DNP Seminar & Practicum I & II, 6 - 8 cr.
- Capstone Project, 4 cr.
Functional Role Preparations courses are at the 700 and 800 level (Nurse Practitioner: 20 cr.; Clinical Nurse Specialist 20 cr.; Nurse Administrator/Executive: 17 cr.)
To apply to the DNP program, an applicant must contact Dr. Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher and submit the following documents for consideration:
- A complete application for graduate admission to the University along with the application fees
- Official transcripts from post-secondary institutions
- An undergraduate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited (CCNE or NLN) nursing program, with a 3.0 GPA or higher
- Three references (only per reference form) from individuals who are knowledgeable of the applicant’s clinical ability and/or potential for graduate study
- An essay
- A complete DNP Demographic Form
- Wisconsin Registered Nurse licensure
- Evidence of undergraduate-level coursework in statistics (BSN-to-DNP students)
For those applying to MSN-to-DNP, also need to submit evidence of:
- A master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited (CCNE or NLN) nursing program, with a role preparation in Advanced Practice Nursing as an Adult Gerontologic or Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, or Nurse Administrator (transcript required)
- Evidence of 550 hours of master’s level clinical practicum (or national certification by a body approved by the Wisconsin State Board of Nursing)
- See www.uwec.edu/conhs for additional specific requirements for the DNP options
January 4 is the priority application deadline; applications are accepted until seats are filled.
Note: Program costs are higher than typical UW-Eau Claire graduate programs and thus the 800-level DNP courses involve additional course fees.
For information contact:
Dr. Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher
Assistant Dean: Post licensure programs