DNP Curriculum & Specialties

Students will receive a broad foundation of educational preparation in advanced care of the selected specialty population, nursing theories, evidence-based practice and quality improvement methods. Graduates of the program are prepared as providers of care at a beginning level of advanced practice within their specialty, aand as scholarly clinicians who use evidence-based practice methods to improve the health-care quality and patient safety. Health assessment, health promotion, health-care maintenance, clinical decision-making and illness management are emphasized in the classroom and clinical practice settings. Students complete a minimum of 1,000 practice immersion hours with extensive clinical time and a faculty-mentored DNP project. Upon degree completion, graduates will be eligible to take the national certification exam and then apply for licensure in the graduate's practice state.

Specialties (Non-Clinical)

The DNP in Executive Health Systems Leadership prepares you with advanced skills and competencies necessary to assume and retain a key leadership position in any health care organization.

Full-Time DNP-EHSL Part-Time DNP-EHSL

The Informatics advanced specialty prepares nurses to understand, implement and optimize information systems across the health care industry.

Part-Time DNP-I

The MS-DNP curriculum is designed to prepare the advanced practice nurse with a strong scientific foundation and the leadership skills to translate knowledge quickly and effectively to benefit patients in practice environments.

Full-Time MS to DNP Part-Time MS to DNP

Specialties (Clinical Placement Required)

The AGACNP specialty focuses on providing health care for acutely ill adults (from the age of 17 or older), with multiple, complex and/or life-threatening problems.


The FNP advanced specialty focuses on providing health care to individuals and families across the life span.

Full-Time DNP-FNP Part-Time DNP-FNP

The DNP-NA advanced specialty provides high levels of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to prepare nurses to provide quality anesthesia care.

Full-Time DNP-NA

Program Statistics
Total Number of Graduates/Students 31
Graduates Employed in AZ 21
Attrition Rate 1/31 (.03%)
  Class of 2019 Class of 2018 Class of 2017
Number of Students 13 8 10
Employed 100% 100% 90%
National Certification Exam (NCE) pass rate 77% 100% 70%
The Nurse Anesthesia program is accredited by:
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
222 S. Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068-4001
Phone: 847-655-1160
Fax: 847-692-7137

The PNP advanced specialty focuses on providing health care for children (from newborn to 21 years of age) including wellness exams, physicals, and sick visits.

Full-Time DNP-PNP Part-Time DNP-PNP

If you are interested in attaining broader advanced clinical practice skills with strong research competencies, consider taking advantage of our dual Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees. You will be prepared at the highest level of nursing science and professional nursing practice, and with advanced skills for engaging in research to create, apply and translate new knowledge to improve health care – in practice domains and/or academia. You will work closely with clinical faculty mentors to develop specialty competencies, as well as faculty research mentors to create a program of research. The PhD-DNP Dual Degrees option is available upon admission to one of the doctoral programs. Dual degree students must satisfy both DNP and PhD admission and enrollment requirements. The College of Nursing can accept up to 17 units in common from PhD or DNP coursework to meet requirements. For more information access the Dual Degree FAQs or contact Allen Prettyman, DNP Program Interim Director.

The PMHNP advanced specialty focuses on providing psychiatric and mental health care for individuals and families across the life span.


Program Outcomes

  • Generate and disseminate nursing practice knowledge to stimulate research and improve clinical outcomes
  • Improve health outcomes through scientifically based advanced practice within a specialty
  • Engage in and lead collaborative practice teams
  • Influence clinical practice transformation and policy initiatives.

DNP Program Features

The University of Arizona College of Nursing Rural Health Professions Program (UA CON RHPP) is an innovative program to create a community of doctorally-prepared advanced practice registered nurses who have didactic and clinical expertise in providing care to rural and medically underserved patients and will serve as leaders in improving the quality and access to care for these patients.

The Rural Health Professions Program is supported through the Arizona Area Health Education Center (AzAHEC).

Consistent with the mission of the AzAHEC program, the UA CON RHPP aims to develop a competent, interprofessional healthcare workforce to practice in rural and medically underserved areas, with a particular focus on Arizona. By providing additional support to students in their clinical rotations in rural and medically underserved sites across Arizona, the aim is to have students return to these sites to practice following graduation. This program also provides experiences and opportunities to develop expertise with interprofessional collaboration among healthcare disciplines.

The program is open to all UA CON Doctor of Nursing Practice students, including both primary (e.g. Family Nurse Practitioner) and specialty care (e.g. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia), recognizing the need for both primary and specialty care in rural and medically underserved areas. Students do not need to be Arizona residents. However, additional support is available for Arizona rotations.

Learn more about the requirements & benefits of the program by downloading the program guide, or contact the Program Director. 

Contact Dr. Pacheco, the Program Director, for more information:

Christy Pacheco, DNP, FNP-BC
Director, College of Nursing Rural Health Professions Program
(520) 626-4039

Resident Intensive Summer Experience (RISE)

RISE is an intensive learning experience designed to support student success in the Doctor of Nursing Practice or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing programs. All doctoral students are required to attend RISE in Tucson, AZ on an annual basis. RISE attendance for part-time students may vary. RISE typically occurs in August prior to the fall semester each year. Some required courses will begin during RISE.

Certificates and Additional Options

Nurse Practitioner Certificates: We offer a post-Master of Science (MS) certificate in four nurse practitioner specialty areas: family, adult-gerontology acute care, psychiatric mental health and pediatric.

Rural Telehealth Certificate:  Prepares nurses to provide telehealth services in rural, medically underserved areas, and to serve as leaders in improving quality and access to care for these patients.