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Doctor of Nursing Practice - Overview

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is in keeping with recommendations from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF), and other professional organizations that advanced practice nurses are educated at the doctoral level. It builds upon advance nursing practice and provides additional education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, systems leadership, health economics and health policy. This enhanced knowledge equips the graduate to practice at the highest level of their preparation. The DNP is a clinical doctorate that promotes excellence in practice, health care leadership and clinical scholarship. DNP graduates are prepared to work collaboratively in advancing cutting edge practice and scholarship.

Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden now offers two DNP tracks: 

  • Adult Gerontology
  • Family Health

And a post-masters option for nurse practitioners seeking to earn a DNP.

  • Post-Masters

Why the DNP?

The changing demands of the nation’s complex healthcare environment require the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes.  The Institute of Medicine, Joint Commission, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other authorizers have called for reconceptualizing education programs that prepare today’s health professionals. Some of the many factors building momentum for change in nursing education at the graduate level include:

  • the rapid expansion of knowledge underlying practice
  • increased complexity of patient care
  • national concerns about the quality of care and patient safety
  • shortages of nursing personnel which demands a higher level of preparation for leaders who can design and assess care
  • increasing educational expectations for the preparation of other members of the healthcare team

In a 2005 report titled Advancing the Nation’s Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs, The National Academy of Sciences called for nursing to develop a non-research clinical doctorate to prepare expert practitioners who can also serve as clinical faculty. Nursing is moving in the direction of other health professions in the transition to the DNP. The professions of medicine (MD), dentistry (DDS), pharmacy (PharmD), psychology (PsyD), physical therapy (DPT), and audiology (AudD) all offer practice doctorates.


Contact Graduate and Professional Programs: | 856-225-2318