Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs in Vermont

Some have characterized the NP as the healthcare practitioner of the present and the DNP as the practitioner of the future. The healthcare system is changing and growing more complex. The American population is living longer than ever, and this presents new challenges. More people develop chronic age-related conditions like diabetes. In order to manage these conditions effectively and economically, there must be much more collaboration among healthcare professionals and healthcare institutions. This is one of the arguments made by the Institute of Medicine in a report on the need for reform in health education across disciplines.

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Grand Canyon University Visit School's Website
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  • Accredited Degrees in Nursing
Capella University Visit School's Website
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  • Earn your RN-to-BSN online from Capella University
Purdue University Global Visit School's Website
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  • Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Nursing
Liberty University Visit School's Website
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  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
Walden University Visit School's Website
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  • Online Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Nursing Programs and Certificates

The IOM has noted some other significant failings in the healthcare system. In the report “Crossing the Quality Chasm”, the organization alleges that it takes seventeen years for new medical knowledge to be incorporated into clinical practice. Because of this time lag, patients often don’t get the most effective remedies. The healthcare practitioner of the future must evaluate new research and help disseminate it to other healthcare professionals as well.

Thanks to the efforts of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and other institutions, the future is fast approaching. The AACN launched a task force in 2002 to study doctoral education programs for nurses. They determined that the practice doctorate gave advanced practice nurses the best preparation for the changing healthcare system. By infusing additional standards into the curriculum, colleges could prepare nurses to deliver higher quality patient care and also extend their reach beyond the clinic doors.

DNP Program Information and Entry Options

DNP programs prepare nursing executives and public health nurses as well as advanced practice nurses. There are currently no DNP programs within Vermont’s borders, but this does not mean a student can not complete her doctorate while living within the state. Students may enter DNP programs with a master’s or, in some cases, with a bachelor’s degree. Post-master’s programs are designed to provide a seamless transition for students who received their master’s from the sponsoring institution and also provide a doctorate completion option for those who did their initial work at other facilities. If a student does not have a DNP program in her geographic area, she may enroll in a master’s level APN course first, then take a DNP completion course online.

The completion course will include approximately 500 additional clinical practice hours. These are not a repetition of those done at the master’s level; there are many options beyond basic patient care. Part of the task is to collect data to solve a practice-oriented problem. It is sometimes possible for a candidate to find a preceptor who can monitor them in their own geographic area. Other coursework may be completed using computer-facilitated learning, though there may be occasional weekends spent on campus.

DNP completion courses give a nursing student additional clinical competencies and also provide a common core. While some courses emphasize direct patient care and others emphasize indirect care such as management or population health, all put nursing within a larger context. Competencies are based on the AACN’s eight essential standards. Nurses learn analytical research strategies, epidemiology, methods for evaluating health information technology systems, and organizational and systems leadership. They also learn the scientific basis behind nursing care. Learning is evidenced through a capstone project. The candidate identifies a problem that affects a particular population or, in some instances, impacts a group of nursing students. The project may take the form of a pilot study, cost benefit analysis, or the design of a new program.

Admission policies vary from institution to institution, but they can be rigorous. In some cases, an applicant can increase her chances by identifying an area of study beforehand.

DNP Program Options in Vermont

There are no Schools based in Vermont that offer the DNP at this time.

Learn about some of the schools offering DNP Programs Online to nurses in Vermont.