Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs in Maryland

Coppin State University recently announced that the school has received tentative approval to establish a DNP program. The number of practice doctorate programs is rising, both in Maryland and around the nation. Less than a decade ago, there were only four such programs in existence. In 2010, the AACN reported 120, with 160 more on the way. Demand for the courses remains high. Enrollment grew by 35% in 2010.

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Why are advanced practice nursing programs making the transition? The movement has been fueled by the reports of key healthcare organizations. In the 2001 report “Crossing the Quality Chasm”, the Institute of Medicine describes several chasms that exist in the medical establishment. The first rift is among healthcare workers — teams of healthcare professionals often work in isolation, failing to use the expertise of others. The second is between research and practice; the IOM makes the sobering claim that it takes seventeen years for new scientific research to trickle down to the clinician. The end result is that there is a chasm between Americans and the healthcare they need.

Motivated in part by IOM reports, the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing conducted a task force on doctoral nursing education programs. Their conclusion was that the practice doctorate was the best preparation for advanced practice nursing. After conducting another study, they put together a road map that would allow programs to transition by 2015.

DNP Program Options and How to Pay for it

DNP programs are based on the Essential Standards developed by the AACN. Programs include advanced clinical study, but also include a common core of competencies, including health information technology, health policy and advocacy, and scholarly research Some programs are designed for nurses who have completed a master’s, while others accept post-BSN students. The clinical hour requirement is higher for a doctorate than a master’s — indeed it is twice as high — but there are options to tailor them to one’s own clinical interests One of the highlights is the final — or capstone — project. The capstone project is a chance for a student to bring together what she or he has learned throughout the program. Some schools ask students to identify an area of focus before applying.

DNP programs are not designed specifically for nurse educators, however, they do enable some to climb the faculty ladder. Some schools, like John Hopkins offer additional classes in nursing education that can optionally be added to the DNP program. For those who want to fully prepare themselves for senior level management within an economic context, the University of Maryland offers a dual DNP/MBA degree program.

DNP programs often have a rigorous application process. A graduate course in statistics may be required. For many, of course, the costs are more daunting than the academic coursework. There are scholarships specifically for students pursuing advanced degrees in nursing. One option is the Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship and Living Expenses Grant. The Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship pays up to $13,000 a year in return for a work commitment (two years of full-time faculty employment for each year of full-time assistance). Part-time faculty teaching is also an option, but will extend the total commitment. Recipients with financial need may apply for the separate Living Expenses Grant.

Excellence can bring other rewards. The John Hopkins Nurse Leader Executive Mentorship Program is open to a select few DNP students at the institution.

Nurse Faculty Loan Programs can cancel as much as 85% of a DNP, PhD, or MSN program in exchange for teaching in a nursing school.

Contact Information for DNP Programs in Maryland

Explore some of the schools offering Online DNP Programs in Maryland.

John Hopkins University School of Nursing

Contact Information:
525 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205
PH: 410-955-7548


University of Maryland SON

Contact Information:
655 West Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
PH: 410-706-3100


Please contact us as new programs become available and we will add them.

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