Doctor of Nursing Practice

Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program is a practice-based doctoral program that prepares expert clinicians to apply research knowledge and methods to develop, implement, evaluate, and practice innovation in order to improve patient and population-based care. The DNP program is designed so that graduates demonstrate and document competence in the essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. The DNP provides the pathway for MSN-prepared nurses to continue formal education and access a program targeted to the needs of their practice area. Building on the master’s program curriculum, the DNP is designed as a professional (practice) doctorate integrating evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. The DNP is targeted to nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice. The program will include course and clinical work (fieldwork), and an evidence-based DNP project that addresses a high priority area of practice.

This fully online program requires students to attend a one-week intensive in Hawai‘i at the beginning of the program. Learning strategies include independent learning, group work, and engagement with practice leaders and organizations during the implementation of the DNP project. The DNP project has a strong applied focus with students developing, implementing, and evaluating an innovation relevant to their practice. Faculty reflect the interdisciplinary nature and team focus of health care delivery and include doctorally-prepared faculty in both nursing and non-nursing disciplines.. The DNP student will access highly-qualified, certified practitioners from the health care sector in Hawai‘i, as well as academic expertise from faculty and staff at HPU including comprehensive online library services.

The DNP graduate will: 

  • Advanced Clinical Practice
    • Practice both independently and interdependently based on scientific underpinnings that focus on systematic transformation o fthe delivery of health care
  • Evidence-Based Practice
    • Critically analyze, translate and synthesize data to develop new practice guidelines and systems of care, which are based on theory, research and practice
  • Transformational Leadership 
    • Effectively lead by integrating leadership and management principles to initiate change at the organization/system level, which includes strategies that create, sustain, and maintain balance in access, quality and cost
  • Professionalism/Ethics
    • Appraise aspects of global health care issues in order to lead, organize and formulate approaches to care that address emerging practice problems related to ethical dilemmas as evolving therapeutic technology and standards of practice
  • Quality Improvement and Safety
    • Promote a culture of quality and safety through commitment to utilize evidence for the advancement of research findings in processes and practices that create patient centered change
  • Health Care Informatics
    • Demonstrate the ability for decision making in the use of information systems/technology resources related to ethical, regulatory, and legal issues to support practicee
  • Health Policy and Advocacy
    • Assess the interdependence of the foundations of health care policy (considering the political process, finance and regulations) to engage and lead others toward designing, implementing, advocating and evaluating social justice and equity in access of quality health care
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
    • Establish, participate and facilitate the overall effectiveness of collaborative, interprofessional teams to engage in quality health care practice which identifies nursing's contribution
  • Transcultural Care
    • Integrate the impact of bio-psycho-socio, cultural health beliefs and practices on heatlh promotion and disease prevention to develop and implement

Individuals wishing to apply to DNP program are required to submit the following:

  • Graduate GPA 3.0

  • U.S. State RN license 

  • Pre-requisite or transfer equivalent coursework in statistics

  • CV or resume

  • Personal interview (phone/video conference) with the DNP Program Coordinator and Graduate Program Chair

  • MSN with national certification in their field of study

  • At least 500 APRN practicum hours

  • Letters (2) of recommendation

For more information about the DNP Program, please review the

DNP Student Handbook.