Doctor of Nursing Practice

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) School of Nursing (SON) was approved to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree by the LSU Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana State Board of Regents in December 2011. LSUHSC SON enrolled the first cohort of students in the post-masters DNP program in the fall of 2012. The first cohort of post-masters DNP students graduated in December 2013. LSUHSC School of Nursing is the only school of nursing in Louisiana affiliated within an academic health sciences center which affords students unique opportunities for interprofessional education and research.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused doctoral nursing degree designed for nurses seeking careers in advanced clinical nursing practice and nurse executive ranks. The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is to prepare graduates in two general categories: 1) advanced practice nurse roles and 2) roles that specialize in aggregate, systems, or organizational level practice. Graduates of the DNP program are able to translate research, promote evidence based practice, and develop systems of care based on research utilization.

The DNP program consists of two pathways: BSN to DNP or Post-Masters to DNP. The DNP curriculum will provide certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse practitioners, certified clinical nurse specialists, nurse administrators, and public and community health nurses with education beyond that required for entry into practice to meet the need for safe, quality patient care in an increasingly complex health care environment. The program emphasizes critical thinking, careful assessment of current practices, and decision-making based on evaluation of the best available research. Additionally, the DNP program will serve to meet the growing need for insightful, visionary leaders and educators in the specialty.

DNP education emphasizes research application and utilization in clinical practice settings as well as interdisciplinary team building skills, organizational leadership and management development, utilization of information technology and quality improvement techniques, development and initiation of public policy, and the establishment of evidence-based practice. DNP education requires a transformational change in the education required for professional nurses and prepares them to practice at the most advanced level of nursing. The goal of the DNP program is to prepare doctoral level nurses to improve patient outcomes through the integration of evidence based practice into nursing practice.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education on October 21, 2013. The Nurse Anesthesia Post-Masters concentration was accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program (COA) in May 2012. The BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia concentration was accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Program (COA) in November 2012.

*Note: DNP Core Courses are held on Monday through Saturday a minimum of six (6) times during a semester. Students’ practicum experiences may occur weekdays, weekends, including evening and night shifts.