The Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner is a post-BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice program focused on the primary care of families. The curriculum emphasizes knowledge, skills and values that foster one’s ability to lead change, while addressing health needs and concerns of families and communities. Nursing scholarship and advanced autonomous practice as a primary care Nurse Practitioner, frames the critical exploration of knowledge in transcultural nursing, integrative healthcare practices, transformational leadership, and health assessment.
Within the framework of liberal arts education and guided by the values of the Lutheran Church, the post-BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) to DNP/FNP track of study prepares nurses for advanced nursing leadership and integrative primary care of families across cultures and care settings. Emphasis is on eliminating health inequities through peaceful, just, and collaborative actions that uphold and improve human potential.
Graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner program are prepared to:
- Negotiate the complexity of multicultural care settings and care systems to eliminate health inequities among populations and communities.
- Challenge conventional knowledge about illness through an ecological approach to social determinants of health.
- Lead change through building coalitions with marginalized people that are based on mutuality and common cause.
- Provide primary care to persons, families and communities with particular consideration for those who are underserved and/or marginalized by dominant societal structures.
- Integrate scientific evidence based guidelines into clinical practice.
- Students are able to synthesize, integrate, and apply nursing science with knowledge from other disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practice to improve healthcare outcomes in emerging care settings.
- Students are prepared to lead interprofessional health care teams in creating and sustaining change at the organizational and policy levels.
- Students will interpret and employ transcultural advocacy skills to promote health of the global community through local action.
- Scholarly exchange occurs among students and faculty through an open and supportive teaching-learning environment.
- Students will translate transcultural learning experiences and knowledge to influence current and future practice issues.
- Faculty are adequately prepared to teach specific content in the doctoral program.
- The curriculum is systematically evaluated and adapted to evolving changes in health care.
- Students are able to assess, treat, and manage disease process in order to promote wellness among patients and families across the lifespan.
- Students are eligible to apply for certification as a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner upon graduation.
The program is structured to admit students beginning each fall semester. Students take courses on a full-time basis during the completion of their 500 level courses, pre-FNP 800 level courses, and during the didactic and clinical courses in the FNP program.
Length of program: The Post-BSN to DNP/FNP track of study leads to eligibility for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and requires a minimum of 83 semester credit hours, including 56 didactic credit hours and 23 clinical credit hours.
A total of 19 didactic courses (56 semester credits) constitute the DNP/FNP program. Didactic classes, structured practica, and clinical experiences are taught in a variety of flexible schedules that are responsive to student needs. 500 level courses consist of six classes a semester – five hours of class time, in addition to taking a one credit practicum course associated with the didactic course. The DNP courses (NUR 800 level), are taught in a variety of immersion models: one format is two days a month – eight hours of class time for the first day and four hours the subsequent morning. Other courses are offered in an immersion format of two days of class per semester with 3 half-day seminars. The FNP courses (final two years of study) are offered on Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday, approximately six times a semester, class time hours will vary from 8 to 12 hours. Web-based assignments are integrated into all classes through Moodle.
Community practicum experiences may be scheduled during the class meeting days as well. Additionally, some courses may be taught in an immersion format, where students and faculty are “immersed” in a unique socio-cultural context and course content and a set number of practicum hours are condensed into seven to fourteen days.
Class attendance is expected and should be considered a key responsibility, not only to one’s self, but to one’s classmates and the course instructor. Classes are held on Augsburg’s campus in Minneapolis and in Rochester, MN, at Bethel Lutheran Church (810 3rd Ave SE) the location of Augsburg’s learning site or at Hermitage Farm Center for Healing, 6415 West River Road NW, Rochester, MN. Video conferencing using Zoom technology is used for some of the classes. However, students must be prepared to drive to Rochester and/or Minneapolis for classes. If weather is inclement, Zoom technology is used.
Practica (for DNP courses) / Clinicals (for FNP courses)
Practica are organized to give flexibility and individual choice to students to support their increasing independence and depth of practice experience at the doctoral level. Students select practicum experiences that are either structured immersions in a variety of cultural contexts led by nursing faculty or that are student initiated and individually directed experiences mentored by nursing faculty. FNP clinical sites will be arranged by clinical faculty.
In a 15-week semester, practicum hours are computed as follows:
- 1 semester credit hour = 45 clock hours of practicum time per semester
- 2 semester credit hours = 90 clock hours of practicum time per semester
- 3 semester credit hours = 135 clock hours of practicum time per semester
To earn the DNP/FNP, students must complete a total of 1,035 practicum hours. Students will be allowed to transfer up to 400 practicum hours from their master’s in nursing. To complete the DNP/FNP, students must complete 630 clinical hours (530 hours of primary care of the adult and 100 hours of primary care of children and women’s health and 35 clinical for integrative health). As such, all students will register for at least 23 semester credits of practica.
Seminars focus on integration of conceptual learning with field practice developing the student’s particular practice interest. Students are required to participate in a total of four one-semester-credit doctoral seminars during the DNP/FNP program. The final seminar culminates in the project presentation and completion of the requirements for the DNP degree.
