Doctor of Nursing Practice

Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program is a practice-based doctoral program that prepares expert clinicians to apply research knowledge and methods to develop, implement, evaluate, and practice innovation in order to improve patient and population-based care. The DNP program is designed so that graduates demonstrate and document competence in the essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. The DNP provides the pathway for MSN-prepared nurses to continue formal education and access a program targeted to the needs of their practice area. Building on the master’s program curriculum, the DNP is designed as a professional (practice) doctorate integrating evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. The DNP is targeted to nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice. The program will include course and clinical work (fieldwork), and an evidence-based DNP project that addresses a high priority area of practice.

This fully online program requires students to attend a one-week intensive in Hawai‘i at the beginning of the program. Learning strategies include independent learning, group work, and engagement with practice leaders and organizations during the implementation of the DNP project. The DNP project has a strong applied focus with students developing, implementing, and evaluating an innovation relevant to their practice. Faculty reflect the interdisciplinary nature and team focus of health care delivery and include doctorally-prepared faculty in both nursing and non-nursing disciplines.. The DNP student will access highly-qualified, certified practitioners from the health care sector in Hawai‘i, as well as academic expertise from faculty and staff at HPU including comprehensive online library services.

The curriculum is developed and guided by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2012) and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), and consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours of study, completed over 24 months of part-time study, space available.

Students will enter and progress in learning cohorts. The first course of the program is delivered during a 1-week mandatory face to face intensive on the Hawai‘i Pacific University campus. The remaining 6 didactic courses are delivered online. Three practicum courses (Doctoral Project I, II, III) require meeting virtually or face-to-face with faculty, community content experts, and documented clinical hours at the site of DNP project implementation.

Students are required by AACN to complete at least 1000 post-baccalaureate hours of practice. A minimum of 3 credits of each practicum course is required to progress. Additional credits will be recommended based on individual student needs.

Individuals wishing to apply to DNP program are required to submit the following:

  • Graduate GPA 3.0

  • U.S. State RN license 

  • Pre-requisite or transfer equivalent coursework in statistics

  • CV or resume

  • Personal interview (phone/video conference) with the DNP Program Coordinator and Graduate Program Chair

  • MSN with national certification in their field of study

  • Letters (2) of recommendation

For more information about the DNP Program, please review the DNP Student Handbook.