DEPARTMENT OF NURSING

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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 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 Director

Susan Van Cleve DNP, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP is the Interim Director of the DNP Program. As Director, she oversees recruitment, administration and curriculum development and also teaches. She practices as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and has a specialty in working with children and adolescents who have behavioral, developmental and mental health disorders. She received her Master’s Degree and PNP preparation from Boston College and her DNP degree from Robert Morris University. 

Program Coordinators

Denise Ramponi, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-C, FAANP, FAEN is the Coordinator of the Family and Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program. She practices as a Family and Emergency Nurse Practitioner in urgent care and emergency department settings. She has a specialty in ‘hands on’ clinical skill workshops. She received her Master’s Degree from Duquesne University and her DNP degree from Waynesburg University. 

Kirstyn Kameg,DNP, PMHNP-BC has served as the Coordinator of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program since its inception in 2007. She teaches several courses in the PMHNP program including Psychiatric Differential Diagnosis, Psychopharmacology, Management of Psychiatric Disorders, Family Therapy, and Health Promotion. Her research interests are simulation as a teaching methodology, interprofessional education, and care of patients with multiple chronic conditions. She maintains a private practice as a PMHNP diagnosing and managing individuals across the lifespan with mental health problems. She received her Master’s degree and PMHNP preparation from the University of Pittsburgh and her DNP degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Program Overview

Robert Morris University's BSN -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 BSN- DNP curriculum emphasizes teamwork and team building among health care practitioners, including physicians, social workers, pharmacists and others. In designing the program, RMU incorporates 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. 

RMU’s DNP Completion Program is for advanced practice nurses who already have a master's degree, and 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

Postmaster's DNP Completion Program and Curriculum - For advanced practice nurses with master's degrees

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) BSN to DNP Program and Curriculum - For registered nurses with bachelor's degrees interested in nurse practitioner preparation

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program (PMHNP) 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.
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 doctorally prepared nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses.  Nationally and in Pennsylvania, there is a shortage of nurse practitioners and preparation in our programs will prepare  advanced practice nurses to help to meet the health care needs of our populations and members of existing and emerging health care teams.


Salary Information

Earning the DNP can translate into higher salaries for nurse practitioners. According to a 2011 salary survey conducted by ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners magazine, DNP-prepared NPs earned $8,576 more than master’s-prepared NPs. Our graduates are obtaining excellent positions where they are combining their APRN skills with their DNP. 


Program Location

BSN – DNP (FNP, AGNP) - Offered in Moon Township only

BSN- DNP (PMHNP) -Offered via distance education and at Moon Township

PMHNP Certificate - Offered via distance education and at Moon Township

DNP Completion - Offered in Executive Format (hybrid) at Moon Township


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.