Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program at Holy Family University aligns with AACN’s Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice—providing nurses with the skills and tools to impact systems of care to improve patient outcomes and enhance quality of care.

The blended class format offers students flexibility while maintaining a close relationship to faculty members. The small class size, progression as a cohort, and faculty members who live the mission of the university are just a few of the features that make the Holy Family DNP program unique. Additionally, it is possible that students can continue in their current positions while going to school. In some cases, the final DNP scholarly project can be done at the student’s place of employment.

This program is hosted at our Newtown, Pennsylvania location.

The MSN–DNP Leadership track entry point begins in the fall and spring semester. This program is designed for direct or indirect care advanced practice nurses who want to earn their doctorate consistent with the ANCC goals. These students must have earned a master’s in nursing in an advanced nursing practice specialty from a nationally accredited CCNE or NLNAC program or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in a health related profession. Students may be eligible to sit for the Nurse Executive Basic National Certification Exam in this specialty. The evening-only, blended learning, cohort program is designed to be completed in as few as 2 years.

DNP Program Objectives

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program will:

  • Provide a doctoral nursing curriculum that is designed to address current and future global health care needs and issues in a variety of health care settings.
  • Prepare graduates for positions of leadership in advanced nursing practice.

DNP Program Outcomes

At the completion of the program, the Holy Family University DNP graduate will be able to:

  1. Synthesize nursing and multidisciplinary theories of practice to develop new practice approaches.
  2. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership skills and behaviors that emphasize practice, ongoing improvement of health outcomes, and ensure patient safety.
  3. Disseminate new knowledge to improve healthcare outcomes.
  4. Implement programs using information technology for quality improvement and evaluation of healthcare outcomes.
  5. Design, influence and implement healthcare policies that frame healthcare financing, practice regulation, access, safety, quality, and efficacy.
  6. Provide effective team leadership, play a central role in establishing interprofessional teams, participate in the work of the team, and assume leadership of the team when appropriate.
  7. Engage in leadership to integrate and institutionalize evidence-based clinical prevention and population health services for individuals, aggregates, and populations.
  8. Design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions based on nursing science and other sciences, as appropriate to the area of specialization.

DNP Scholarly Project

The DNP Project is designed for students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to the program outcomes. The project will demonstrate synthesis of the students’ work and lay the groundwork for future scholarship. The work may take a number of forms. The use of evidence to improve either practice or patient outcomes is the hallmark of a well-executed DNP project.

The competed DNP project produces a tangible and deliverable academic product that is derived from the practice immersion experience and is reviewed and evaluated by a DNP Project Team. Dissemination of the project outcomes is essential and should be targeted to appropriate audiences to ensure impact.

Clinical Requirements

The number of clinical hours required is 1,046. To best serve your needs, Holy Family University maintains a clinical placement specialist for the program to assist students with their field placements.


The School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions is currently seeking accreditation for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). On September 5, 2018, representatives from the CCNE will visit Holy Family University to review the DNP program

The Commission provides the opportunity for program constituents to submit, in writing, comments concerning a program's qualifications for accreditation status. Program constituents include healthcare facilities, faculty teaching in and students enrolled in the DNP program.

Comments about the DNP program should be directed to CCNE. Written comments are accepted until 21 days before the scheduled visit. Only signed comments are accepted by CCNE. CCNE shares third-party comments with members of the evaluation team prior to the visit, but at no time during the review process are these comments shared with the program. If you would like to submit a third-party comment for a program currently under review, please submit to

Or, if you prefer, mail comments to:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Attn: Third-Party Comments
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess the following qualifications for admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

  • Completion of the Holy Family University Graduate Application form along with the Application Fee (fee is waived for alums).
  • Current unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse, an advanced practice license is applicable.
  • Graduate from a CCNE or ACEN accredited BSN and/or MSN program.
  • All Official transcripts from previous colleges and nursing schools attended.
    • Undergraduate transcripts must include nursing research, statistics, nursing leadership and community health nursing coursework.
    • Overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • A competitive candidate would have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 and one year experience providing direct nursing care.
    • No undergraduate nursing course grade less than a C.
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from an academic source and one from a professional/clinical source.
  • Current resume or CV.
  • Personal interview.
  • Statement of Goals and writing sample: the candidate is to write on a topic of professional goals and a health care issue that could possibly serve as the inspiration for a future DNP scholarly project.
  • English language proficiency: If English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, submission of results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language is required.
    •  Applicants must achieve the minimum score (22) in all sections (writing, speaking, reading, listening). Results should be sent directly to Holy Family University.

Application Fee: $50 (waived for alumni)

Tuition and Fees: 2017-2018

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