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Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP), 2-Year

Dr. Denise Dunford working with students in a clinical skills lab

Move into advanced practice nursing with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Overview & Distinctions


As healthcare has become more complex, the demand for health care professionals who can successfully collaborate as part of a multi-functional healthcare team has become more important than ever.

Doctors of Nursing Practice (Family Nurse Practitioner) expand on what they’ve learned as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to take on leadership roles in primary patient care, healthcare administration, research, and education.

Our doctoral program combines traditional coursework with clinical fieldwork, graduate-level research and online learning over the course of six consecutive semesters, allowing you to complete the program in as little as two years.

If you're a professional nurse who wants to enhance your knowledge and expand your professional career prospects, earning your doctor of nursing practice degree with a focus in family nurse practitioner might be the ideal offering you've been searching for.  

Our Family Nurse Practitioner DNP degree is offered online and on campus.

What You'll Learn

As a student in D’Youville’s DNP program, you’ll learn from working professionals from a wide array of career paths and specialties. As professionals engaged in the day-to-day practice of healthcare, they’ll be able to educate you about cutting-edge healthcare issues, share their knowledge of advanced practice and guide you as you move forward in developing the next stage of your career as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Family Nurse Practitioner).

Our program integrates knowledge in the dimensions that define contemporary healthcare. You'll learn the full spectrum of knowledge that today’s healthcare leaders need to master including communications, business and financial principles, and cultural sensitivity.

At D'Youville, you can earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as Family Nurse Practitioner your way — your plan of study will be personalized for your needs after a detailed evaluation of your transcripts and your documented clinical experience.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • You can start in either the fall or the spring semester.
  • Our flexible program is designed for both working professionals who want to pursue their degree part-time or students who are able to dedicate themselves to full-time study.
  • Our faculty are clinical experts in their fields and recognized for their student-centered approach that emphasizes individualized instruction and career guidance.
  • Benefit from an individualized plan of study that is created for you after a detailed evaluation of your transcripts and documented clinical hours
  • D’Youville’s nursing program reflects the college’s mission to educate professionals who contribute to the world community through leadership and service to others.
  • Established in 1942, D'Youville's nursing program has an excellent reputation as one of the best in the region for high-quality, student-centered education. 

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants to D'Youville's Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a focus in Family Nurse Practitioner program must meet the following requirements:

Application Requirements
  • Official transcripts from all college/universities attended;
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program at a college or university (or CNO in Ontario); 
  • Completion of a master's degree with specialty preparation as an advanced practice nurse (nursing practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife) from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program at a college or university (or CNO in Ontario);
  • Minimum graduate grade point average of 3.25 (based on a 4.0 system);
  • A current license to practice professional nursing in New York State or Ontario;
  • A current certification in CPR;
  • Current national certification (or exam eligibility) as an advanced practice nurse in a specialty area (where applicable);
  • Documentation of the number of clinical hours completed in prior master's degree program;
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience;
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae;
  • Evidence of active membership in at least one professional organization;
  • Favorable review with a panel of D'Youville nursing faculty;
  • Three letters of reference; the faculty prefer that one come from a college-level professor if possible, and at least one from an employer or colleague with an advanced or terminal degree, focusing on the applicant's potential for success in the doctoral program;
  • A written personal statement outlining how the applicant expects the degree to assist in achieving specific career goals.

Canadian RN students must submit two licensure items:

  • A copy of original Certificate of Registration (issued upon passing of initial examination)
  • A copy of Annual Registration Renewal (showing current unencumbered license)

An applicant may choose to submit GRE scores if they believe their application does not adequately reflect their potential to succeed in a doctoral program.


Applicants to Doctor of Nursing Practice (Family Nurse Practitioner) degree program must complete the following undergraduate course prerequisites:

  • Statistics

Canadian students must submit a 'course-by-course' evaluation (or equivalent) of all Canadian college and/or university transcripts through the World Education Services (WES).

Use the Online Course Equivalency database to see whether the courses you've taken at other institutions can be counted towards a degree at D'Youville.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students may transfer up to nine graduate credits with grades of B or better into their program at the discretion of the program director. Credits must be earned from an accredited institution in courses required by the program being pursued.



Course requirements for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (FNP) include:

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice
Degree: F.N.P. to D.N.P.

In the specific area of concentration

Course Number Course Name Credits
NUR 701

Health Literacy & Population Health Outcomes

This course explores the epidemiology of health literacy and its influence on the delivery of health care services. Individuals with low health literacy are afflicted with a higher number of chronic diseases, have worse health outcomes and generate higher health care costs when compared with their literate cohorts. Students will be introduced to the social, economic, legal, political and education-based policies that contribute to health literacy problems. Health system barriers encountered by low literate individuals who seek care will be explored. Students will work in groups to develop creative, community based solutions to identified health literacy barriers.

Prerequisites: None

NUR 702

Evidence Based Practice & IT Healthcare Delivery

This course examines the use of evidence based practice (EBP) and information technology (IT) in healthcare delivery. Using advanced Internet and database search skills, the student will learn how to critically appraise the literature and apply evidence based findings in a clinical, administrative, research, or educational health care setting.

Prerequisites: NUR-703

NUR 703

Biostatistics for Advanced Nurse Leaders

This course prepares the advance practice-nursing student to apply the tools and methods of biostatistics to clinical practice. Clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine applications are an integral component of clinical decision-making about individual patients. Advance practice nurses need to utilize biostatistics principles to provide best practice outcomes for patients.

