Doctor of Nursing Practice Curriculum Description — MS to DNP

Graduate Elective (3 Credits)
Courses acceptable for this selected elective option must promote perspectives on issues of age, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle choices that help the learner to question assumptions and move beyond stereotypes for a better understanding of self and others in our increasingly interconnected global environment.
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NURS 571: Information, Quality and Safety (3 credits)
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to manage information, promote quality and maintain safety across healthcare settings. Collaborative and diverse opportunities to bring about improvement in healthcare are included. The course combines evidence-based concepts from technology, information science, communication studies, organizational quality, and health care science in order to prepare clinicians to take an active role in transforming healthcare and clinical Practice. Emphasis is placed on the clinician’s active role in retrieving, interpreting, and sharing information to support an evidence-based clinical practice..
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NURS 605: Public Health Policy (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to critically analyze the ways in which public policy affects local and global health processes and outcomes. Students examine the broad context of health and social policy that impacts the health of the community and drives how strategies to improve the health of communities is structured. This course prepares students to demonstrate leadership by taking an active role in health advocacy and health policy development.  Issues such as social justice, access to care, health care financing, and nurses in the political arena will be explored.
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NURS 608: Epidemiology and Population Health (3 credits)
This course prepares DNP students to relate the science of epidemiology, including genetic and environmental epidemiology, to evidence-based nursing practice in providing care to populations. Course content will cover identifying and defining population outcomes, concepts of epidemiology used in population-based research, and using data and information technology to target at-risk populations to improve health outcomes. In addition, students will evaluate the effectiveness of health care systems and practice at the population level and interpret trends in care delivery for populations.
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NURS 612: Family Nursing Theory (3 credits)
This course examines the contemporary family’s structure, function and process.  An overview of current theoretical frameworks and models is discussed.  Students will analyze the relevance of a chosen model by reviewing the current literature. Using an evidence-based practice approach, the model is applied to the nursing assessment of and intervention with the healthy and high-risk family system in a variety of clinical settings.   Students utilize a wellness approach to optimize health within a developmental framework and promote family resilience and adaptation throughout the lifespan. Psychosocial, cultural, economic, gender, and spiritual variables and their impact on family life are analyzed.
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NURS 620: Legal and Ethical Issues (3 credits)
This course provides a foundation for values, codes and principles governing decisions in advanced nursing practice, conduct and relationships.  This ethics course uses a lecture and case analysis format to introduce a broad range of clinical ethical issues and to present the theoretical and practical knowledge that enables practitioners to provide leadership in responding to the ethical challenges confronting the health care system today. There is specific emphasis on ethical knowledge, ethical decision making, and exploring interdisciplinary collaboration to strengthen ethical dialogue and decision making.
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NURS 632: Biostatistics (3 credits)
This course is designed to broaden and enrich the DNP student’s knowledge and understanding of biostatistics to facilitate implementation of evidence-based care to populations. The course includes descriptive and inferential statistical analyses applicable to the health of populations. Multivariate methodologies will be applied in the analysis of population trends and outcomes. Additional skills include use of statistical software for analysis and interpretation of statistical tests.
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NURS 637: Program Development and Grant Writing (3 credits)
Program development is an ongoing systematic process for the planning, funding, implementation and evaluation of programs. Content will cover principles and models for program planning, grant writing, and formative and summative outcomes measurement. In addition students will gain practical skills in project management, program delivery and marketing. Students will acquire content knowledge, writing proficiency, research skills, organizational ability, and principles of persuasion. This course will provide students with the background necessary to develop competitive funding proposals and achieve success in health, social, and behavioral programs in a variety of settings.
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NURS 710: Evidence Based Practice (3 credits)
This doctoral level course focuses on providing the resources for students to evaluate, translate, and integrate published research results into clinical practice.
Building on previous course work, students will continue to identify clinical practice problems, develop answerable clinical research questions, search for best
evidence, and appraise evidence using epidemiological, biostatistical, and scientific principles. In addition, students will integrate best evidence while taking
in to account patient values and preferences. Evaluating the effectiveness of evidence on outcomes is included.
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NURS 711: Org. Behavior and Systems Leadership (3 credits)
Organizational and systems leadership skills critical for culturally sensitive nursing practice to improve healthcare and outcomes are enhanced. Focus is on transformational leadership, measurement of outcomes, data driven decision–making, and the business realities of leading within healthcare. The emphasis is on skills and competencies needed to provide a scientific knowledge base for leadership in quality healthcare and systems of change focusing on not only the outcome, but safety, fiscal principles, efficiency and quality.
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NURS 722: Post-Master Clinical Capstone I (150 hrs.) (3 credits)
This clinical course focuses on collaboration of interprofessional teams and the roles of advanced practice nurses within this collaboration. This is the first of a three-course series that provides the DNP student with mentored opportunities to build on Evidence-Based Practice by evaluating evidence designed to improve clinical outcomes related to an identified topic of interest, and to translate the evidence into the practice environment. Development of a framework for identifying, implementing, and evaluating a collaborative effort is emphasized. Each course builds on the knowledge and practice expertise of the DNP student, culminating in the completion of the scholarly project. Throughout these courses, the DNP student will establish the expanded advanced practice nursing role focusing on their populations of interest. The student is expected to practice a minimum of 75 hours in the identified clinical area.
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NURS 723: Post-Master Clinical Capstone II (150 hrs.) (3 credits)
In this second course of a three-course series, the DNP student works with a faculty mentor to refine the design and begin to develop, implement, and evaluate the scholarly project. The focus is on the development of culturally-sensitive approaches to improve health status and/or access and address gaps in care of populations within the health care system whether locally, nationally, or globally.  In order to successfully complete the objectives of this course, the student is expected to practice a minimum of 150 hours in the identified clinical area. Students must successfully complete an oral defense of the project prior to implementation.
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NURS 725: Clinical Capstone III (225 hours) (4 credits)
This course and practicum focuses on accountability for advancing the nursing profession, contributing to the developing body of nursing practice knowledge and addresses advocacy at all levels of policy implementation. In this capstone course, the DNP student evaluates the evidence- based scholarly project and the impact health care outcomes. Students will disseminate their findings through an oral presentation and a manuscript suitable for a peer-reviewed publication. Students will apply knowledge and skills obtained in the didactic and integrative courses in order to address the ethical, legal, financial and organizational aspects of the scholarly project. The DNP student will discuss his/her topic of interest, the development of the project and how it addressed the needs of a selected population; and evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the project. In order to successfully complete the objectives of this course, the student is expected to practice a minimum of 225 hours in a clinical area related to the topic of interest. This course culminates in a successful oral defense and scholarly paper of the capstone project.
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Application Period
DNP Program
October 15, 2014 –
February 1, 2015
Joyce Scarpinato, DNP,PNP-BC,FNP-C
Joyce Scarpinato, DNP,PNP-BC,FNP-C
Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
Suzi Koshy, RN, FNP

Upstate's excellent, flexible and innovative education helped me achieve my dreams of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. Through the hard work, dedication and generous support of the faculty, I enjoyed the privilege of an excellent education.
— Suzi Koshy, RN, FNP