The University of Michigan-Flint’s School of Health Professions and Studies offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program, which provides the knowledge and skills necessary for advanced nursing practice in primary health care. The program is taught in a distance-learning (online) format with minimal campus visits, approximately once per semester (less for MSN to DNP students). In addition, practicum courses require clinical site visits that are determined by the clinical instructor.
The development of the Doctor of Nursing Practice is based on strong national and state trends in the health care environment to provide entry-level nurse practitioner education at the doctoral level. The DNP degree allows students to focus on in-depth professional and clinical studies to meet the ever-increasing practice challenges of providing the highest quality health care in the 21st century.
As Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) graduates (1) make independent and collaborative health care decisions; (2) engage in clinical practice as expert clinicians who use theory and evidence-based practice to perform history and physical exams, interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests, treat common illnesses and injuries, prescribe medications (in accordance with state practice laws) and evaluate outcomes; (3) demonstrate leadership as consultants, educators, researchers and administrators, and (4) participate in legislative and professional activities to promote professional advancement and health related social policies.
Career opportunities for APRNs are continually expanding and include positions in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health care agencies, schools, universities, industry, nursing homes, wellness centers, employee health programs, physicians’ office practices, community mental health agencies, public health agencies, acute care facilities and private practice.
Four concentrations are available in the DNP program:
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
The adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner is designed to educate nurses who want to manage and improve outcomes for culturally diverse populations of acutely ill patients with complex and often chronic illnesses across the adult life span. With the passage of the national health care reform, the demand for qualified nurse practitioner graduates has dramatically increased. The ACNP will provide coordination and continuity of care for acute and chronic illness and guide transition back to the community and primary care providers. Graduates are qualified to sit for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification examination.
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner is a provider of primary health care services. Within this role, the AGNP synthesizes theoretical, scientific and contemporary clinical knowledge for the assessment and management of both health and illness states. The population in adult-gerontology primary care practice includes adolescents and young, middle, and older adults. The particular expertise of the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner emphasizes disease prevention, health promotion, and the management of patients with acute and chronic multi-system health problems. Delivering patient care with respect to cultural and spiritual beliefs and making health care resources available to patients from diverse cultures is an important role component. The AGNP provides consultation, collaboration, continuing education, certification, and evaluation. Upon entry into practice, the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner demonstrates competence to be qualified in the categories of health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, diverse management and diagnostics. Graduates are qualified to sit for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification examination.
- Family Nurse Practitioner
Family nurse practitioners are primary health care providers. As advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), they provide nursing and medical services to individuals, families and groups, emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention across the life span. The FNP synthesizes theoretical, scientific and contemporary clinical knowledge in the management of acute and chronic diseases or treatment and wellness promotion of minor injuries. Services include, but are not limited to, history and physical examinations, ordering of appropriate diagnostic and laboratory tests, prescription of pharmacologic agents and treatments, and nonpharmacologic therapies. Teaching and counseling individuals, families and groups are major parts of a nurse practitioner’s activities. Family nurse practitioners work autonomously, as well as in collaboration with a variety of individuals, to diagnose and manage clients’ health care problems as well as to provide anticipatory guidance and developmental assessments for pediatric patients. Graduates are qualified to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination.
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
The psychiatric mental health practitioner’s role is unique and on the cutting edge of mental health care. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners synthesize theoretical, scientific and contemporary clinical knowledge and are capable of medical, pharmacological and psychotherapeutic intervention in acute, crisis and chronic persistent situations, as well as being skilled in disease prevention and health maintenance planning. Credentialed to practice in a collaborative relationship with the psychiatrist and other mental health team members and treat patients across the life span. Full utilization of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners has the potential of extending mental health services in a cost-effective manner. Nurse practitioners with this credential are highly valued and frequently sought out. Graduates are qualified to sit for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification examination.
The Department of Nursing will make an effort to offer all four concentration areas each year. However, the Graduate Nursing program reserves the right to delay the offering of specialty clinical courses until minimum enrollment levels are met.
The program is also offered as a Nursing Practice/Business Administration (Dual DNP/MBA) dual degree program.
Licensed nurse practitioners seeking to certify as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner can apply to the Post-Graduate Certificate program . Additionally, an online part-time Master to DNP program is available for those applicants with prior certification as a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist, or Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Applicants should check the Office of Graduate Programs website for the application deadline. Students are admitted for the Fall semester only.
Before applying, out-of-state students, or those who may relocate during the program, should contact the Department of Nursing to confirm that the University of Michigan-Flint is authorized to offer distance education in the student’s state of residence. The Department of Nursing, in conjunction with the Office of Extended Learning, will determine the university’s status in that state.
Applicants must have:
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)* or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, with certification, from an accredited college or university, with an overall minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale (3.5 for graduate work)
- A current unencumbered RN license in the United States
- A college-level chemistry course with a minimum grade of C (2.0)
- A college-level statistics with a minimum grade of C (2.0)
* Admission is also possible for Registered Nurses with bachelor degrees in non-nursing fields. In addition to the requirements above, RNs not holding a BSN must complete the following courses or their equivalents: ENG 112 , NUR 204 , NSC 209 , NSC 210 , NSC 235 , NUR 300 , NUR 316 , NUR 412 .
Application for Admission
With the application for Graduate Admission, the following are required:
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
- A curriculum vitae or resume
- Proof of current RN licensure
- A copy of certification in the applicant’s advanced practice nursing specialty (for the applicant with a MSN)
- A professional goal statement
- Three complete recommendation forms
International students must submit additional documentation, and an interview with a faculty member either by phone or in person to delineate clear clinical interests that are compatible with the mentoring capacity of the Department of Nursing faculty.
Applicants from states other than Michigan are responsible for checking with the State Board of Nursing in the state they wish to become licensed, to ensure that the program meets any individual state licensing requirements as a nurse practitioner.
Academic Rules and Regulations
See the School of Nursing (SON) and Graduate Study sections of this Catalog for academic rules and regulations pertaining to graduate programs offered by the School.