Accreditation Announcement >>

Skip to main content


Below is the required curriculum for Penn Nursing’s Post-Master’s DNP program. 

Year 1:


Introduction to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology

This course provides an introduction to epidemiologic methods and overview of the role of epidemiology in studies of disease etiology and in the planning, delivery and evaluation of health services. The population-based approach to the collection and analysis of health data will be emphasized throughout the course. Through textbook reading, problems sets, class discussion and review ofthe recent literature, students will become acquainted with the basic designs of epidemiologic studies in theory and in practice. Students will develop the basic skills necessary to use epidemiologic knowledge and methods as the basis for scientific public health practice. Background in elementary statistics is a prerequisite for this course.

The Business of Healthcare: Principles of Finance, Accounting and Economics

In this course, students will focus on the business of health care and the financial competencies needed to manage complex health care organizations. This course integrates the basic principles of accounting, finance, and health care economics with business planning. It is designed to facilitate the student’s knowledge and application of financial principles in the health care setting. Course content includes an overview of the health care landscape, basics of health insurers, introduction to budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, an overview of the financial planning cycle, operating budget development and labor variance analysis. The course culminates with an opportunity for students to apply their skill sets in performing an environmental scan and developing a business case.


Leadership Development in Healthcare

This course will provide the conceptual and theoretical framework for examining the concept of leadership within the contexts of health systems, health professionals and health policy. It will focus on characteristics of personal and professional leadership, change theory, and the application of critical thinking to the analysis of work environments, systems and the politics of health.

Principles of Patient Safety & Quality Improvement in Healthcare

The course integrates the principles and methodologies of both quality and patient safety, which transforms and sustains high reliability organizations. Knowledge of the elements to complete a framework for safe and reliable healthcare will be described, as well as used by the students to apply the framework to a patient safety clinical situation. In addition, critical components of the current status of health care quality will be discussed, with emphasis on the role of patients, leadership, microsystems, and policy leaders. Organizational excellence will be examined in case reviews and discussions on strategies to develop and sustain quality and safety in the delivery of safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care.


Healthcare Informatics

Healthcare systems and consumers today are becoming increasingly reliant on information technology. The objective of this course is to provide a foundation for knowledge about health information technology and to expose students, clinicians, and administrators to the breadth of tools and systems currently used in practice. We will explore topics such as mobile health applications/telehealth and their implications for clinical practice and impact on patient outcomes; electronic health records, data analytics, and visualization tools and how these can effectively be used to support decision making and patient care.

Translating Evidence into Practice (DNP Project #1)

This course focuses on the translation of research into practice to achieve sustainable improvements in clinical, patient and systems outcomes. Course content builds on the foundational principles of evidence-based practice and the critical scientific appraisal of evidence to guide advanced evidence-based reasoning and decision-making for translation and application to practice.

Prerequisite: NURS 5470 OR NURS 6370

1 Course Unit

Year 2:


Data Analytics

This course approaches statistics from both applied and theoretical perspectives in order to develop an understanding of the ways that data are analyzed and reported. The course is situated in healthcare data analytics and the varied ways existing/new data is analyzed and results communicated. Focus is given to learning the appropriate application, including decision-making for analysis plan, and interpretation of statistical analyses. The course addresses data transformation, effect size and power analysis, clinical significance, parametric and non-parametric statistical tests including t-tests, analysis of variance, chi square, correlation, linear and logistic regression and other methods of analyses for continuous and categorical data. Emphasis is placed on understanding why statistical methods are chosen, developing a cohesive analysis plan, applying best practices for data preparation and management, executing an analysis and using statistical software programs, including conduct of analyses, review of output and interpretation using existing software programs.

DNP Project II: Project Proposal

This is the second in the series of three project courses. The focus of this course is the development of a complete project proposal. This course provides an overview of the concepts, procedures and fundamental processes of project management for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students. Principles, tools, and techniques of project management within an integrative framework are reviewed and applied to the development of the DNP project. Students will finalize a project management plan that advances high quality, equitable and accessible health care. Students will continue to meet with key stakeholders and members within healthcare agency and/or communities of interest where the project is being implemented. This course offers individualized faculty guidance and mentored opportunities for the planning process.


Prerequisite: NURS 8510

1 Course Unit


Current Issues In Health and Social Policy

Analysis of key contemporary issues in health and social policy that will provide students with a deeper understanding of the design and structure of the U.S. health care system, the policy initiatives that have shaped it, and the roles of the government, the private sector, and consumers and advocacy groups in setting the policy agenda. Seminars will examine the origins of each issue, the policies enacted and their effects, both intended and unintended, and will propose and debate the merits of alternative policy solutions. The role of health services and policy research in informing the policy debate and directions will be highlighted. Please note, the online version of this course has a synchronous component (live online class sessions). The day/time will be listed in the course register. This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond.

Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms

Mutually Exclusive: NURS 3340

1 Course Unit

DNP Project III: Project Implementation

This is the third of a series of three courses with the focus on implementation and dissemination of the Doctoral of Nursing Practice (DNP) project. In this final course students are expected to carry out the project and determine how the results can be used to improve processes and procedures within the healthcare agency or community of interest. Students integrate evidence-based practice paradigm and process principles into the development of a final report and present the findings to each other for peer critique. Barriers from people, places and policies will be addressed and strategies developed to negotiate solutions. Principles of sustainable evidence-based practice change across disciplines and within various healthcare settings will be discussed. Students will assume the role of leader in the interprofessional collaboration, consultation, and partnership with the healthcare organization or communities of interest with the goal to also share findings and advance nursing scholarship. Students demonstrate proficiency in time management, leveraging resources, communication skills and interprofessional collaboration through the implementation of the project.


Prerequisite: NURS 8521

1 Course Unit


NOTE: As of 4/30/2023, all students were made aware of and approved programmatic curricular changes, including the shift from four to three project courses (maintaining the same overall course units).

** Per University policy, no work done as an undergraduate, whether done at this institution or at any other, will be counted toward a higher degree.