Re-Envisioning a DNP Program for Quality and Sustainability

Marcia Killien, Hilaire Thompson, Gail Kieckhefer, Betty Bekemeier, Yoriko Kozuki, Cynthia K. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


When the University of Washington, School of Nursing determined that its post-BSN-DNP degree program, with multiple specialty tracks and programs of study, was not sustainable, the curriculum was re-envisioned. The revised program is consistent with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice and the national Licensure Accreditation, Certification, and Education (LACE) model. The re-envisioned program was conceptualized as a single degree in which students preparing for any specialty would have the same number of required credits with the majority of courses (DNP core) required for all students. Two major pathways, 1) advanced practice registered nursing and 2) advanced systems and population health were identified. The model allows for specialties to be added or discontinued without major disruption to the core curriculum. The consolidated curriculum reduced instructional costs to the school by approximately 26% and reduced and made more equitable the tuition costs for the majority of students. The revised consolidated program is innovative, maintains quality, attracts students, and aligns with resources. This article discusses how we achieved revision and consolidation of a post-BSN DNP program with multiple specialty tracks that is innovative, high quality, sustainable, and replicable by other schools of nursing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-203
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced practice registered nurses
  • Doctor of nursing practice
  • Graduate nursing education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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