Jul 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Governors State University Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Governors State University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Practice, D.N.P.

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The College of Health and Human Services  doctor in nursing practice (DNP) provides a professional practice doctorate in nursing that is designed for applicants to matriculate at two entry points: post baccalaureate or post master’s degree with a major in nursing. The degree prepares the graduate for a career with a focus on one of the following advanced professional practice specialties: direct practice, community behavior, leadership/administration, or practitioner/educator. The sequence of courses provides the DNP graduate with the skills to assume leadership in meeting the healthcare needs of clients in a variety of settings; the program has an emphasis on the care of vulnerable populations.

Program Goals

The goals for the Nursing Programs at Governors State University are to:

  1. Prepare nursing students with knowledgeable skills and the capacity for critical inquiry and thinking, and skills to function in a variety of practice settings.
  2. Provide an environment in which students develop cultural competency in health care.
  3. Promote the professional values, beliefs and behaviors necessary for providing leadership in the delivery of health care in the 21st century.
  4. Foster in students a commitment for life-long learning.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment/scholarship in nursing practice.
  2. Critically analyze complex clinical situations and practice systems.
  3. Evaluate and apply conceptual models, theories, and research in order to improve healthcare of diverse populations.
  4. Systematically investigate a clinically focused area of nursing in order to order advanced healthcare.
  5. Analyze the social, economic, political, and policy components of healthcare systems, which affect care planning and delivery.
  6. Assume leadership roles in the development of clinical practice models, education models, health policy, and standards of care.
  7. Integrate professional values and ethical decision-making in advanced nursing practice.
  8. Collaborate with other members of the healthcare team to promote and prevent illness.
  9. Engage in literature research for the avocation of practice and the promotion of health across the liefspan.


Effective July, 2019 the Doctorate of Nursing Practice nursing program at Governors State University located at University Park, Illinois is a candidate for initial accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in nursing. This candidacy expires on December, 2021.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

3390 Peachtree Road NE,
Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at: http://www.acenursing.com/candidates/candidacy.asp

Admissions Requirements: Post-Baccalaureate

Students requesting entry to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) at the post-baccalaureate level must meet all the requirements for graduate admission. In addition, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA before progression into DNP-8171 .

Post Master’s

Students requesting entry to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) at the post-master’s level must be accepted into the doctoral program and provide a transcript of completion of a master’s in nursing program from an accredited institution.


Students must produce evidence of nursing licensure in the appropriate jurisdiction prior to enrolling in clinical courses.

Special Admission Requirements

Applications with all supporting documents must be submitted by March 1 for fall semester admission. Late applications will be placed on a waiting list and will not be reviewed until all timely applicants have been processed. No action will be taken until all admission documents have been received. Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice is limited and competitive.

  1. All required credentials must be on file in the Office of Admission before applicants can be admitted to the program.
  2. Applicants whose credentials are from countries other than the United States must have their credentials evaluated through the Office of Admission.
  3. Applicants are expected to meet the following admission requirements:
    1. graduation from an accredited baccalaureate program in nursing. International students must graduate from a nursing program that has undergone comparable review per AACN Baccalaureate Essentials criteria and must score a minimum of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL;
    2. a minimum undergraduate nursing cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0, on a four-point scale, or equivalent “B” average. Note: Applicants not meeting this criterion may be considered for conditional admission status;
    3. evidence of current registered nurse licensure in the State of Illinois (for students planning to complete the program in Illinois) or from an appropriate jurisdiction (for out-of-state students intending to complete practice requirements outside the state of Illinois);
    4. evidence of successful completion with a grade of B or better of an upper division statistics course taken within the last five years. Alternately, one may be taken concurrently with the first term of graduate coursework;
    5. a personal interview with a graduate admissions committee;
    6. basic computer competency as follows: Students should be able to use e-mail with attachments; access online course materials and navigate BlackBoard courses; demonstrate intermediate competency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint; be able to effectively use clinical simulation modules; have beginning competency with a statistical package preferably SPSS; and be able to navigate the Web including access to online library materials, Nursing Blog, and similar sites. Students who are unfamiliar with web-supported instruction are encouraged to take ONTL - 5101 Introduction to Online Learning (2)  prior to or during the first term of enrollment;
    7. grades in all previous master’s course work of “B” or better; and
    8. submit an application packet which includes:
      1. the Graduate School Application form. This is to be completed online;
      2. official (original) transcripts showing the award of the BSN and the MS in Nursing (if a post MS applicant) and any other program pre-requisites;
      3. a 300-500 word essay, which addresses your reasons for pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice, career goals, and practice interests;
      4. three letters of recommendation evaluating your scholarly potential. One should be from a clinical advisor or supervisor, one from an academic advisor or faculty member, and one from a nursing peer;
      5. a curriculum vita or resume; and
      6. a copy of your current registered nurse license.

Other Requirements

  1. Once accepted into the program, information regarding health and other program specific requirements will be sent to the student. These requirements must be met within the first semester of enrollment.
  2. Applicants are responsible for all doctoral level tuition and fees. Applicants must assume all responsibility for fees associated with testing.

Admission to Candidacy

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student must apply for candidacy, at which time all candidacy requirements must be fulfilled. Application for candidacy should be made with the approval of one’s academic advisor at the completion of all core courses. Admission to candidacy is required in order to enroll in the roll specific DNP courses. To qualify for candidacy, a student must:

  1. meet all conditions of admission; and
  2. complete all core courses: DNP-8171 , DNP-8172 , DNP-8173 , DNP-9180 , DNP-9181 , HLSC-7500 , HLSC-8300 , HLSC-8350 , HLSC-8400 , and STAT-8260 .

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a doctoral degree. In addition, students must: pass, during the last semester of the student’s program, the capstone project which will be reviewed by a panel of three nursing faculty members complete degree requirements within five (5) years of application for candidacy; and may repeat only one course in which a grade of “C” is received.

Required Courses Post-Master’s Entry (44 - 47 Hours)

B. Role Development Courses (10 - 13 Hours)

(Select 1 area)

Total - 44 - 47 Hours

Required Courses Post-Baccalaureate Entry (86- 89 Hours)

The post-baccalaureate option requires that the following courses be completed prior to and in addition to those required for the Post-Master’s Option:


Select elective workshop (1) from one of the following:

  • Health Sciences
  • Communication Studies
  • Addictions Studies
  • Management Information Systems
  • Required Courses Post-Master’s Option
  • (44-47 Hours) (Listed Above)

Total - 86 - 89 Hours

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