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Year 1:


Principles of Patient Safety & Quality Improvement in Healthcare

This course integrates principles of systems thinking with foundational concepts in patient safety. Utilizing complexity theories, students assess healthcare practices and identify factors that contribute to medical errors and impact patient safety. Lessons learned from the science of safety are utilized in developing strategies to enhance safe system redesign. Students review the significance of inter-professional teamwork and a “just” culture, and the importance of high reliability organizations on safe and high quality healthcare delivery. Through the review of basic tools, and examination of frameworks in healthcare quality improvement, students develop approaches to inform a comprehensive view of systems issues. Various process improvement tools, and evaluation methods are explored in the context of innovative methods for improving healthcare quality.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders create an organizational vision, inspire and motivate others to actualize strategic goals.   Offered in a one-week on-campus intensive with asynchronous online modules including content developed by Wharton Executive Education [link] and the Perelman School of Medicine Health Care Innovation Graduate Program, students explore strategic planning and execution, stakeholder analysis, negotiation and influence, resource allocation, organizational culture and change management.  On the path to becoming purpose-driven leaders, students learn of cutting-edge research on the qualities and behaviors of both successful and unsuccessful work environments and how this research can be applied to practical, real-life workplace situations.


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 of the 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. 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.

Thriving in an Everchanging Healthcare Environment

Although the healthcare environment is constantly evolving, growth can be variable due to the complexity of the United States healthcare industry.  Offered in an asynchronous online format and including content developed by the Perelman School of Medicine Health Care Innovation Graduate Program, this course introduces students to aspects of the health insurance market, the design of health plans and benefits, drivers of value in the healthcare sector and sources of variability, and health law fundamentals and regulation.  Various industry leaders discuss pragmatic examples aimed at providing students with an understanding of how the everchanging healthcare landscape shapes population health and resultant outcomes as well as setting the foundation for innovative methods for reforming healthcare delivery and policy.


Healthcare Informatics

This course is designed to introduce the student to fundamental concepts and issues surrounding technology and information management in today’s rapidly changing health care environment. Emphasis will be placed on defining informatics and the models and theories used in its development. To prepare the student to take a leadership role in information system design and selection the class will study the process of information systems analysis, implementation and evaluation involving functional, organizational and human aspects.

Translating Research & Evidence into Practice (DNP Project #1)

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

Year 2:


Innovation in Health: Foundations of Design Thinking

Innovation, defined as a hypothesis-driven, testable, and disciplined strategy, is important to improve health & healthcare. Employing new ways of thinking, such as with design thinking, will help open up possibilities of ways to improve health & the process of healthcare. Incorporating current & emerging social & digital technologies such as mobile apps, wearables, remote sensing, and 3D printing, affords new opportunities for innovation. This course provides foundational content & a disciplined approach to innovation as it applies to health & healthcare. A flipped classroom approach with the in-class component focusing on group learning through design thinking activities. The course is open to undergraduate nursing students as a case study & upper-level undergraduates and graduate students from across the Penn campus. The course provides a theoretical foundation in design thinking & may provide an overview of innovation technology & digital strategies as well as social & process change strategies. To enhance the didactic component, students will actively participate in a design case study. Students will be matched by interest and skill level with teams & will work with community-based organizations, healthcare providers and/or innovation partners. Student teams will meet their partners to identify & refine a health or healthcare problem to tackle. Students will work throughout the semester to create an innovative solution that will be pitched to their community-based organization, healthcare provider, and/or innovation partner at the end of the semester.

Taught by: Leary

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: NURS 357

Prerequisites: Completed freshman & sophomore level courses or graduate student status.

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

Data Analytics

This course approaches statistics from an applied as well as theoretical point of view. Focus is given to learning the appropriate application and interpretation of statistical analyses. The course addresses data transformation, effect size and power analysis for determining sample sizes, confidence intervals, and parametric and non-parametric statistical tests including t-tests, analysis of variance, chi square, correlations, multiple and logistic regression and other methods of analyses for continuous and categorical data. Emphasis is placed on conducting statistical analyses using existing software programs.

Translating Evidence into Practice: DNP Project Planning II

This course provides an overview of the concepts, procedures and fundamental processes of project management for Doctor of Nursing Practice students. Principles, tools and techniques of project management within an integrative framework are reviewed and applied to the chosen project. Students develop a proposal for an evidence-based project that addresses a health promotion and community health concern, clinical problem, integration of technology/informatics in care or a policy-related issue. Students will finalize a project management plan. Students will continue to meet with key stakeholders and members within healthcare agency and/or communities of interest where the project is being implemented.


Executive Leadership in Complex Healthcare Systems

Executive leadership in an everchanging and complex healthcare industry requires the knowledge and skills to revolutionize care delivery models and improve patient and organizational outcomes. Through the exploration of exemplars in transforming facets of healthcare systems, students examine approaches for leading systems-level change in care delivery.  Topics include Connected Health, Primary Care Redesign and Integrated Behavioral Health, Behavioral Economics and Decision-Making, Principles of Systems Thinking and Organizational Agility.  Offered in an asynchronous and synchronous online format and including content developed by the Perelman School of Medicine Health Care Innovation Graduate Program, students develop knowledge inherent to success in executive healthcare leadership.

Translating Evidence into Practice III: DNP Project Implementation

This course requires DNP students to implement their project and determine how the results can be used to improve processes and procedures within the healthcare agency or community of interest. Students are expected 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.


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.

DNP Project IV: Dissemination of Project

This course is designed to assist students in the completion of their DNP project. This final step in the project includes dissemination of evidence and the consideration of factors to promote sustainability. The project report will be finalized and submitted to the agency or community of interest. The project trajectory is evaluated against the originally planned project to identify areas of success, need for improvements and for areas of scope creep. Students will be mentored in creation of professional presentations and manuscript development for publication.