The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree is an 18- month program in which students complete a standard didactic phase of coursework offered in a distance learning format, and a specialty residency track with clinical research experiences scheduled in the last three quarters of the curriculum. There will be two tracks: 1) an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track for advanced practice nurses who already hold certification in this area of specialty, and 2) a Nurse Executive track, for current professional nursing leaders.

Students must complete a minimum of 1000 post-bachelors residency hours to include the practicum hours completed in an accredited Master of Science in nursing program (M.S.N.) and the 600 hours that are required to successfully complete the D.N.P. program at Midwestern University. The degree consists of a minimum of 56 quarter credits and can extend up to 60 quarter credit hours based on the number of residency and clinical research hours a student needs to meet the minimum 1000-hour requirement. D.N.P. graduates are required to demonstrate specific foundational and concentration-related competencies encompassing the following D.N.P. Essentials: scientific underpinnings, organizational and systems leadership, clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice, information systems and technology improvement, health care policy and advocacy, finance, quality improvement initiatives, interprofessional collaboration to improve patient outcomes, clinical prevention and population health, and advanced nursing practice.

Students enrolled in the D.N.P. program complete planned, supervised, and evaluated residencies and clinical research experiences within the states in which they are licensed. Applied residencies and clinical research experiences are tailored to meet the core competencies of doctoral-prepared nurses. D.N.P. students are required to conduct translational, evidenced-based research to improve the health of the population foci supervised by a research project committee. The residencies and clinical research experiences may include government, nongovernment, nonprofit, clinical, or appropriate university-affiliated settings.