Study Abroad and Away
The Department of Nursing works closely with cultural guides and nurse mentors in various contexts of care in emerging care settings at home and abroad. The Center for Global Education and Experience is a partner with the Department of Nursing in developing and facilitating study abroad opportunities in Guatemala, Mexico, Namibia, Pine Ridge, SD, and England. Additional collaborative partners include the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) in Namibia. A detailed listing of practica and immersion experiences abroad and away can be found at the nursing website (www.augsburg.edu/nursing).
Final DNP/FNP Project
Final DNP/FNP projects must make a significant impact on nursing practice and health outcomes of populations and communities, demonstrate an evidence-based contribution to existing nursing knowledge, and be suitable for presentation or publication in a peer-reviewed venue. Through this scholarly project students demonstrate leadership in synthesizing and applying scientific knowledge to practice challenges in local and/or system wide contexts of care. Students should begin working on their DNP/FNP projects in the early stages of the program and continue throughout. The student’s scholarly project is planned in collaboration with a major faculty advisor.
For a complete list of courses and descriptions, see the Course Description Search.
Admission to the DNP/FNP
Applicants to the Doctor of Nursing Practice FNP program must have:
- A completed application form and payment of application fee.
- An earned baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN or BAN), master’s degree in nursing, or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP), from a nationally accredited institution and a nationally accredited nursing program.
- A minimum of five years active and current clinical practice as a Registered Nurse.
- Evidence of current unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse. MN license required. Other state licenses will be required for clinical rotations.
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (Applicants with a college or university degree completed outside of the United States must submit an official evaluation from World Educational Services. All costs related to document translations and evaluations are applicants’ responsibility.
- GPA of 3.0 from previous baccalaureate nursing program; GPA of 3.2 from previous masters in nursing program or DNP program.
- Three professional letters of recommendation.
- A 2-3 page professional essay responding to a posted question on the admission application.
- Documentation verifying the number of practice hours completed in a nationally accredited graduate nursing program, if applicable. (A maximum of 400 practice hours may be transferred into the DNP/FNP tract of study from a nationally accredited master’s in nursing program.)
- A current Curriculum Vitae.
- Successful personal interview with Augsburg Nursing Faculty.
- Evidence of a completed undergraduate statistics course (within the last 5 years) on an official transcript before enrolling in the Nursing Research course (NUR520) & the associated practicum (NUR520P).
- Evidence of up to date immunizations per Department/University requirements
- Evidence of HIPAA training.
- Satisfactory results of a certified federal criminal background check at time of admission and annually thereafter; additional testing may be required for clinical placement, e.g., alcohol, drug testing, HIV testing, etc.
The number of applicants admitted to the DNP/FNP program will be limited and based on availability of faculty members that share a student’s practice interests and goals. Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not ensure that an applicant will be admitted to the program.
The above Admission Criteria are current as of April 2017 and are subject to change.
Applicants who have graduated from a foreign nursing program, should submit their coursework for validation to the World Education Service (WES) or the National Association of Credential Evaluators (NACES) and have the reports sent directly to Augsburg University. Additionally, internationally-educated applicants may request the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) (www.cgfns.org) to forward their educational credentials report to the Minnesota State Board of Nursing. Once their credentials are verified, applicants must apply for licensure and demonstrate successful passing of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
Nurses who have previously submitted CGFNS credential verification in a state other than Minnesota, who have passed the NCLEX, will be considered for admission and must meet the same residency requirements expected of all students.
Applicants whose first language is not English must submit score evidence from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score report of 80 on the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) with a subscore of 20 on the written and 20 on the speaking sections. See Graduate Admissions for more information. (www.augsburg.edu/grad/international)
Evaluation of academic performance in the DNP program will be based on letter grades. See detailed information in the Academic Programs and Policies
Class attendance is expected and should be considered a key responsibility, not only to one’s self, but to one’s classmates and the course instructor. Instructors may lower grades if attendance and participation is lacking. Individual syllabi will contain individual instructors’ requirements. Because classes are held in Rochester and Minneapolis, students must prepare to drive to class at least once per semester.
Academic Probation and Dismissal Policies
Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the DNP program. If a student falls below a 3.0 average, the student will be placed on probation for the following term. A 3.0 cumulative grade point average must be restored in order for a student to be removed from probation. The grading scale in the DNP-FNP courses require students to achieve a grade of a B+. If a student receives a grade of a B or less, the student must petition to the faculty of the DNP program before being allowed to continue in the program. If a second grade of a B or less is received, the student may be dismissed from the program.
Students may also be dismissed for behavior detrimental to the program, such as a gross violation of University policy as published in the Student Guide. Dismissal would occur only after established procedures were followed.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which has accredited the Master of Arts in Nursing and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs at Augsburg. Augsburg is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
For a complete list of Augsburg’s accreditations, approvals, and memberships, see the listing in the Accreditation, Approvals, and Memberships section.