Program Handbook
Program Requirements
Program Plan


Patrina Carper
(248) 364-8766

Director of Graduate Programs:

Darlene Schott-Baer
3003 Human Health Building 
Phone: (248) 364-8768

Doctor of Nursing Practice

DNP Overview

Featured DNP alum

Heidi Good (SON '14), is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and one of the co-authors of “The Prevalence of Uncontrolled Pain in Long-Term Care: A Pilot Study Examining Outcomes of Pain Management Processes,” which has been published in the February 2015 issue of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the terminal degree for nurses in clinical practice. It is a 38-credit, post-master’s program intended to prepare nurse leaders for clinical practice. Both 2 Year Plan of Study and 3 Year Plan of Study are available. 

Registered Nurses who possess a DNP degree are prepared to assume clinical and leadership roles in both academic and practice settings. Knowledge acquisition in the DNP program includes the ability to analyze organizational and clinical systems, critique evidence to support clinical practice and improve patient outcomes, and develop practice guidelines to enhance patient safety.

Building on the foundation of the master’s program, the DNP program will prepare the student for the highest level of clinical nursing practice. The DNP graduate will:

  1. Integrate the science and theory of nursing practice with scientific and theoretical knowledge from other disciplines to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes.
  2. Integrate knowledge of effective communication and leadership skills based on professional standards to work as an effective member of an inter-professional team in the provision of safe, high quality, patient-centered care.
  3. Demonstrate the appropriate and ethical use of information technology and research methods to improve practice and the practice environment.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires Registered Nurses who graduated with an advanced practice focus in their master’s programs to complete a minimum of 38 credits, depending on prior course/clinical work taken at the master’s level. All DNP students must satisfy a minimum of 1,000 supervised clock hours of practice experiences to demonstrate attainment of the doctoral level competencies. Students may receive credit for up to 640 clock hours from their master’s educational program; each applicant’s supervised clock hours of practicum experiences from their master’s programs are assessed individually. Registered Nurses without an advanced practice clinical focus to their master’s degree must complete the necessary coursework to obtain a post-master’s certificate in a clinical area and pass their respective certification exam, in addition to completing the 38 credits of DNP coursework. 

Visit for more information on accreditation and FAQs for DNP programs

How to apply to
all SON grad prog

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Admissions by the posted deadlines. 

See the graduate catalog listing for general university requirements and program-specific admissions requirements. Follow the steps on the Graduate Admissions website to apply for admission. Prospective DNP students will need a Validation Form for Clinical hours in their MSN programs. 

why choose oakland dnp?

Alumni from Oakland’s programs have become clinical leaders in a variety of practice settings; including presidents of nationally ranked hospitals, chief operating officers, chief nurse executives, vice presidents of patient services of large health systems, and much more.

Program highlights:

  • Curriculum emphasizes advocacy, clinical leadership, information systems and patient care technologies and more
  • First school in Michigan to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program
  • Flexible: Full-time working nurses can complete the program by following a part-time plan of study
  • Leadership experiences: Curriculum includes trip to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. or Lansing, MI and courses emphasizing leadership
  • Curriculum includes an elective in an area of interest