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Enhance your leadership, administrative, and organizational skills to improve patient care and outcomes. This online DNP program offers a professionally relevant curriculum that explores health care delivery, patient advocacy, and health care policy development, implementation, and reform. This DNP degree is not a clinical degree and is not designed to prepare advanced practice registered nurses for roles as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified nurse anesthetists.

Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

Each doctoral program and specialization is designed around expected learning outcomes (see Expected Program Outcomes below). End of program performance is determined during the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. Because the work is unique to each learner's dissertation or research topic and the criteria for evaluation are aligned to that work, we do not collect data on proficiency levels for doctoral programs.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • The DNP curriculum incorporates The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
  • The BSN, MSN and DNP degree programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
  • All faculty members in the master's and doctoral nursing programs have doctoral degrees. Many faculty members have distinguished themselves through practice leadership, service to the profession, and scholarly endeavors.
  • Field experiences, along with many of your courseroom assignments, allow you to apply what you're learning and focus on your areas of interest.
  • Capella's DNP focuses on administrative, organizational, and systems leadership competencies to prepare you for a variety of nursing leadership positions.

Expected Program Outcomes

  1. Employ a science-based theoretical foundation to develop and evaluate new practices and approaches to health care delivery.
  2. Lead and create health and care delivery models for quality improvement.
  3. Evaluate and analyze theory and research-based methods to improve the reliability of health care practices and outcomes.
  4. Lead planning and implementation of health care technologies for quality improvement appropriate for specialized areas of practice.
  5. Develop, implement, and advocate for health care policy that meets the needs of specific populations.
  6. Employ inter-professional collaboration skills to improve patient and population health.
  7. Develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion, prevention, and intervention service delivery models for individuals, aggregates, and populations.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

Data from graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni are using their degrees.

Career Preparation
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

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Career Preparation
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

The skills and knowledge have been immediately applicable to my career: 100%

My degree has positioned me to achieve my professional ambitions: 75%

Capella's competency based curriculum has prepared me for the needs of my profession: 100%

Percentage of respondents who answered "strongly agree" or "agree"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 - Q1 2018.

Career & Professional Accomplishments
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

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Career and Professional Accomplishments
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

Made a significant contribution to my profession: 50%

Successfully changed jobs and-or-careers: 75%

Assumed leadership responsibilities: 38%

Received a salary increase: 38%

Received a promotion: 50%

Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item.

Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

Data from graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program have been combined for these Student Experience results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni feel about Capella and what general skills and abilities they gained.

Satisfaction With Capella
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

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Satisfaction with Capella
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

I have or intend to recommend Capella: 100%

I am satisfied with my Capella education: 100%

Capella gave me the most efficient direct path to completing my degree: 100%

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

Skills & Abilities
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

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Skills & Abilities
Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

Write clearly, accurately, and professionally; use sources appropriately : 100%

Communicate thoughts and ideas in varied settings : 100%

Show ethical conduct reflecting values and beliefs of discipline : 100%

Show knowledge of field; respect contributions of other fields : 100%

Analyze theoretical issues or investigate real-world phenomena, create knowledge : 100%

Locate, evaluate and communicate information; address legal, professional, other issues : 100%

Critically examine, analyze, and evaluate thinking using intellectual standards and creativity : 80%

Critically evaluate, select, and use discipline-appropriate technology : 100%

Show appreciation for group and individual differences : 100%

Demonstrate effective leadership in diverse environments : 100%

Apply the specialized knowledge associated with professional practice area : 80%

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "exceptional" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q2 2018.

Expense, completion, & career information (Gainful Employment)

Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (ED) (under 34 CFR 688.6), provide some information about completion, expenses, and occupations. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The ED has defined time to complete for a bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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See Gainful Employment data for this program's specializations

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"The greatest reward to me is the ability to look at the big picture and influence the direction of the organization."

Jeffrey Fenne, MS

2008 Graduate

School of Public Service Leadership

Specialization in Health Care Administration