Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Message from the Director

Dear Prospective Student,

The decision to pursue a doctoral degree is an exciting step in your career. At Fairfield, we offer a rigorous program with a personalized approach to education. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Fairfield University allows you to select or build on a specialized clinical focus as a family or psychiatric nurse practitioner, and to investigate a practice concern that intrigues you.

In choosing to earn a DNP, you'll be on the cutting edge of the profession. In 2004 members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) endorsed the DNP as the preferred degree for APRN practice. The AACN membership expressed their commitment to moving the current level of preparation necessary for APRNs from the master's degree to the doctoral level by the year 2015. Why is this necessary?

A DNP education offers APRNs:

  • The ability to appraise and apply scientific evidence to improve practice
  • The capacity to use a cross-population perspective to assess, manage, and evaluate common problems
  • A terminal degree in an advanced clinical specialty practice
  • Parity with the educational preparation of advanced practitioners in other health professions

As a DNP student at Fairfield's School of Nursing, you'll be encouraged to achieve the highest level of advanced clinical nursing practice possible through course work, seminars, and tutorials as well as clinical experiences, immersion opportunities, and a required practice dissertation. As with all education at Fairfield, yours will be rigorous, experiential, and inspirational. You'll be expected to develop a broad and thorough understanding of the:

  • Scientific and ethical foundations of reflective practice
  • Environmental, social, economic, political, and regulatory forces that affect the delivery of quality healthcare and shape public debate
  • Translation of research into practice by designing and evaluating innovations in care to improve the health status of individuals, families, and populations

Feel free to explore the possibilities of a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Fairfield University on our website. Please contact me by e-mail to clarify any questions you may have about the application process. I look forward to hearing from you about your educational and career goals soon.

Meredith Kazer, PhD, APRN, BC-A/GNP, FAAN
DNP Program Director