The Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) is designed to prepare nurse educators and scholars for leadership roles in nursing education, health policy related to vulnerable populations, and applied research. The graduate will function as a nurse leader with expertise in nursing and healthcare phenomena related to evidence-based practice, the investigative skills of an applied researcher, and the leadership skills for influencing health care systems, particularly related to population-based health disparities. The curriculum focuses on nursing education and health policy within the context of health disparities and population based health care. Coursework will prepare the graduate to evaluate and influence nursing practice and health care delivery systems, and to educate the next generation of nurses through various faculty roles.
The curriculum, based on AACN Indicators of Quality in Research-Focused Doctoral Programs in Nursing (2001), will follow the traditional doctoral education format consisting of core nursing courses, elective and support courses, and the conduct of an individually developed comprehensive applied research dissertation. The program is 60 credit hours composed of 6 hours of statistics, 33 hours of core nursing coursework, 9 hours of electives (one specified in education elective), and 12 hours (minimum) dissertation credit. All students take coursework in the two program foci: Leadership in Nursing Education and Leadership in Responses to Health Disparities. Students may attend the program full-time (9 hours per semester) or part-time (6 hours per semester).