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For More Information, Contact:

Lynn Gaydosik
Graduate Program Coordinator
gaydosik@rmu.edu

412-397-5481 phone
412-397-3277 fax
John Jay Center 225C


FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICESSCHOOL OF NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES > DEPARTMENT OF NURSING >  DOCTORAL DEGREE
Doctoral Degree

The responsibilities and opportunities for nurses continue to grow in scope and complexity. The next generation of nursing leaders will be called upon to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team, emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement and informatics.

Growth and change in the field indicates a strong need for doctoral-level training for advanced practice nurses. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is an emerging field of study approved by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in 2004. The AACN has issued a position statement advocating that advanced practice nurses evolve to the DNP level by 2015.

Program Overview

Robert Morris University's DNP degree program is clinically oriented, preparing graduates to employ clinical reasoning at the highest level of nursing practice to plan and implement patient care. Nurses completing the program will have a strong practice-oriented preparation with the ability to work within teams of health professionals, care for diverse populations, and lead other health care providers in providing safe, high-quality health care.

RMU's DNP curriculum emphasizes teamwork and team building among health care practitioners, including physicians, social workers, pharmacists and others. In designing the program, RMU incorporated all five of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommendations regarding the future of health professions education: patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, quality improvement and better use of informatics.

For advanced practice nurses who already have a master's degree, the DNP Completion Program combines an appealing format with specially targeted content to provide the perfect extension of knowledge and abilities. The coursework moves students to the next level of their careers, incorporating a broader knowledge of health care in today's complex market.

Program Options

Program options include:
DNP Completion Program and Curriculum - For advanced practice nurses with master's degrees
BSN to DNP Program and Curriculum - For registered nurses with bachelor's degrees interested in nurse practitioner preparation
PMHNP Program Options & Curricula - For both registered nurses with bachelor's degrees interested in nurse practitioner preparation and for advanced practice nurses with master's degrees interested in a second certification

Program Objectives

The objectives of the DNP program are to prepare advanced practice nurses who:
  1. Apply nursing science and clinical reasoning at the highest level of practice to plan and implement care.
  2. Utilize expert communication and leadership skills with interdisciplinary teams to create improvements in health care and complex health care delivery systems.
  3. Integrate theory, clinical inquiry, information technology, and evidence-based practice for clinical decision-making and the provision of patient care.
  4. Lead health care provider teams to systematically evaluate outcomes and implement quality improvements based on evidence-based practice.
  5. Generate a culturally competent practice environment.
  6. Influence health policy to improve health care delivery and outcomes for all stakeholders.
  7. Partner with other health care providers to form an inter-professional team to advance high-quality, safe, patient-centered care.
  8. Lead initiatives to promote disease prevention and population health.

Program Director

Judy Kaufmann, Dr.P.H., CRNP, joined RMU in June 2007 as the DNP program director after teaching at the University of Pittsburgh since 1995. As director, she oversees recruitment, administration and curriculum development, and also teaches. She has practiced as a nurse practitioner across the lifespan, with specialized experience in women's health, orthopedics and internal medicine. She holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Pittsburgh.

Career Outlook

With the projected need for additional health care providers, nurses with advanced practice degrees will be in high demand. Projections indicate a strong future demand for nurse practitioners for several reasons. First, there is a shortage of nurse practitioners both nationally and in Pennsylvania. Second, advanced practice nurses help to meet the health care needs of our populations. Third, advanced practice nurses are important members of existing and emerging health care teams.

Salary Information

Earning the DNP can translate into higher salaries for nurse practitioners. According to the 2005 National Salary Survey of Nurse Practitioners, nurse practitioners with doctoral degrees earned an average annual salary of $81,440 - about $6,500 more than master's-prepared nurse practitioners ($74,777).

Program Location

Offered in Moon Township only.

For More Information

Contact our Graduate Admissions Office at 412-397-5229 or graduateprograms@rmu.edu. Or visit our website at www.rmu.edu, where you can submit your application for admission free of charge online.