Doctor of Nursing Practice

Distance Learning Program

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Contact: DNP Coordinator, Alice Davis, (808) 932-7073.

Degree Level: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Enrollments Fall 2012-Present: The first cohort of 10 fulltime students was admitted in Fall 2012.

Brief History of the DNP as a DL Program: The DNP was developed in response to the documented need in Hawaii for professionals with these credentials, in particular in rural and semirural areas of the state. UH Hilo's DNP program was approved by the Board of Regents on May 19, 2011; WASC approved the program on June 24, 2011. The program serves qualified residents of the state of Hawaii. The first cohort entered the program in August 2012 and will graduate in August 2015.

Platforms for Delivery: Students convene on campus three times during their three-year program, beginning with a five-day Orientation Session during the first August, followed by a five-day Spring Institute midway through, and culminating in a seven-day Closing Seminar. The program includes 1000 hours of clinical experience for BSN to DNP candidates and 500 clinical hours for students admitted with an MSN in hand; clinical sites are on the candidates' home islands or the state where they reside. Content and theory courses are delivered online, using primarily the UH system's Laulima online learning management system with some delivery via videoconferencing.

Integration of DNP Students into the Life/Culture of UH Hilo: DNP students are on campus for three weeklong visits at the beginning, middle, and end points of their program. They join with BSN candidates for orientation and closing sessions and they are invited to participate in the School of Nursing's annual Transcultural Nursing Symposium.

Campus Support for Instructional Technology: UH Hilo's Office of Campus Technology provides a full range of technological services to support programs, as well as faculty workshops during the academic year. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs offers online and one-on-one faculty training in online course development and delivery. The Distance Learning Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty, one IT staff, and the campus DL Coordinator, is charged with examining and recommending "institutional policies and practices for supporting the design, development, implementation and evaluation of distance learning program and course offerings with a focus upon quality and connection to the mission of the University of Hawai'i at Hilo."

The University's Strategic Plan 2011-2015 includes priority actions 3.2 "Upgrade the university’s technology infrastructure including computer laboratories and classrooms, wireless broadband across all areas of the campus, and new technologies to better support student learning, teaching effectiveness, and research"; and 4.5 "Improve higher education access, outreach and support for non-traditional and underserved populations through, but not limited to, select, high-quality distance learning programs island-wide and beyond...."

Student Services and Library Services Available to DNP Students: The Division of Student Affairs offers online and oncampus students a full range of services; all offices are accessible by phone and email, and all offices have information-rich webpages. The Mookini Library provides both face-to-face and online assistance to students in use of both print and digital resources.

Faculty Participation in Curriculum Development, Teaching, and Assessment: All DNP courses have been developed by faculty during monthly curriculum meetings; all courses are taught primarily by fulltime faculty. Faculty serve on the assessment subcommittee, which meets once a month to monitor student learning.

Comparability of Online and Face-to-Face Courses: All courses have been or are being developed for the DNP in one mode or another: online, hybrid, and clinical. All contribute to student mastery of the program learning outcomes.

Retention and Graduation Rates: Retention and graduation rates will be tracked and reviewed as part of the larger assessment project.

Program Assessment: Learning Outcomes, Curriculum Map, Assessment Plan, Assessment Results: The DNP program has a fully developed assessment system.

Contracts, Memoranda of Agreement with External Organizations: The School of Nursing has long-established relationships and memoranda of agreement with such agencies as the Hawaii State Veterans Hospital and the multiple-facility Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. These provide the sites for the clinical experiences of students.