News Releases

Update on DNP Transition

June 25, 2011

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) continues its commitment to developing an excellent post-baccalaureate/post-clinical nurse leader-to-DNP program that integrates the knowledge and skills required for the health care workforce of the future. We are excited about this new venture and are working to address the numerous details required to assure a smooth and successful transition. The DNP Transition Task Force continues to develop the curriculum and the criteria for admission. Updates on our progress will be posted at this location on the UMSON website as we move toward a program implementation date, targeted for 2014. A substantive update will be posted September 2012.

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) is responding to calls from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and national nursing organizations such as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty to shift the academic preparation of advanced practice nurses from the master’s to the doctoral level. The Institute of Medicine has called to double the overall number of nurses with doctorates.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is comparable to practice doctorates in other health professions, e.g., PharmD, DDS, DPT, and MD. The proposed DNP program will incorporate the strong theoretical and clinical components of current advanced practice programs, but will be enhanced to meet the broad demands of health care reform, provide leadership in translating research into practice, and improve patient outcomes in an increasingly complex delivery system.


The increasing complexity of the nation's health care environment requires that advanced practice nurses develop expanded competencies to deliver patient care based on the latest scientific evidence, use emerging technology and information systems to improve efficacy and evaluate outcomes, and implement quality and safety initiatives in small practices and across large health systems.


Transition to the DNP degree is well on the way to meeting the national goal of 2015. As our implementation plan is developed, we will post more details on our website. 


UMSON is currently in the process of developing a post-BSN/Entry Level to DNP degree for our six advanced practice nursing specialty areas – adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist; adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; family nurse practitioner; nurse anesthesia; pediatric nurse practitioner; and psychiatric mental health nursing-family.


UMSON will continue to offer master’s degree specialties in community health, nursing informatics, and health services leadership and management.

Entry-level BSN and Master of Science for Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL) degree programs will continue as in the past.

The post-master’s DNP program will continue to be offered for advanced practice nurses in all specialty areas.

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