Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs in Kansas

What does an advanced practice nurse need to do to ensure that he or she provides the best care for his or her own patients and also for the greater community? Key organizations believe that the practice doctorate -- abbreviated DNP -- is the way to go. The Institute of Medicine has portrayed a bleak picture of the American healthcare system: fragmentation, frequent errors, and failure to take advantage of new information. The American Academy of Colleges of Nursing took it upon themselves to determine whether high levels of education could transform nurses into solution-seekers and solution-finders. In 2004, they announced the results of a two year task force: Doctoral education should become the standard for advanced practice nurses. This would include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists.

Nurses sometimes wonder how the mandate will affect them. The National Pediatric Certification Board has addressed this question on their site by saying that there will be no immediate certification changes; instead, the Board monitors changing roles over time. They periodically conduct practice analysis research and will expect to monitor the influence of the DNP over ten to fifteen years. At such time as they feel that the NP role has changed to the point that additional competencies are required for entry level practice, they will change their certification requirements. Such changes would apply only to those entering or re-entering the field.

DNP Program Beta

In Kansas, nurses may enter doctorate of nursing practice programs with either a BSN or a master’s degree. Post-master’s tracks are able to accommodate students with a wide range of specialties. This is because most of the basic coursework for the specialty has already been done.

Classes in the DNP completion follow a common core, based on the essential standards developed by the AACN. One standard is advanced clinical competency. While some standards are specific to the specialty, all advanced practice nurses should be able to assess health in complex situations, design and implement therapies that are based on scientific principles, display professional judgment and cultural sensitivity, and mentor other nurses. Another standard is population health, Doctoral nursing candidates should be able to analyze epidemiological and biostatistical data and evaluate care delivery models on the basis of a wide variety of factors, including socioeconomic and cultural ones. Nurses also learn to evaluate health information systems and develop organizational leadership sills.

Preceptors and advisors help tailor the program to meet the needs of individual students. Each student completes a scholarly project which addresses a real world problem or need. DNP programs also include 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours.

Schools in Kansas offer two basic DNP tracks: advanced practice nursing and nursing leadership. Within these general perimeters, there are further options to specialize. The University of Kansas is somewhat unique in that they offer four different tracks for nurse leaders: public health, healthcare informatics, research management, and organizational leadership. Like many institutions, the UK offers several advanced practice specialties. UK options include family and mental health nurse practitioner, adult and gerontological clinical nurse specialist, and nurse midwife. Programs for nurses in different specialties are available at other institutions, in Kansas and online. Preceptors and advisors help tailor the program to meet the needs of individual students. Each student completes a scholarly project which addresses a real world problem or need.

Demand is high, and programs can be competitive. Schools look for solid grades, leadership and professional potential (as evidenced by curriculum vitae, references, and essays). References may be asked to rate candidates in such areas as accountability, communication, and innovation. ESL candidates may also be asked to supply TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Contact Information for DNP Programs in Kansas

star Learn about the schools offering Online DNP Programs in Kansas.

University of Kansas School of Nursing

Student Affairs Office
Mail Stop 2029
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
PH: 913-588-1619

Website: www2.kumc.edu/son/academicinformation/dnp.htm

Wichita State University

Graduate Nursing Program
School of Nursing, Box 41
1845 Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0041
PH: 316-978-5704

Website: webs.wichita.edu/?u=CHP_NURS&p=/DNP

Please let us know when new programs open or if we have missed one.

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