The Doctor of Nursing Practice
What is a DNP?
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has proposed that the DNP degree will be the level of entry for all advanced practice nurses by 2015.
Why a DNP?
The changing demands of today's complex health care environment, outlined in recent reports from the Institute of Medicine, require that nurses serving in specialty positions have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. Nurses are constantly working with individuals who have a high level of preparation in their respective fields—physicians, pharmacists, and other health providers. The effectiveness of nurses is directly related to the amount and type of education they receive, and recent research has established a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes.
UH Hilo's School of Nursing Mission for the DNP
The Doctorate of Nursing practice (DNP) is a program designed to prepare the nurse at an advanced level of nursing science. The program emphasizes the development of the student's capacity to impact the clinical setting as leaders and educators and to utilize clinical research to improve and transform health care. Our program is based on the understanding that nursing provides services which includes the direct care of individual clients, transcultural nursing, management of care for rural populations, administration of nursing systems, and development and implementation of health policy. In addition, the program will encompass health policy, health economics, cultural diversity, chronic care management, health promotion, and disease prevention in rural communities and will create a cadre of new nursing faculty who can immediately address the nursing faculty shortage. Advanced practice nurses with practice doctorates will address significant practice issues in a scholarly way, adopt broad system perspectives for health promotion and risk reduction, and act as agents of change that transform client/community care, participate in the on-going evaluation of health care outcomes, and assist in the translation of research that leads to positive nursing practice changes.
UH Hilo's School of Nursing, DNP Program's Transcultural Focus
The focus on rural and transcultural health will encompass training for practitioners that spans the entire life cycle from birth through death. The program will also focus on rural problems to improve healthcare in our medically underserved community that includes western and indigenous health practices.
The philosophy of UH Hilo's School of Nursing is to educate professional nurses to lead change and translate science into practice in a dynamic global health care environment. Our school promotes transcultural nursing with a focus on rural populations and communities where each person has the right to participate in making decisions that affect his/her health.
We emphasize the need to deepen our commitment to social justice, improve the quality of healthcare, and access to the underserved. Our vision is a world where our graduates will strive to promote health, alleviate suffering, provide service to the community, and become leaders at local to global levels.