Degree Requirements

Degree plans are determined by AACN Standards for DNP programs, by each student’s prior graduate education achievements, and by each student’s selected patient population. Study plans for students with no prior graduate education include 17 credit hours of electives to support individual learning needs and interests.

An overview of this is provided in the sample mapping of Post Baccalaureate and Post Masters plans of study.

Degree Completion Requirements

In compliance with the AACN professional requirements, all students are required to earn 72 credit hours in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Master’s students earn a portion of these credits through equivalency assessment, and must earn at least 42 UST credits in the program. These are distributed as core courses, including clinical courses, the DNP Project related courses, and student selected population focus and competency expansion elective and independent study courses.

We encourage students to access the strengths of other UST graduate programs to expand their competencies in fields related to nursing and to experience and explore inter-professional educational experiences.

New student orientation is held prior to the start of the first courses, which are offered in the fall session.

To earn the DNP from UST, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the required credit hours of graduate coursework as specified for the program.
  2. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA for all graduate courses completed.
  3. Complete and document a successful collaboration with a clinical partner in meeting required program population focused clinical experiences.
  4. Complete a DNP Project demonstrating competencies attained through completion of program learning experiences.
  5. Complete all degree requirements within six years. You may request an extension beyond the six years, which is determined by the DNP Program Coordinator on an individual basis.
DNP Nursing Courses

NURS 7301

Creating Healing Environments
Foundations of Nursing Art and Science

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7302

The Ethical and Social Justice Dimensions of
Transformational Healing Relationships

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7303

Translating Research into Practice: Transformational
Leadership in Enhancing Healing Environments

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7304

Relational Dimensions of Healing: Communication and Conflict Engagement

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7205

Epidemiology and Population Health

2 Credit Hours

NURS 7306

Healing Environments in Complex Adaptive Systems

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7307

Transformational Leadership in Healing Environments

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7208

Financial Management in Health Care

2 Credit Hours

NURS 7209

Optimizing Population Health through Healing Environments

2 Credit Hours

NURS 7310

Reframing Health Policy: Toward a Policy of Healing Environments

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7211

Inter-professional Collaboration as Transformational Nursing Leadership

2 Credit Hours

NURS 7312

Informatics and Technologies in Health Care

3 Credit Hours

NURS 7113

Transformational Nursing Leadership: Clinical Applications Seminar

1 Credit Hour


Transformational Nursing Leadership: Clinical Applications Practicum

6 Credit Hours


DNP Project in Transformational Nursing Leadership: Creating a Healing Environment 

6 Credit Hours


Independent Study: DNP

6 Credit Hours

​Read more about each course in our full list of course descriptions.

University of St. Thomas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of University of St. Thomas.