Prerequisites: NUR-702

NUR 704

Community-Based Care of Aging Population

This course was developed for the advanced practice-nursing student preparing to work with older adults. Traditional assessment and treatment plans are often ineffective in meeting the needs of community dwelling elders. Multiply-complex health, social, personal, economic, spiritual and legal issues, not encountered by younger adults contributes to increased morbidity and mortality for the elderly. Students will work in groups to develop effective community based solutions in cases involving older adults. Future nurse leaders will be integral to the development of interdisciplinary solutions to improve outcomes for older Americans.

Prerequisites: None

NUR 705

Ethical Topics in Advanced Nursing Practice Seminar

This course studies the ethical dilemmas encountered in Health Care Professions. There are concerns that challenge the value of being human underscored in end-of-life decisions as well as those that span the bioethical literature. Analysis of a collective ethic of organizations will also be conducted.

Prerequisites: None

NUR 709

Advance Practice Role for Doctoral Nursing Leaders

This course will explore a variety of issues that affect advanced practice nursing, with specific content pertinent to family nurse practitioners. The legal and ethical underpinnings of advanced practice will be explored. Students will explore the interaction of social, cultural, political, regulatory and institutional polices that influence practice. New practice roles such as entrepreneurship will be discussed. Identifying leadership opportunities for doctoral students will be stressed.

Prerequisites: None

NUR 711

Translational Capstone: I Identify Project

This initial capstone residency experience is designed to provide the student with an intensive immersion opportunity in which they apply their foundational preparation and identify a focus for their capstone project. The student will select a mentor to work with who is an expert in their field of interest and associated with a community site or organization. During the residency, a problem that is amendable to an evidence-based solution will be identified within the clinical site.

Prerequisites: None

NUR 712

Translational Capstone II: Design And Pilot Project

The student will work with a mentor and project chair to design and pilot the translation project in Capstone II. The project committee, which is mutually agreed upon by the student and advisor, will be providing feedback and critique during this process. The project chair and second committee member will be responsible for communicating with the mentor when needed to enhance the design of the project. The student will develop a theoretically and evidence-based program to address the problem identified in Capstone I. The student will be responsible for presenting the proposed design in writing and defending orally to committee members.

Prerequisites: NUR-711

NUR 713

Translational Capstone III Implement and Evaluation

In Capstone III, the student will work with a mentor to actualize the problem defined in Capstone I and designed in Capstone II. This experience allows the student to translate evidence-based findings into practice, to evaluate program development projects, and to participate in collaborative, inter-professional approaches to health care problems. The student will implement and evaluate a theoretically and evidence-based approach to address the identified problem. The student will be responsible for completing the project, presenting it in writing and defending orally to their committee.

Prerequisites: NUR-711 NUR-712

Total 25

Interdisciplinary Course Work Required for this Major

Course Number Course Name Credits
HSA 653

Legal & Ethical Issues in HCO

This course addresses legal and ethical issues frequently encountered by health care managers. Topics include the constitutional basis for government support of health care services and constraints that law and regulation impose on the health care industry. Bioethical theory, policy formulation and decision making in the professional setting are also included. Specific problems discussed include such issues as the right to health care, allocation of scarce resources, human experimentation, choices regarding death, liability of health care providers and governing board and medical and health care staff responsibilities.

Prerequisites: HSA-615


HSA 652 Health Economics & Policy Making OR HSA 648 Intro to Financial Mgmt: Healthcare Budgeting OR NUR 614 Financial Management for Nursing Leaders

Choose one elective from HSA 652 or NUR 648 or NUR 614

HSA 705 Leadership Through Communication OR HSA 670 Health Care Consulting OR NUR 613 Nursing Leadership and Communication

Choose one elective from HSA 705 or HSA 670 or NUR 613
Total 9

Total credits: 34

An individual gap analysis assessment will be made of each applicant's transcripts to determine what additional courses or clinical hours may be needed to satisfy the DNP requirements.



Career Outlook

From hospitals to community clinics, from research facilities to private practice, and from educational institutions to the military, nurses are in high demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the nursing profession will increase 19% per year until at least 2022, making nursing, in their words, one of the few professions that’s growing “faster than average” in the United States. 

But if you’re a nurse with a master’s degree in an advanced practice specialty, you probably already know this. What you might not know is that the changing landscape of health care has created an increasing need for nurses who can function in leadership roles in everything from research to advanced clinical care, private practice and research. As someone with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner, you’ll have the credentials you need to assume these leadership positions in the future.

Job prospects for DNPs

A DNP degree can greatly expand your career options, allowing you to assume an advanced role as a healthcare professional. Typically, nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree can seek expanded career opportunities in:


Nurses with DNP degrees often find themselves playing a larger role in developing patient treatment plans, conducting research and using their knowledge to develop new policies and procedures for healthcare administration.


The advanced knowledge you’ll gain while earning your DNP can help you enter new roles in research facilities pursuing new ways of treating diseases, coping with medical issues and developing new cures.

Private Practice

Many nurses with doctorates are starting their own private practices focused on advanced practice in a wide range of specialties.

Physicians’ Offices

More and more physicians are discovering the benefits of partnering with advanced practice nurses with doctorates in order to address the expanding demands of healthcare practice and administration.

Public Health

Both policymakers and public health professionals are increasingly relying on the expertise of nurses with advanced degrees in order to address the increasingly-complex issues of public health and public health administration.

For more information about careers in nursing, visit: and

Graduate Nursing Degrees at D’Youville

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that nursing profession will increase 19% per year until at least 2022. Denise Dunford, DNS, FNP-BC, APRN, an associate professor at D’Youville, explains why D’Youville’s graduate programs prepare students to meet demands and take leadership roles in healthcare.

D'Youville Alumni Success

The D'Youville graduate nursing degree programs allow graduates to obtain leadership roles in primary patient care, health care administration, research, and education. Hear from alumni who have taken their education at D'Youville and turned it into promising careers.

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