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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal level nursing degree that focuses on clinical practice, which differs from the research-centered PhD. There are currently five DNP programs in Louisiana. This number is likely to grow as the DNP becomes necessary for advanced practice certification in the future.
The common mission of these programs is to prepare nurses to be leaders in the healthcare field. The programs often have a strong focus on evidence-based practice and on improving the quality of care provided in medical facilities. The programs aim to not only further the expertise of advanced practice nurses, but also to prepare graduates to transform clinical practice and shape healthcare policy.
Some Louisiana DNP programs are open to only applicants with a master's degree, while others also offer a post-baccalaureate pathway. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, for example, offers a post-MSN program which consists of a minimum of 39 credit hours and 1000 post-BSN clinical hours, and a doctoral project with a 3.0 GPA. Students must earn at least a 'B' in a course or they must repeat it. Loyola University New Orleans, on the other hand, offers two post-master's tracks and one post-bachelor's track. Students must complete 1000 post-BSN clinical hours in addition to coursework (about 78 credits post-BSN and 39 for post-MSN) and a capstone project.
Admission requirements differ slightly for each program, but there are many similarities. Applicants to Louisiana DNP programs should expect to meet the following requirements:
Tuition varies from program to program. This information is sometimes difficult to find online. Loyola University New Orleans discloses that it costs $818 per credit hour to attend its DNP program.