Development & Accreditation

Program Development and Accreditation

The University of Cincinnati Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program was launched in 2010, with the first class of DNP students scheduled for graduation in Spring of 2012. The program has been approved by the Ohio Board of Regents. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the accrediting body for all levels of nursing education including baccalaureate, masters and most recently DNP Programs. The AACN issued a position statement on the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in 2004. This degree does not replace the Master’s prepared nursing role, but instead enhances the role to include translational research, leadership and inclusion of evidence based practice. Practice focused programs, such as the DNP, prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline and are inclusive of the eight essential domains of nursing education.

Program Objectives 

  • Provide and/or direct exemplary patient care within the scope of practice for the specialty.
  • Integrate nursing science with knowledge from biophysical, psychosocial, political, economic, organizational, and analytical sciences as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.
  • Apply concepts related to clinical prevention in developing and evaluating interventions and programs to address health promotion/disease prevention efforts.
  • Demonstrate leadership for the delivery of ethical, safe, cost-effective, high quality health care through expert collaboration, consultation, analysis, and administration.
  • Develop quality programs designed to improve health care of individuals, populations, or society through the use of multidisciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrate the conceptual ability and technical skills to develop and execute an evaluation plan involving data extraction from clinical information.
  • Formulate strategies for the development of institutional, local, or national health policy.

(University of Cincinnati, OBR Program Proposal, Approved 5/2010)

Benefits of Practice Focused Doctoral Program

According to AACN:

  • Development of needed advanced competencies for increasingly complex practice, faculty, and leadership roles;
  • Enhanced knowledge to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes;
  • Enhanced leadership skills to strengthen practice and patient outcomes;
  • Better match of program requirements and credits and time with credentials earned
  • Provision of an advanced education credential for those who required advanced practice knowledge but do not need or want a strong research focus (e.g. practice faculty);
  • Enhanced ability to attract individuals to nursing fro non-nursing backgrounds; and
  • Increased supply of faculty for practice instruction

Link to AACN position statement:
Link to AACN essentials for DNP education: