Post-Master’s DNP: Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Mission and Vision of the College of Nursing

Purdue University Northwest Mission:

Purdue University Northwest transforms students’ lives and our metropolitan region through a diverse campus committed to innovative education, applied research, and community engagement.

Purdue University Northwest College of Nursing Mission:

The PNW College of Nursing mission, vision, values, and strategic themes reflect those of Purdue University Northwest. Across all its programs, the College of Nursing aims to transforms diverse students to become lifelong learners impacting our metropolitan region through an inclusive college committed to affordable and innovative education, evidence-based practice, applied research, and community engagement.

Purdue University Northwest Vision:

As a premier metropolitan university, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will power intellectual, cultural, and economic development in northwest Indiana and the greater Chicago metropolitan area, enriching the surrounding community through collaborative partnerships that leverage the university’s expertise to improve people’s lives.

PNW will continue to focus on preparing students to be effective, ethical, and innovative leaders in their careers and communities through enhanced academic programming and integrative, experiential learning.

PNW will support a diverse, talented faculty as they tailor their research and teaching to address the needs of a changing economy and workforce.

PNW’s vibrant student experience, robust campus resources, and engaged alumni community will enhance students’ abilities to form lasting connections with each other and the university.

Purdue University Northwest College of Nursing Vision:

As part of a premier metropolitan university, Purdue University Northwest College of Nursing will power intellectual, cultural, and economic healthcare development in northwest Indiana and the greater Chicago metropolitan area, enriching the surrounding community through collaborative partnerships that leverage the college’s nursing and health care expertise to improve health care delivery and the health of populations.

The CON will prepare diverse nursing students to be effective, ethical, and innovative leaders in nursing, health care, and communities through enhanced academic programming, comprehensive practicum experiences, and integrative, experiential learning.

The CON will support a diverse, talented faculty as they tailor their research, teaching, and service to address the needs of a changing economy and healthcare workforce.

The CON’s vibrant student experience, robust campus resources, and engaged alumni community will enhance students’ abilities to form lasting connections with each other, the college, and the university.

Post-Master’s DNP Program Description and Curriculum

Description of the Conceptual Framework for College of Nursing Graduate Programs


The Purdue University Northwest College of Nursing conceptual model is focused on student centered learning, with students surrounded by diversity, equity, justice, inclusivity, belonging, and social determinants of health. Evidence-based practice serves as the basis or stem of all activities in the College of Nursing. The petals that help students grow are integrity, collaboration, professionalism, innovation, and systems. Our students take on various roles and specialties. They function within the College of Nursing Environment and in the broader community; they both shape and are shaped by the environment. Each element of the model is described below.

CON Graduate Concept Flower Model

CON Graduate Concept Flower Model

The Core

Student Centered Learning – A metacognitive process that enables graduate nursing students to gain increased autonomy and accountability with the outcome goal of acquiring an enhanced and deeper understanding of advanced level nursing concepts. Six key concepts surround the student.

  • Diversity – A broad range of individual, population, and social characteristics that impact all aspects of life.
  • Equity – The ability to recognize and mitigate the differences in the resources needed to allow individuals to fully participate in society to overcome obstacles and ensure fairness.
  • Justice – The expectation and fair distribution of equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities.
  • Inclusion – Environmental and organizational cultures that intentionally embrace differences and work to ensure the perspectives and experiences of others are invited, welcomed, acknowledged, and respected.
  • Belonging – An environment of fellowship, with shared attitudes, interests, and goals, where everyone is treated like a full member of the group; the individual feels accepted by the group and the group accepts and embraces the individual.
  • Social Determinants of Health – The conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life and influencing health outcomes.

Evidence-Based Practice – A problem-solving approach to healthcare delivery by which nurses make practice decisions using best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences in the context of available resources.

The Petals

Integrity –  A core value where nurses commit to a personal value-system to act ethically in all situations. Nurses integrate this core value into professional and personal goal planning, every-day clinical judgement, and interactions with patients to ensure advocacy, civility, and promote safe and quality care. Key components of integrity are clinical judgement, ethics, civility, and scholarship.

  • Clinical Judgement – The process by which a nurse demonstrates cue recognition, hypothesis generation and evaluation, takes action, and evaluates the outcomes of those actions in the context of time constraints and risk. It is an observable result of the ability of an individual to critically think and make decisions.
  • Ethics – A moral obligation to act within the commonly accepted principles of bioethics including autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice.
  • Civility – Behavior and speech that contributes to the creation of an ethical environment whereby individuals treat other with dignity and mutual respect resulting in feelings of validation, effective communication, collaboration, and belongingness.
  • Scholarship – The generation, synthesis, translation, application, and dissemination of knowledge that aims to improve health and transform health care.

Collaboration – Work done cooperatively with others to accomplish objectives to build and maintain mutually-beneficial partnerships, leverage information, and achieve positive results. Key aspects of collaboration are communication, health and wellness, interprofessional and multi-sector partnerships, and person-centered care.

  • Communication – A two-way process to exchange information, thoughts, and feelings through a variety of mechanisms. It encompasses the various ways people interact with each other, including verbal, written, behavioral, body language, touch and emotion. It also includes intentionality, mutuality, partnerships, trust and presence.
  • Health and Wellness – A dynamic state of emotional, mental, physical, and social well-being influenced by biological, cultural, environmental, psychological, sociological, and spiritual experience(s) and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
  • Interprofessional and Multi-Sector Partnerships – Partnership involving two or more professions or professionals from various stakeholder groups (i.e., civil society, government, and private sector) and sectors (i.e., economy, environment, and health) who can leverage their knowledge, expertise, and resources to work towards a shared goal of producing better health outcomes.
  • Person-Centered Care (Family-Centered Care) – Providing care to individuals, families, and populations to optimize shared decision-making within the four spheres of care: 1) disease prevention/promotion of health and well-being; 2) chronic disease care; 3) regenerative or restorative care; and 4) supportive, palliative, or hospice care.

Professionalism – Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles, leadership standards with just culture accountability, prioritize lifelong learning, and advocate for nursing in all venues. Important aspects of professionalism are growth, transformation, nursing knowledge, lifelong learning, and practice expert.

  • Growth – The practice of reflection that fosters personal health, resilience, enhanced knowledge, and application of expertise while supporting the evolution of professional practice standards.
  • Transformation (Education) – A progression of academic growth, specialized training, and professional development that offers a comprehensive insight into system-level changes that promote a culture of inquiry and innovation.
  • Nursing Knowledge – Transform care delivery models through the integration of specialized clinical expertise and critical thinking grounded in an evidence-based theoretical foundation that reflects the current nursing practice and promotes futuristic thinking.
  • Lifelong Learner – A commitment to identify personal learning needs through self-reflection and engage in appropriate educational activities and dissemination.
  • Practice Expert – Demonstrate an elevated proficiency in graduate nursing practice as a result of specialized education and work experience and translates evidence and theory into practice.

Innovation – A novel development that delivers new or improved health policies, systems, products and technologies, and services and delivery methods that improve people’s health. Components of innovation include informatics, leadership, artificial intelligence, and technology.

  • Informatics – The science for using multiple information and analytical processes to gather data and evidence, communicate, and gain knowledge to guide decision making, clinical judgement, and ultimately provide and improve safe, efficient, cost-effective, and high-quality care for patients.
  • Leadership – The ability to assert control, influence, and power in professional and personal contexts; demonstrate lifelong learning and ongoing self-reflection; and exhibit resilience, agility, and the ability to adapt to ambiguity and change.
  • Artificial Intelligence – A machine-based system that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, make predictions, recommendations or decisions influencing real or virtual environments.
  • Technology – The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.

Systems – A complex and dynamic interaction between multiple elements including people, processes, institutions, technology, and equipment working together to impact the provision of health care. Essential aspects of systems include quality and safety, economics, population, and policy.

  • Quality & Safety – Key components of health care delivery that is effective, safe, people-centered, timely, equitable, integrated throughout the life course, and efficient. A systems approach to safety and quality focuses on identifying and improving the interaction of different elements rather than placing blame on the individual elements, thereby creating a just culture.
  • Economics – The strategic allocation of healthcare resources that support quality and value-based care which fosters succession planning, systems thinking, and fiscal management.
  • Population – A collection of individuals who have one or more personal or environmental characteristics in common.
  • Policy – A law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions. Policy decisions are frequently reflected in resource allocations and may influence health.

The Leaves

Roles – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who complete an accredited graduate-level education program, passed a national certification examination. Roles within Purdue University Northwest’s College of Nursing graduate program are adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist and family nurse practitioner.

Specialties – A nursing practice focused on a specified area of study, research, and practice as defined and recognized by the profession. Purdue University Northwest’s College of Nursing graduate program encompasses the nurse educator, nurse executive, and Doctor of Nursing Practice specialties.

The Context

Environment – Internal and external elements which are in constant interaction with people. The internal environment is comprised of physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual factors that influence people from within. The external environment includes the physical and social elements that are extrinsic to and interactive with people. The internal and external environment interact to produce needs unique to each person. The environment exerts social, cultural, political, and other norms that influence the behavior of individuals, families, populations, and communities. In turn individuals and groups influence the nature of the environment.


Purdue University Northwest College of Nursing faculty members respect the uniqueness of each student and have built a supportive environment where students can flourish. They encourage students to build upon their initial education as they reflect, refine, and evolve a professional philosophy and evidence-based framework during their advanced-level nursing education and in their nursing careers.

Upon successful completion of the DNP program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Design quality, cost-effective, person-centered care for health promotion, chronic disease, restoration, and support for diverse populations.
  2. Lead interprofessional teams within complex systems of health care to provide safe, quality, equitable care.
  3. Translate research to support evidence-based practice in nursing and other disciplines.
  4. Evaluate the ethical implications of healthcare delivery, including the use of informatics and technology.
  5. Disseminate advanced knowledge to improve clinical decision making and policy development.
  6. Demonstrate professionalism and role competence as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses to lead transformative change in healthcare. Graduates acquire scientific, organizational, leadership and economic knowledge that allows them to plan, manage and deliver cost-effective, evidence based care. They are prepared to meet the health care needs of vulnerable populations, including the growing number who experience health disparities. Nurses who earn PhD degrees, a research-based degree, conduct research. Nurses with DNP degrees, a clinical degree, use evidence from research to transform nursing practice and to elevate patient outcomes.

At Purdue University Northwest, nurses who earn a DNP degree are prepared to lead transformative healthcare by becoming experts in the search, appraisal, synthesis, transfer, and application of evidence and in the evaluation of its impact on outcomes.

The DNP program at PNW is a post-master’s degree program with a minimum of 38 post-master’s credits and is available on a full or part-time basis. The curriculum is individualized based on previous coursework and number of practicum hours completed during the master’s program. Nurses prepared at the master’s level as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs – nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives) whose programs contained advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment and advanced pathophysiology in addition to a minimum of 500 practicum hours will generally need 38 credits for the DNP degree.

Master’s prepared nurses in non-advanced practice registered nursing roles, and who did not take courses in pharmacology, health assessment or pathophysiology will be required to take these courses as part of the DNP program. In addition, if there were fewer than 500 direct practice practicum hours in the master’s degree program, students will need to take additional credits (up to 5) in order to meet the minimum requirement of at least 1000 practicum/residency hours required for the DNP degree

As a practice degree, 1000 clinical/residency hours are required. A maximum of 500 direct care practicum hours from the previous master’s program will be accepted to fulfill the 1000 hours of required practicum hours.

This program is primarily online and includes a one-week intensive on the Hammond campus for NUR 64210 Systems Approaches in Healthcare Engineering. This course meets during a summer session.

The focus of the DNP program at PNW is Translation Science.

Translation Science Overview

The process of improving patient outcomes through evidence-based healthcare depends on evidence generation, synthesis, and knowledge transfer.  Evidence-based healthcare must also depend on the actual utilization of evidence.  Although the imperative of using best available evidence in the practice setting is generally understood, a significant gap continues to exist between the knowledge of best practice and its actual use.  Many factors contribute to this utilization gap.  The emerging science of evidence translation is a new field created to address the gap between evidence knowledge and its use.  Knowledge and application of translation science principles can enable healthcare leaders to facilitate the translation of knowledge into practice for the purpose of improving patient care outcomes.

Translation science is the focus of the DNP program at Purdue University Northwest.  The College of Nursing houses the Indiana Center for Evidence Based Nursing Practice, a Joanna Briggs Institute Center of Excellence. Building upon the resources available through this international collaboration, students in the DNP program will have opportunities to enhance their skills related to evidence based nursing practice in general and translation science in particular.

Purdue University Northwest DNP students will have opportunities to learn the science of evidence synthesis through systematic review as well as how to use implementation science to create and sustain evidence uptake in clinical settings.

Advanced Practice Nursing/MSN Core Courses

(courses may be waived if student has successfully completed a comparable graduate course prior to application to the DNP program from an institution that has been accredited by CCNE or ACEN)

NUR 50200: Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing (3 credits)

NUR 50300: Advanced Health Assessment (4 credits; 3 didactic and 1 lab)

NUR 57400: Pathophysiologic Concepts for Advanced Practice Nursing I (3 credits)

NUR 57500: Pathophysiologic Concepts for Advanced Practice Nursing II (3 credits)


DNP Leadership Courses

NUR 52500: Informatics in Nursing (3 credits)

NUR 65600: Healthcare Organization, Policy, and Economics (3 credits)

NUR 62501: DNP Role in Knowledge Translation within Healthcare Delivery Systems (3 credits)

NUR 67801: Healthcare Economics and Finance (3 credits)


DNP Evidence Based Practice Core Courses

NUR 64101: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)

NUR 62401: Evidence Based Practice Concepts and Processes for Advanced Nursing (3 credits)

NUR 62601: Applied Biostatistics for Outcome Evaluation (3 credits)

NUR 64210: Systems Approaches in Healthcare Engineering (3 credits)


DNP Cognate/Inquiry/Residency Courses

NUR 67301: Health Policy Residency for DNPs (2 credit hours, 128 practicum hours)

NUR 67600: Knowledge Translation for Transforming Healthcare (3 credits)

NUR 67700: Cognate Residency: Knowledge Translation (3 credits, 192 practicum hours)

NUR 67701: DNP Practice Inquiry I: Knowledge Translation (3 credits, 192 practicum hours)

NUR 67702: DNP Practice Inquiry II: Knowledge Translation (3 credits, 192 practicum hours)

Admission Policies and Procedures

In order to be considered for admission into the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, applicants must have:

  • Graduated from an accredited program with a master’s degree in nursing
  • *Grades in all previous Master’s coursework of “B” or better.
  • Current U.S. RN (registered nurse) license in the state in which practice will occur.

Personal interview (will be scheduled following submission of application and all related documents)

*Note: Applicants not meeting this criterion may be considered for conditional admission status

Required Admission Documents/Items

Application materials not submitted online may be mailed to the College of Nursing. The items that we will need to process your application include:

  • A completed application form
  • Your resume
  • A statement of purpose for pursuing a DNP degree with PNW
  • A copy of your U.S. RN license
  • 3 recommendations using the university’s recommendation format
  • Transcript(s) from each university/college attended
  • If you are offered admission, you will need to complete the criminal background check (AFTER receiving your offer letter) as a condition of admission. Instructions will be provided with the admission offer letters.

College of Nursing Application Materials Mailing Address:

College of Nursing Purdue University Northwest-Hammond
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323-2094
Attention: Graduate Program Secretary

Application Procedures

  1. Submitting your application: Submit your application online using the graduate program application form. Here is what you need to do:
    1. Go directly to the Online Application
    2. OR go to The Graduate School page and choose Apply Now
    3. Create an account and create username and password
    4. As you “Begin Your Application” select the following for “Term and Program Information”
      1. Campus: Hammond
      2. Program of Interest/Graduate Major: Nursing – Doctor of Nursing Practice
      3. Enrollment Objective: Doctor of Nursing Practice
      4. Select Entry Term and Year: appropriate term
    5. Submitting Recommendations through the Application System: Three letters of recommendation evaluating your scholarly potential. One should be from a clinical advisor or supervisor, one from an academic advisor or faculty member, and one from a nursing peer. The system will email the form if you include the reference e-mail address.
    6. Submitting a Statement of Purpose through the Application System: You will upload a 300-500 word essay, which addresses your reasons for pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice including your reasons for choosing Purdue University Northwest, your career goals and practice interests in transforming healthcare through translational science and evidence based practice.
    7. Submitting your resume or curriculum vitae through the Application System: You will upload a resume/vitae within the online application.
    8. Completing the Process of Submitting the Application Form: Although your application may be considered “submitted” prior to paying the $60.00 application fee (for domestic applicants). Applications that are not showing “paid” will NOT be reviewed for potential admission. Fee payment is the final requirement needed for officially submitting the application.
  2. Submit Proof of U.S. RN Licensure:
    Submit a copy of your current registered nurse license(s) to the College of Nursing or provide us with the RN license number and state of licensure. If we can access the state license database we will pull a copy of your license.
  3. Submitting Transcripts: Transcripts from each university or college ever attended are required even if you did not complete a degree at that college or transferred courses in to another college. Please let us know if there may be an additional last names wherein those transcripts may be submitted to us under.
    1. Paper transcripts:
      Upload or submit an official (original) transcript from each university or college you have ever attended, even if you did not complete a degree at that college. Ask the colleges to send your transcripts directly to the College of Nursing at the address above.
    2. Electronic transcripts:
      We can accept electronic transcripts from institutions of higher education in the United States. Request the Registrar of those institutions to direct the electronic transcripts to Purdue University Northwest Graduate Studies Office.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept electronic transcripts from applicants for degrees/course work earned outside the United States.
    3. Purdue University transcripts:
      If you attended any Purdue University campus in the past, you can check the box in the online application that gives us permission to access your records. We will be able to directly request your Purdue transcripts. However, if you have not been a graduate nursing student at Purdue Northwest within the past 5 years, you must submit all other non-Purdue transcripts. If you are a recent Purdue Northwest graduate program alumni, please reach out to the Graduate Academic Advisor, Jessica Schultz, to request that your official PNW transcripts be uploaded into your application.

The Graduate Admission, Progression and Graduation Sub-Committee will review all completed files after each deadline date and make recommendations for admission, wait-list, or denial for each completed application.  The Graduate Academic Advisor will notify the applicant of admissions decision via email and mail For those applicants who are offered admission or a wait-listed seat, the letter will confirm the program, area of concentration, any admission conditions related to the application, and the deadline date for accepting the committee’s offer.  After the Purdue University Graduate School approves the admission, the Graduate School will send applicants an email notifying them of their official admission.  All applicants should then complete a Graduate School online reply form to formally accept admission using the following steps:

  1. Log in to the Graduate School’s online application system.
  2. Under Status Update, click “View Admissions Decision” to access your decision letter.
  3. On page one of your letter, click the link “Click here to submit your response to the offer of admission.”
  4. Complete and submit the form.
  5. Your response will appear on your application status page.

An applicant who does not meet one or more of the admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission.  The specific conditions of the admission will be addressed in the admission letter.  Students who fail to meet the specific conditions of admission may not be allowed to continue in the graduate program.

Graduate nursing faculty will evaluate courses from other institutions for equivalency and transferability.  Transfer credits will be considered in two ways:

1) As a replacement for required DNP courses: A maximum of 12 credits may be transferred from another accredited graduate nursing program to meet post-master’s DNP curriculum requirements.

2) To obtain the required number of credits for a practice doctorate: Consistent with Purdue University policy, a maximum of 40 credits will be transferred from a master’s degree or professional doctoral degree from an accredited institution to the postmaster’s DNP plan of study. The student’s committee Chair and the Associate Dean of the Graduate Program in Nursing are responsible for making a recommendation to the Graduate School on accepting previously acquired credits. These credits are not subject to the “five-year rule” that prohibits use of out-of-date coursework on plans of study.

Also be aware that greater than 50% of Purdue credits must be earned through the campus where the degree is conferred and at least 50% of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered at Purdue.

Applicants who are denied admission into the Graduate Program are allowed to appeal these decisions. Applicants who wish to appeal an admission decision should contact the Chairperson of the Admission, Progression and Graduation Committee. The Chairperson will review the appeals process with the student. This process includes a written notification of the desire to appeal and an appearance at the next scheduled Admission Progression and Graduation Committee meeting. The deadline for submitting a written notice of appeal is the twenty-first calendar day after the start of the fall or spring semester following notification of denial.

If the decision to deny admission is upheld by the Committee, applicants may submit a written appeal to the Dean of the College of Nursing. If applicants are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal to the College of Nursing Dean, a written appeal may be sent to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost.

Conduct and Progression Policies

Students enrolled in the graduate nursing program must adhere to the ANA Code of Ethics and conform to the Purdue University Northwest Honor Code and the Purdue University Northwest Academic Integrity Policy. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with and adhering to the policies outlined in the documents. Students must be aware that academic dishonesty in any form may result in an automatic failure in the course and a referral to the Dean of Students. A letter describing the incident will be placed in your student file. Further disciplinary action will be pursued according to the policies of the university.

Because of the seriousness of plagiarism, also refer to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) for definitions and examples of plagiarism and ways to avoid it.

Student Conduct

Students in the College of Nursing are expected to adhere to the ANA Code of Ethics.  The Code of Ethics for Nurses is a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession. Students are responsible for acquainting themselves and adhering to the policies outlined in the document.

Students in the CON are also expected to adhere to the PNW Civility Code as stated below:

Purdue University Northwest places a priority on student learning. We value the inherent worth and dignity of every person, thereby fostering a community of mutual respect. We believe that in order to achieve these ideals, all Purdue University Northwest students are expected, while in the role as student or representative of the university, to exhibit and practice civil behaviors, defined as behaviors that:

  1. Respect faculty, staff, fellow students, guests, and all  university property, policies, rules and regulations
  2. Take responsibility for one’s choices and actions
  3. Accept consequences of one’s inappropriate choices and actions
  4. Communicate in a professional and courteous manner in all forms, and at all times, whether verbal, non- verbal or written.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students have the right to a learning environment free of disruptive behaviors.  Students are expected to comply with regulations regarding civility, attendance, and appropriate classroom behavior.

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty has the right and responsibility to define expected classroom behavior consistent with University policy, as well as address and manage disruptive student behavior.

With the enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the idea that patients have the right to privacy and confidentiality became more than just an ethical obligation of health care providers, students and health care organizations; it is the law. The right to privacy is essential to patients and families. Under no circumstances should any student ever release or remove confidential patient information from the practicum setting or discuss it with anyone unless it is needed for treatment of the patient.

Each clinical agency has strict guidelines regarding patient information, including computer access, security, documentation, and patient confidentiality. These specific guidelines are available for each agency, and several ask students to sign a confidentiality statement.

Violations of the Guidelines

Violation of these guidelines can result in disciplinary action by the agency, the assignment of a failing grade for a nursing course, and/or dismissal from the course and/or nursing program. The following guidelines in general reflect expectations of all students in all agencies.

  1. Patient medical records are not to be removed from their location.
  2. Students granted access to patient medical records are accountable at all times for the protection of the record and its contents while in their possession.
  3. Sharing medical record/patient information with family, friends, and staff not directly involved in the patient’s care is prohibited.
  4. Students are not allowed to remove medical records from the patient care area.
  5. Reproducing by photocopying, cutting and pasting, taking a picture, or printing any part of the medical record for a student’s purpose is strictly prohibited. Data cannot be saved to any device.
  6. When referring to patients in written work for schoolwork purposes, students must use patient initials only. Keep all identifying information to a minimum.
  7. Any identifiable patient information should be properly destroyed before the student leaves the unit.
  8. Students must follow HIPAA guidelines at all times as outlined by each clinical agency and federal regulations.
  9. Professional standards expect that student nurses withhold discussing, in any format, (verbally, in writing, via social media), any patient situations and confidences outside the clinical course context. Situations may only be discussed in private, for the purpose of learning, as directed by the clinical instructor.


The College of Nursing recognizes that social networking websites and applications including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, are an important and timely means of communication. However, students must be aware that posting any information about patients or clinical agencies attended for clinical is prohibited and may be illegal under HIPAA guidelines and subject to disciplinary actions. Violation of existing statutes and administrative regulations may expose the offender to criminal and civil liability, and the punishment for violations may include fines and imprisonment. Offenders also may be subject to adverse academic actions that may include immediate removal from the clinical setting, referral to the Dean of Students, course failure and dismissal from the College of Nursing.

Privacy and Confidentiality:

Official University communications sent by e-mail are subject to the same public information, privacy, and records retention requirements and policies as other official University communications. Also, any reference to a client, colleague, faculty, or staff nurse on any social media outlet is not appropriate (see American Nurses Association’s social media statement), including “disparaging remarks” even if the person is not identified by name. “Promptly report a breach” (per ANA) to your faculty. Please review the following national and international guidelines regarding the proper use of social media:

Clinical & In-Class Procedure:

Please refer to the syllabus for possible course-specific guidelines. Clinical students must uphold the Social Media Policy guidelines. Individual clinical faculty members may also make additional requests regarding use of technology during clinical according to clinical agency policy.

All students enrolled in the program must keep their RN license current/active.  Students must also maintain residency in the state they were living in when they were admitted to the program.  If students move to another state, there is no guarantee that they will be able to complete the program.

Email is the preferred and quickest method of communication as it provides a written record, time stamp, and can be sent directly to the people that can best assist in a particular situation. Additional communications between students and university personnel may be arranged directly.

The College of Nursing requires that current students only use their PNW student email accounts to contact university personnel.

The College of Nursing Graduate Program has established the following grading scale to be used for all courses taught in the Graduate Nursing Program:

90-100 A 4.0
80-89 B 3.0
70-79 C 2.0
60-69 D 1.0
59 or lower F 0.0

Students must obtain a minimum grade of “B” in all required nursing courses. Additionally, graduate students must have a final graduation grade point average of a “B” or better on the approved plan of study in order to receive your degree.

The Electronic Plan of Study (EPOS) is an academic contract between the graduate student, the student’s faculty chair, College of Nursing Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, and the Graduate School.  On the EPOS, students will list the coursework they must complete/completed that fulfill the requirements of the graduate degree. They also choose a faculty chair.   Students must submit their EPOS and have it finalized/approved prior to the start of the last semester of the program.  Failure to file the EPOS in a timely fashion may prevent the student from graduating upon completing their final semester.  Students can find instructions for submitting their EPOS in the program tab located in myPNW and/or by contacting the Graduate Program Academic Advisor for assistance.


Graduate students in degree-seeking status who receive a grade of C or below in any required course or whose cumulative graduate program GPA falls below 3.0 (a B average) will be placed on probation, indicating serious academic difficulty. Students on probation must repeat within one calendar year the course in which they received the grade of C or below. Students will be dismissed from the program if a grade of C or below is received for the repeated class.

Repeating Courses

If a degree-seeking student receives a grade of C or below in a required class, the class must be repeated within one calendar year. A class may be repeated only one time and a grade of B or higher must be achieved. The maximum number of different courses toward the degree that may be repeated is two.

Dismissal from the Program

Degree-seeking students will be dismissed from the graduate program when any of the following occur:

  • A conditionally admitted student fails to meet admission conditions.
  • A student on probation fails to repeat a required nursing course within one calendar year after receiving a grade of C or below.
  • A student receives a grade of C or below when repeating a required nursing course.
  • A student received a grade of C or below on a third required nursing course.

In matters of integrity, clinical judgement, plagiarism, or other situations that compromise the ANA Code of Ethics, the Purdue University Northwest Student Honor Code, and/or the Graduate Student Standards of Work, the graduate faculty of the CON may place a student on probation or recommend dismissal from the program to the Dean of Students.

The responsibility for assessing student achievement and assigning grades rests with the course instructor and, except for unusual circumstances, the course grade given is final. If a student has concerns or complaints about grading or clinical evaluations, he/she may choose to proceed with the following:

  • discuss these concerns with the faculty member responsible for teaching the course.
  • if not satisfied with the outcome of this discussion, he/she should bring the concerns to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Nursing.
  • if the situation is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction after talking with the Associate Dean, students should follow the university’s grade appeal procedures.

Students may appeal decisions of dismissal from their program of study for scholastic performance or violations of the code of conduct.  Students who wish to appeal a decision related to program dismissal should:

  • Meet with the College of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Graduate Studies to discuss the situation.
  • If students want to continue the appeals process, they will submit to the College of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in Nursing a written notification of the desire to appeal and a request for reconsideration explaining why the student should be given an opportunity to continue in the program. The deadline for submitting the written notice of appeal is the twenty-first calendar day after the start of the fall or spring semester following notification of dismissal.
  • Students will appear at the next scheduled Admission Progression and Graduation Committee meeting to address the request for reconsideration.
  • If the dismissal decision is upheld by the Committee, students may submit a written appeal to the Dean of the College of Nursing.
  • If students were dismissed due to academic reasons and are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the Dean, they may submit a written appeal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost. For students dismissed due to conduct violations, a further appeal can be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students.

The time limit to complete the DNP program is 8 years from the term of admission.  In addition, if 5 years elapse between taking courses and resuming work toward a degree, the Purdue University Graduate School prohibits including any of the courses taken prior to the period of inactivity on the plan of study.  Therefore, required courses that are more than 5 years old would need to be repeated.

If, following admission, students wish to withdraw from the program, they should submit a written notice to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, College of Nursing, Purdue University Northwest, 2200 169th Street, Hammond, IN 46323.

All previously admitted graduate students who have not registered for three consecutive semesters must submit a re-entry application and any application materials that may have expired.  The Graduate Admissions Committee will review the application and make a decision regarding the re-entry request.  Note that re-entry is not guaranteed and if readmitted to the program, students may be required to adhere to any curriculum changes occurring during the period of inactivity.  The application can be found through the on-line application program described in the Application Procedures section of the Graduate Student Handbook

The purpose of this policy is to notify students of the Purdue University Northwest requirement that all students in the College who are enrolled in a clinical course submit to a drug screen as outlined in this policy and test negative before engaging in clinical activity associated with a College of Nursing Program.

The University’s Alcohol-and-Drug-Free Campus Workplace Policy prohibits the unauthorized use, possession, sale, conveyance, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances, as well as being under the influence of legally prescribed drugs that prevent an individual from performing the essential functions of his or her job or where the individual poses a direct threat while using those drugs.  Clinical agencies affiliated with the University also have drug and alcohol policies and are requiring that nursing students comply with their drug testing policies in a similar manner to their employees. Safety in the delivery of care to patient/client populations is the basis for drug testing. Clinical sites have the right to refuse any student for clinical placement based on concerns about that student’s ability to deliver safe practice.

It is the policy of Purdue University Northwest to comply with federal and state laws and regulations dealing with the usage and detection of drugs. This policy is subject to change at the sole discretion of the University and is meant to supplement other relevant University policies, including but not limited to, the Alcohol- and Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy, Executive Memorandum C-44. This policy is in addition to any drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures at the clinical sites, and while students are engaging in clinical activities at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or other facilities on behalf of the College, the drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or facility will govern.

Policy and Procedures

All nursing students will be required to submit to a drug screen at the expense of the student, and test negative for drugs at certain times in their nursing education:

  • prior to participation in first clinical course in a College of Nursing Program,
  • as requested by the clinical facility

Unannounced drug testing may occur based on reasonable suspicion.

If a student’s drug screen is positive but the student provides proof that prescribed medications (a copy of the prescription or verification from the healthcare provider that they are taking medication under supervision) lead to a positive drug screen, the College of Nursing will make record of such. All positive drug tests will be reported to the clinical site in an anonymous manner.  If present, prescription verifications will accompany any positive drug screens also in an anonymous manner.  The clinical site policy will determine whether a student may participate in the scheduled clinical rotation.

By participating in the drug screening process, the student is authorizing release of the drug test results in accordance with this policy.

Negative Test Result

If the drug test is negative, and pending all other requisite acceptances and approvals, the student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

Refusal to Test

If a student fails to produce the requested sample by the date and time designated, the student will be treated as if the test result was positive.

Positive Test Result

Any student who engages in conduct prohibited by this policy, tests positive for drugs, or who does not comply with any notice, request, or procedure provided for hereunder, shall be withdrawn from all clinical courses, and may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal from the Program, on the basis that the student is not able to meet course objectives for classroom and/or clinical requirements.  If the Student is not dismissed from the Program, the Student will not be permitted to participate in Clinical Activities until the Student undergoes the rehabilitation process set forth below. In addition, future participation in Clinical Activities is dependent on the length of time needed for the rehabilitation process and space availability as described below.


If the Student is not dismissed from the Program, the Student will be required to undergo a professional evaluation by the Counseling Center or by a mutually agreed upon independent, certified drug and alcohol counselor for evaluation and treatment at the student’s expense. The student must complete the treatment prescribed by the approved counselor at the student’s expense. Upon completion of the treatment plan, the counselor shall conduct a follow-up evaluation and issue a report to the Dean of the College of Nursing.  If the counselor reports that the student successfully completed the treatment plan and is ready to engage in Clinical Activities, the student will be tested with a new drug screen at the Student’s expense. If the Drug test is positive, the Student will be dismissed from the Program.  If the Drug test result is negative, the student will be eligible to enroll in clinical coursework depending on space availability and acceptance by clinical sites.  Because of the time that is required to complete treatment and testing, it is possible that the Student will be delayed and need to re-work his/her plan of study with an academic counselor.

After a student has completed the required treatment plan prescribed by the certified drug and alcohol counselor, has a negative Drug screen and is participating in Clinical Activities, unannounced drug testing may occur periodically, based on reasonable suspicion, until the student graduates from the Program. The Dean of the College of Nursing will notify the student of the designated time and place for the drug screening which will be completed, at the student’s expense, on the day of notification. If a positive Drug screen occurs, or if the student fails to complete a drug test as requested or otherwise comply with this policy, the student will be dismissed from the Program.


The College of Nursing and the University will take reasonable measures to ensure individual privacy under this Policy including, without limitation, keeping all Drug test results confidential to the extent possible.  Drug test results will be released in accordance with this policy and applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

Grievance and Appeal Procedures

Pursuant to the University’s Bill of Student Rights, any student can seek redress for any complaints related to the application or enforcement of this Policy through applicable University grievance policies and procedures, including Program appeal procedures.

Access to Records

The College of Nursing and the University will maintain records relating to this policy as required by law.  Upon written request to the Dean of the College of Nursing, a student will be provided copies of records pertaining to his or her Drug tests. The University may charge the student a reasonable fee for copying these records.


Questions about this policy should be directed to the Dean of the College of Nursing.

Financial Aid

Students can arrange financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts. Further information is available on the Office of Financial Aid website.

College of Nursing scholarships are available to DNP students. Feel free to contact the Graduate Program Advisor for more information.

In addition, a limited number of scholarships are available for graduate nursing students through the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts. The deadline for applying is generally in March of the academic year preceding the awards. Amounts of money awarded and eligibility requirements vary. For further information and applications, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts at (219) 989-2301. Further information is also available on the Office of Financial Aid.

A limited number of Graduate Administrative/Professional Assistantship positions are available for graduate students interested in providing a supportive role in scholarly and/or teaching activities with nursing faculty.  Assignments vary and are based on College needs. Remuneration includes substantial tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend.

To be eligible for appointment, an individual must be enrolled as a regular graduate student and remain registered during the entire appointment period. Appointment is on a quarter time basis and is equivalent to 10 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters.

Announcements for positions are sent annually to all eligible students. Students interested in applying should submit a written resume to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Appointments are made based on the applicant’s qualifications and the needs of the College.

Graduate students are needed to participate in the following College of Nursing Committees:

  1. Graduate Committee: Provides general guidance to the graduate program; develops, evaluates, and revises the curriculum; initiates and evaluates program changes and course offerings; determines curriculum policies including admission, progression and graduation: makes resource recommendations; analyzes outcome data related to graduate programs; and contributes to development of accreditation reports.
  2. Student Affairs Committee: Coordinates student-related social functions; reviews policies regarding student health and welfare; serves as a forum for student interaction for non-academic matters; nominates student representatives to College committees, provides input into College Grade appeal process.
  3. College Curricula and Assessment Committee: Approves curriculum proposals across programs; approves admission, progression and graduation requirements across programs; assesses and maintains effectiveness of College of Nursing academic programs; and evaluates program-specific outcome assessment data.
  4. Resources and Budget Committee: Recommends and prioritizes acquisition of professional books and journals for the library collection, audiovisual materials, computer hardware/software, simulation equipment, and other supports for educational functions of the College; secures support for acquiring instructional materials; serves as an advisory group to the university library and the College of Nursing Learning and Simulation Center; and provides input to the Dean on the use of the College’s discretionary funds.

Student input is of great importance to the faculty, and students are encouraged to participate and volunteer to serve on these committees.

Students can find information pertinent to the College of Nursing graduate program through the MSN or DNP tab in the myPNW portal. At this site, students can find announcements, College of Nursing forms, information related to specific courses including practicum course clinical requirements.  We encourage students to visit this site regularly for information and announcements.  Examples of information and announcements include registration, special events, and program/policy updates. Students should also regularly check their Purdue Northwest student e-mail accounts for e-mail from the Graduate Program Advisor, Secretary, and staff from other university offices and departments.

The following is a checklist of minimum computer hardware/software requirements and basic computing skills that are necessary for all students.


  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Windows 7 or higher operating system for a PC
  • OSX 10.9 or higher for a MAC
  • At least one USB port
  • WiFi capability
  • High speed internet connection (preferred)
  • 250 GB or larger of storage (either internal, external or cloud)

*Chromebooks/iPads are not recommended as students may experience software incompatibility issues.


*PNW students may be eligible for discounted software. More details are available at the Customer Service Center.

Required Computer Skills

  • Keyboard and use a mouse
  • Basic windows functions (maximize, minimize, move windows)
  • Word processing
  • Create text
  • Cut, copy, paste
  • Manipulate fonts
  • Name, rename and save files to a variety of storage devices
  • Create tables
  • Insert an object
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation
  • Create directories/folders, manage files
  • Attach files, send e-mail
  • Use “help”
  • Access the Internet
  • Search the Internet
  • Identify the type of Internet source
  • Download a file/application
  • Install a downloaded application

The following mathematical and statistical techniques will be used in various courses throughout your graduate nursing program.  If you haven’t used these techniques recently, we have provided you with links to tutorials provided by Khan Academy.  These tutorials are very helpful and short.  In some cases, we recommend an entire unit on a particular topic.  In other cases, we have identified the most relevant section of the unit.  In these cases, you may find it useful to view the entire unit depending on your comfort level with the topics.

Basic Mathematics

  1. Reciprocals, division of fractions
  2. Absolute values
  3. Percentages:  Entire unit “Intro to percentages” is recommended.  The unit begins with the Meaning of Percent
  4. Exponents
  5. Square Roots
  6. Inequalities

Basic Algebra

  1. Order of operations
  2. One-variable equations:  Many lessons are available reviewing basic algebraic equations.  You can select where to start based on your level of proficiency.  All the relevant lessons are included at this site.
  3. Two Variable Equations:  For a basic overview of solving two-variable equations, the following two lessons are recommended
    1. Systems of equations with elimination
    2. Systems of equations with substitution
    3. If more background is needed, the entire unit “Systems of equations and inequalities” can be viewed.
  4. Graphing a line:  The first five lessons in the unit “Graphing solutions to equations” are recommended, but all can be viewed.  The link starts at the beginning lesson.

Basic Statistics

  1. Random variables
  2. Discrete/continuous distributions
  3. Poisson distribution
  4. Normal distribution and z-scores:  The entire unit covering the normal distribution and z-score calculations is instructive
  5. Population vs. sample
  6. Central tendency
  7. Variability:  For a basic overview of variability, the following two lessons are recommended
    1. Sample variance
    2. Standard deviation
    3. If more background is needed, the entire unit “Variance and standard deviation” can be viewed.
  8. Type I and Type II errors:  No lessons are available for Type II errors, but the threaded discussion on the Type I errors page is instructive

DNP Project and Committee


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum includes a practice inquiry project. While the practice inquiry project is faculty-guided, the DNP student is responsible for her/his progress through the program.  The scholarly experience provides evidence of the student’s critical thinking, mastery of DNP program objectives, and ability to apply the principles of evidence based practice through problem identification, project development, implementation, and evaluation of a clinical problem.

At the completion of the DNP program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Evaluate systems responses to health and illness as a basis for the promotion, restoration and maintenance of health and functional abilities and the prevention of illness.
  2. Integrate advanced knowledge of nursing theories, related sciences and humanities, and methods of inquiry in the care of diverse populations.
  3. Design quality, cost effective nursing interventions based on the knowledge of interrelationships among person, environment, health and nursing.
  4. Measure outcomes to evaluate nursing and health systems in diverse settings.
  5. Demonstrate role competence as a Doctor of Nursing Practice in providing care to individuals and families including rural and vulnerable populations.
  6. Translate research to support evidenced-based practice for diverse populations.
  7. Initiate changes in the healthcare system through the implementation and evaluation of health policies that strengthen the healthcare delivery system.
  8. Apply systems concepts to prevent and solve complex healthcare delivery problems.

Students are expected to incorporate the AACN DNP Essentials as outlined in this document:

Each student will have a committee that guides her/his project. The committee will consist of a committee chairperson and two committee members. All members of the committee must have Graduate Appointment Status. One committee member may be external to the College of Nursing (CON), and must be an expert in an area of inquiry relevant to the project and hold a doctoral degree. Ongoing communication between the student and the committee chair is essential. Students will need to plan on a minimum of two semesters to complete the inquiry project.

DNP practice inquiry projects should (a) focus on a clinically-significant practice issue from a system, population, group or policy perspective and (b) be data driven. Specific topics should be related to the primary focus of the program (e.g. Knowledge Translation) and may center on quality improvement, practice innovation, policy development, evidence synthesis, implementation of evidence, or transfer of processes across entities. If evidence synthesis is the focus of the project, the project must include a knowledge translation product to facilitate implementation of findings. Topics should be selected in conjunction with your residency facilitator and DNP Committee Chair. Note that consistent with the AACN DNP Implementation Task Force recommendations documented in the August 2015 white paper, portfolios or projects focused on the educational process, the academic curriculum, or educating nursing students do not meet requirements for the clinical doctorate degree.

To get started with your project, think about your area of interest and work with your assigned faculty committee chair early in your program. You should initiate and maintain ongoing communication with your chair.  This communication is critical to your success. Your chair can assist you in directing your coursework activities and identifying the rest of your committee. Refer to the DNP project checklists and proposal template for further guidance.

Students conducting projects in their own workplaces must meet the following criteria: (1) project topic must not fall within the job responsibilities of the student, (2) project scope must expand beyond the unit/department on which the student works (i.e., must have a systems focus), and (3) project work must be completed outside of working hours.

DNP Practice Inquiry Project Report Format

The DNP practice inquiry project report must be (a) of publishable quality as determined by the DNP Committee, (b) well-grounded in best available evidence, and (c) include an executive summary, manuscript, and PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Executive Summary (See Executive Summary Template formats).
  2. DNP Manuscript – content and length will vary depending upon journal requirements. The DNP manuscript describes an evidence based scholarly project that must be written at the level of publishable quality. Although not a graduation requirement, we strongly encourage students to submit their manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals. Prior to submitting the manuscript, the student must receive written approval from the chair of the committee, using the DNP Manuscript Submission form and the DNP Authorship Guidelines form.
  3. PowerPoint presentation – When creating the powerpoint presentation your project, you will need to plan for a 30-minute presentation. In addition to a report of your project, you must also include implications for practice, systems, policy, and economics.

DNP Practice Inquiry Project Presentation Day

  • At the beginning of each semester, the DNP Subcommittee will select potential dates for required student presentations of the DNP practice inquiry project. The Chair will communicate with their student(s) to select a time on one of the potential dates when the student and all committee members can attend.
    • We recommend that students who reside within PNW’s geographic area present their project in person. Web-based conferencing is available for students who live outside the geographic area. Family and friends are also welcome to attend.
    • We encourage all DNP students to attend the presentation either in person or through web-based conferencing.
  • Students who are presenting should be professionally dressed and prepared to deliver a scholarly presentation of their project.
  • Each student will be scheduled for a 60-minute time slot. During this time, they will provide a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation of their project and answer questions from their (a) committee, (b) other faculty observers, and (c) other audience members (in this order) for 15 minutes. In the remaining 15 minutes, the committee will meet to discuss the student’s performance and inform the student of the results of the discussion.

Tips for Writing the Practice Inquiry Project Paper

The following strategies can help you in writing a manuscript of your project:

  • Meet frequently with your committee chair and follow the advice you are given.
  • Set deadlines and meet them.
  • Notify your committee chair of any delays.
  • Keep your writing succinct, direct, and free of jargon.
  • Review what you have written, incorporating recommendations from your chair or committee. As you edit your work, it is helpful to read your work out loud.
  • To prevent being overwhelmed by the writing process, we recommend that you divide your written project into smaller parts and focus on only one part at a time.
  • Some students find the discussion a challenging portion of the project. A helpful strategy is to consider what you found, why it is important, what it means in terms of existing evidence, and what the implications are for practice. Also address the limitations of your work.
  • The written manuscript of your DNP practice inquiry project must be of publishable quality. We strongly encourage you to work with your chair to identify an appropriate journal early in the process and follow the journal’s author guidelines as you prepare your manuscript.

University Resources Relevant to DNP Practice Inquiry Projects

  • Human Subjects: Purdue Human Research Protection Program (
  • Writing: Purdue Online Writing Lab ( and the PNW writing lab
  • Statistical Consulting: Discuss with your Chair
  • Information Acquisition: You should refer to the PNW Library’s online libguides ( We also highly recommend that you work with the PNW Nursing Librarian as you refine your PICO question and formulate your search strategy.

Updated 11/11/20

College of Nursing faculty volunteer to chair or serve as a member on the DNP student committee during regularly scheduled DNP subcommittee meetings. The faculty’s decision to volunteer is based on the alignment of students’ interest with faculty’s expertise. The Chair of the DNP committee guides, oversees, and approves the DNP Project.  The committee consists of the chair and at least one other PNW DNP faculty. The third member is a doctorally prepared individual from outside the college of nursing. The outside member may also serve as the residency facilitator and the Chair will work with the student to identify the residency facilitator. We highly recommend that students meet with their Chair on a regular basis.

Your DNP Committee Chair will guide you through decisions to efficiently and effectively build the foundational work, preparation, and processes that culminate with your required Practice Inquiry Project.

Your Chair will have expertise in your Practice Inquiry Project topic.  Your Chair will guide you through each phase of the project including determining the type of project, the scope of the project, and the additional committee members whose areas of expertise will complement the project.

Socialization into the Doctoral Role

Your Committee Chair will assist in your socialization into the doctoral role in the following ways:

  • Provide support and encouragement to you as you progress toward completion of the DNP
  • Encourage and facilitate the process of student communication with committee members
  • Reinforce your responsibilities as adult learners

Curriculum Guidance

Your Committee Chair will assist in curriculum guidance in the following ways:

  • Understand your competencies as they relate to coursework and project topic and scope
  • Help you determine requisite knowledge in the processes of the required courses, cognates and residencies needed for your DNP project
  • Help you determine appropriate topics, scope, location, etc. for your Practice Inquiry Projects
  • Assist you to find committee members who can make a valuable and unique contribution to the project
  • Help you identify small grants, fellowships, attendance and presentations to conferences, and seminars relevant to your educational and career goals
  • Assist you with making connections with professionals and opportunities relevant to your DNP project

Expectations for Project Processes/Construction

You can expect the following from your Committee Chair as it relates to the construction of your project and related processes:

  • Assist you in the importance of understanding and meeting the established timelines (as identified by the project checklists and Graduate School documents and deadlines)
  • Participate with you in meetings with the committee members, and assist you in prioritizing the expectations discussed during those meetings
  • Assist you in acquiring Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for your DNP project
  • Be available to meet regularly (e.g. monthly/weekly) during the various phases of your project
  • Maintain an easily accessed record of communication with you that describes feedback provided to you and expectations for addressing the feedback
  • Ensure you understand the value of the process of multiple revisions to each component of your project
  • Ensure that the written project and final oral presentation are satisfactorily completed prior to asking committee members to sign the Graduate School Form 20

Additional Expectations following Program Completion

You can expect your Committee Chair to also assist you as follows:

  • Facilitate presentations and publications from the DNP project
  • Assist you to make professional connections that will serve your continued professional growth after graduation
  • Maintain communication and facilitate your transitions from graduate to program alumni:  using these opportunities to both encourage connectivity to the school, while supporting you in the development of your new professional roles

The DNP Committee Members will help the Committee Chair guide you through decisions to efficiently and effectively build the foundational work, preparation, and processes that culminates with your required practice inquiry project.  The Committee Members will have expertise relevant to the methods or content area of your DNP project.  The Committee Members will enhance the efficiency of your project process by guiding you in the conceptualization, design, methods and synthesis of project information

Socialization into the Doctoral Role

Your Committee Members will assist in your socialization into the doctoral role in the following ways:

  • Provide support and encouragement to you as you progress to completion of the DNP
  • Alert you and your Committee Chair of any opportunities (e.g. conferences) that are relevant to your work

Expectations for Project Processes/Construction

You can expect the following from your Committee Members related to the construction of your project and related processes:

  • Contribute content expertise to the project
  • Collaborate with you and committee chair in every phase of the Practice Inquiry Project from development of the concept, methods, analysis and synthesis of project information
  • Be available to meet with you as needed during the writing phases of your project
  • Provide timely feedback to the committee chair and you
  • Maintain an easily accessed record of communications with you that describes feedback provided to you and expectations for addressing the feedback

Expectations for Project Submission/Graduation

You can expect the following from your Committee Members as it relates to the submission of your project and graduation:

  • Facilitate presentations and publications from the DNP project
  • Assist you to make professional connections that will serve your continued professional growth after graduation

To be successful with your project and DNP coursework, we recommend that students assess their competencies in the following areas and address any limitations.

  • Competent academic computing skills are necessary. These skills include word processing, spreadsheet management, presentation tools, internet information retrieval, and digital library searching. Please contact your chair for remediation resources.
  • The Purdue University Northwest Library offers resources to students that will be helpful for performing digital library tasks while enrolled in the program.
  • Mathematical and statistical techniques will be used in various courses throughout your  program.  If you haven’t used these techniques recently, we have provided you with links to tutorials provided by Khan Academy.  These tutorials are very helpful and short.  In some cases, we recommend an entire unit on a particular topic.  In other cases, we have identified the most relevant section of the unit depending on your comfort level with the topics.  For the Math, Algebra, and Statistics Tutorials, see Practicum Inquiry Project Resources in the DNP student handbook table of contents.

Practice Residency Requirements, Information, and Deadlines

The following guidelines are to help you organize your experience.

  1. Review the objectives of the course for which you are enrolling.
  2. Meet with your faculty member/committee chairperson to:
    1. Establish your goals/objectives to meet the course objectives.
    2. Discuss the activities you will participate in to reach your goal.
    3. Identify deliverables to be evaluated at the completion of the course.
    4. Detail a timeline for course completion.
    5. Sign Residency Contract:  Note there must be one contract for each course. Both you and your faculty/chair will keep a copy.
  3. Maintain a residency log.
    1. The log will include:
      1. Learning outcomes/objectives
      2. Residency time logs
      3. Evidence of activities
        • Meeting agendas/minutes
        • Conference brochures/certificate of attendance
      4. Identified deliverables
        Examples include:

        • Research paper
        • Development of written protocol
        • Synthesis paper
        • Evaluation of systems change that you implemented
        • Advocacy paper
        • Residency summary paper
  4. Meet with your faculty/chair at least monthly to touch base and receive feedback. Meetings can be held by phone, video conference, or in person.
  5. Make sure that you submit all deliverables by agreed-upon deadlines.

Purdue University Northwest, College of Nursing
DNP Residency Information Requirements: When to Submit and How

All students are responsible for submitting the following information prior to the first residency course and as needed (Exception, if the health policy residency course is the first residency course, you can wait until your first cognate (or independent study) residency).  Deadlines for submitting residency information:

April 1 for Summer Residency
June 1 for Fall Residency
November 1 for Spring Residency 

Note: Students will not be allowed to begin residency experiences until all residency requirements are met. Additionally, students must continue to update residency requirements as needed in order to remain in residency settings.

Following is a list of all information to submit and the corresponding submission schedule.

  • DNP students will purchase CastleBranch’s Medical Document Manager to submit required documents. Refer to the Residency Information and Submission deadlines document located in the DNP portal for purchasing information.
    • Note, results of services and training purchased through CastleBranch will automatically upload.

Four months before the first residency access CastleBranch at to purchase the required criminal background check. If not available through other means, students may also access CastleBranch to purchase:

  • 10-panel drug screen
  • HIPAA eLearning module
  • OSHA eLearning module
Required Information When to Submit
Prior to 1st practicum Annually Within 1 month before expiration
Criminal background check: Refer to the practicum information document located in the DNP  portal for purchasing information.

Must complete within 4 months prior to first residency. Only CastleBranch background checks will be accepted. We cannot accept background checks completed through places of employment. Note: some residency sites may require repeated background checks.

10-panel drug screen: May complete through CastleBranch. Refer to the residency information document located in the DNP portal for ordering and purchasing information.

If not completed through CastleBranch, upload results. Must complete within 4 months prior to first residency. Note: some residency sites may require repeated drug screens.

HIPAA E-Learning module: May complete through CastleBranch. Refer to the residency information document located in the DNP portal for ordering and purchasing information.

If not completed through CastleBranch, upload validation of HIPAA training.

OSHA E-Learning module: May complete through CastleBranch. Refer to the residency practicum information document located in the DNP portal for ordering and purchasing information.

If not completed through CastleBranch, upload validation of OSHA training.

Validation of CPR certification. CPR will be acceptable if it is a BLS course for healthcare providers. Facility requirements will supersede PNW requirements. X X
Communicable Diseases and Disease Exposure Policy, signed. See this section of portal for form. X
Validation of RN License that corresponds to state where practicum will occur X X
Proof of health insurance X X
Proof of influenza vaccine X X (due by Oct. 31)
Physical Examination Summary, signed. See this section of portal for form. X
TB testing/screening: QuantiFERON-TB Gold test results. X X (may use TST for annual updates)

•       Hepatitis B titer or signed statement of refusal of vaccine. See this section of portal for statement.

•       Measles (rubeola), mumps, rubella (MMR) titer X
•       Varicella titer X
Proof of polio vaccination (3 dose series of IPV or OPV). If a vaccination record is not available, obtain a single lifetime booster dose of IPV for adults and submit proof of booster. X
Proof of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) booster as adult (within past 5 years) X
Universal Precautions Policy and Instruction Acknowledgment, signed. See this section of portal for policy. X X
Residency Information Form to be emailed to the College of Nursing Graduate Program Secretary. Note: this form does not need to be uploaded into CastleBranch or Typhon. See this section of portal for form. Submit before each residency experience. If more than one residency facilitator in a semester, submit a separate form for each.  

All students in the Graduate Nursing Program must present evidence of registered nurse licensure for all states in which they plan to pursue their practica experiences.

Students need to undergo a comprehensive health examination performed by a healthcare provider no longer than 6 months prior to the start of the first practicum course. The healthcare provider should document a summary of the health examination on the Student Physical Examination Summary form.

All students, prior to beginning residency courses (with the exception of the Health Policy Residency), must meet immunization requirements as outlined on the Residency Requirements and Submission Deadlines section of the handbook. The College of Nursing document entitled “Communicable Diseases and Disease Exposure Policy” must be carefully read and adhered to.

All above policies and forms are located in the “Residency Information and Forms” drop-down menu within the Practicum Forms and Information Section of the DNP tab in the myPNW portal.

Students will purchase a standard lab coat and name tag to wear in residency settings that take place in healthcare facilities.  Purchasing instructions are located in the Residency Forms and Information Section of the DNP tab in the myPNW portal.

All students enrolled in residency courses are provided liability insurance purchased by the University at the time of registration. Students will receive verification of coverage through PNW email.

A behavioral objective is a learning outcome stated in measurable terms, which gives direction to the learner’s experience and becomes the basis for student evaluation.

Objectives may vary in several respects. They may be general or specific, concrete or abstract, cognitive, affective, or psychomotor. Cognitive objectives emphasize intellectual outcomes, such as knowledge, understanding, and thinking skills. Affective objectives emphasize feeling and emotion, such as interests, values, attitudes, appreciation, and methods of adjustment. Psychomotor objectives emphasize motor skills, such as physical assessment skills and administration of chemotherapy.

Points in writing behavioral objectives:

  1. Begin each behavioral objective with a verb. The critical aspect of any behavioral objective is the verb selected to indicate expected behavior from learning activities.
  2. State each objective in terms of learner performance. A behavioral objective is one that is considered to be observable and measurable. Behavior is generally construed to be an action of an individual that can be seen, felt, or heard by another person.
  3. State each objective so that it includes only one general learning outcome.

Examples of objectives

At the graduate level of nursing education, it is expected that learning objectives will be general, abstract, and cognitive or affective. Examples of appropriate objectives for graduate students are as follows:

  • Cognitive: Create an assessment tool based on a nursing theory for patients experiencing pain.
  • Cognitive: Evaluate the usefulness of nursing research in clinical practice.
  • Affective: Accept professional responsibility for change in problem clinical situations.

Illustrative verbs for stating specific learning objectives:

Design Compare Decide
Generalize Predict Defend
Criticize Simplify Evaluate
Modify Synthesize Explain
Analyze Systematize Revise
Appraise Conclude Formulate
Combine Contrast Plan

Many references are available concerning Behavioral Objectives. The materials in this guide were taken from:  Gronlund, N. E. (2004). Writing instructional objectives for teaching and assessment (7th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

**Reviewed January 2023**