Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs in Nevada

The DNP has come to Nevada. In fact more than one program has been implemented in the past few years. In this regard, the state is meeting the expectations/ time lines of national nursing and healthcare organizations. In 2005, the Institute of Medicine called for the development of a practice doctorate for nurses. Around that time, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing issued an even stronger call to action, asking their 600 member schools — and others — to transition all advanced practice nursing programs to the doctoral level by 2015.

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The changes have been met with excitement and questions. Do the announcements mean that nurse practitioners are not practicing safely? Will the DNP become a legal requirement by 2015? The answer to both questions is no. The IOM has noted that APNs deliver primary care at the same level that physicians do, and that their services are instrumental in staving off a crisis in healthcare. In 2010 to 2011, in fact, the IOM published further reports calling for an expansion in the scope of practice of advanced practice nurses. The IOM is not concerned with failures in their practice, at least no more so than with other health practitioners. The failing is with the system itself. There are detrimental information gaps between groups of professionals and between researchers and practitioners. In order to serve a population that is living longer, the system needs to move from a focus on acute care and emergencies to a focus on managing chronic conditions. This requires high levels of collaboration.

As the University of Nevada notes, completion of the DNP does not alter the scope of practice, which is defined by the state’s Nurse Practice Act. Advanced practice nurses should realize, though, that their practice is evolving. The healthcare system is growing more complex, and needs and roles have both expanded over a period of decades. The new degree is designed to help nurses function in the healthcare community of the future.

DNP Program Tracks and Standards in Nevada

DNP programs may prepare nurses for either direct or indirect patient care. There are two main tracks: one for advanced practice nurses and one for nurse executives. Nevada, it should be noted, does have regulations concerning the qualifications of nurse administrators. Thus, post-master’s nursing leadership applicants will be expected to have already moved beyond the role of generalist.

Some doctoral programs accept only post-master’s candidates; there may also be a requirement that candidates already be licensed in a specialty. Other programs, though, accept both post-baccalaureate and post-master’s nurses. These programs allow nurses to choose from among traditional advanced practice specialties.

How does a doctoral level APN course build on the skill’s in a master’s program? One of the standards is development of advanced clinical competencies. Other required components include population health, healthcare policy, professional relationships, health information and technology, and research methodologies. Courses in scholarly research are designed to bridge the much publicized chasm between theory and practice.

Nurses are also expected to understand the scientific underpinnings of the nursing profession. There has long been a belief in nursing that care is integral to both healing and staying healthy. The modern advanced practice nurse is expected to understand the scientific and psychosocial basis for this. The more solid a nurse’s knowledge base, the more capable he is of setting priorities.

DNP students should expect to do at least 500 post-master’s practicum hours and to apply translational research and advanced problem solving skills. Usually the clinical hours are done in conjunction with a final capstone project.

Contact Information for DNP Programs in Nevada

Explore schools offering Online DNP Programs in Nevada.

Touro University

Contact Information:
874 American Pacific Drive
Henderson, Nevada 89014


University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Contact Information:
4505 Maryland Parkway
Box 453018
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-3018
PH: 775-784-6841


University of Nevada-Reno Orvis School of Nursing

Contact Information:
Division of Health Sciences
Mail Stop 0134
Reno, Nevada, 89557-0208
PH: 775-784-6841


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