Your browser does not support JavaScript! or JavaScript is currently disabled.

BSN-to-DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice

School of Nursing & Health Sciences

Show course with description


Practicum Requirement(s):

Minimum of 1,000 supervised practicum hours. See the Practicum section, below, for more information.





Seventeen Required Courses



68 quarter credits

Required courses:

Collaboration, Communication, and Case Analysis for Doctoral Learners

This course prepares learners for doctoral-level coursework in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Throughout the course, learners analyze and evaluate how the scholar-practitioner model provides guidance for developing competencies in effective and ethical health care leadership, including professional and interprofessional collaboration, communication, inclusion, and decision making. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Management in Advanced Contemporary Nursing

The focus of this course is on the management skills needed to create valuable, proactive change in health care settings and within complex health care delivery systems. Learners use conceptual and analytical skills to evaluate the links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues and apply this knowledge to professional practice.

4 quarter credits
Nursing Technology and Health Care Information Systems

Learners in this course apply information technology and research methods used within the health care environment. In particular, learners evaluate the use of technology in health care information systems for the purposes of monitoring outcomes of care and assessing quality improvement.

4 quarter credits
DNP8014 *
Global Population Health

In this course, learners analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental data and use it to develop, implement, and evaluate health promotion and disease prevention efforts in global populations. Throughout the course, learners focus on preparing themselves to lead the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, national, or international health care policy. Prerequisite(s): DNP8010. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
MSN6013 *
Principles of Advanced Nursing Practice

This course provides learners with an overview of the diverse roles and practice credentials of a master’s-prepared nurse. Learners gain insight into various aspects of master’slevel nursing practice, such as interpersonal collaboration, use of technology, and cultural competency, as well as ethical, regulatory, and legal principles as they relate to advanced nursing practice. Learners also identify the theoretical foundation(s) of current and future practice in nursing. Prerequisite(s): MSN5007. DNP Preparatory Program learners are exempt from this prerequisite.

4 quarter credits
MSN6014 *
Advanced Leadership for Contemporary Nursing

Learners in this course explore the leadership skills necessary for today’s nursing leaders. Learners develop and demonstrate the ethical, legal, and critical decision-making skills needed to support organizational and systems change and to promote critical high-quality safe care for the people they serve. Other leadership skills include addressing the needs of diverse populations, providing quality improvement and resource management, bolstering team and interprofessional relationship building, and participating in strategic planning. Throughout the course, learners also evaluate the leadership styles vital to effecting and sustaining change in today’s health care system. Prerequisite(s): MSN6013. BSN-toDNP learners must have completed or be concurrently registered in MSN6013.

4 quarter credits
Evidence-Based Practice and Technology for Nursing

In this course, learners analyze the diverse frameworks of research and evidence-based nursing practice. Learners differentiate between various types of research strategies, examine ways to search for evidence effectively and efficiently, and propose an evidence-based strategy to solve a clinical problem. Learners also evaluate ethical considerations associated with conducting research.

4 quarter credits
Economics and Decision Making in Health Care

This course helps learners develop and demonstrate concepts, principles, issues, and trends in health care economics and the economic decision-making practices employed in the health care environment. Learners analyze the political, legal, regulatory, organizational, demographical, and multicultural implications of business decisions on health care economics; explore the ways economic and stakeholder influences affect operational planning and decision making; and practice applying performance monitoring and process management measures as part of the decision-making process. Learners also examine cost-effective problem solving; community- and population-based orientation; and effective use of health care market research, analysis, and assessment.

4 quarter credits
NHS8040 *
21st-Century Health Care Leadership

This course focuses on the role of health care and public health leaders to foster change and develop relationships to improve health outcomes in diverse settings and communities. Learners gain knowledge of the challenges confronting health care and public health care leaders in the 21st century. Learners also analyze leadership theories and models, interprofessional collaboration, and ethical principles and standards. Prerequisite(s): NHS8002. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Preparing for the Professional Doctorate in Nursing and Health Sciences

In this course, learners prepare for the practice change project that serves as the culmination of the professional doctorate. Learners compare a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with a professional doctorate; identify a clinical or organizational problem or opportunity for improvement within a health care or public health setting; and apply literature search techniques to identify research related to the practice/process problem. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NHS8060 *
Scholarly Methods in Nursing and Health Sciences

In this course, learners differentiate between qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research approaches as they relate to nursing and health sciences. Throughout the course, learners evaluate research source quality, credibility, bias, and relevance to practice and identify theoretical underpinnings and conceptual frameworks within health care or public health settings. Prerequisite(s): NHS8050. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NHS8070 *
Evaluation and Interpretation of Data in Health Care

In this course, learners explore underlying concepts and reasoning related to the collection and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data in health care research. Learners apply appropriate statistical techniques and practice interpreting frequently encountered statistical outcomes. In addition, learners assess the quality of statistical and qualitative research methods reported in peer-reviewed health care literature. Prerequisite(s): NHS8060. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
NHS8700 *
Keystone: Determining Readiness for the Professional Doctorate Project

In this course, learners focus on synthesizing the knowledge and skills gained during their program. Learners state the case for their planned practice change project to demonstrate their readiness to enter the professional doctorate project process. In addition, learners identify strategies to secure a supervisor/preceptor and project site. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): NHS8070. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Learners must register for DNP9971 a minimum of four times to fulfill their program requirements.

Doctoral Capstone ‡

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and support as they complete the required milestones toward completion of a doctoral capstone. Learners apply scholarly research within a particular professional context to advance their knowledge in the science and practice of the profession and solve organization, institutional, or community concerns. Department consent is required for registration. Grading for this course is S/ NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their program requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits each






68 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

† The BSN, MSN, and DNP degree programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

‡ Learners are responsible for the cost of their travel, accommodations, food, and other expenses associated with this course.

This program does not prepare graduates for licensure as an RN or APRN.

Learners enrolled in the DNP degree program are required to maintain a current, unrestricted RN license throughout their program.



Learners enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program must have 1,000 documented hours of post-bachelor’s, hands-on practicum experience as a requirement of their program. The practicum experience requires learners to synthesize and expand the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program by applying evidence-based methods to practice. Learners are responsible for finding an appropriate preceptor to oversee the practicum experience. With their preceptors, learners then engage in in-depth work within a practice environment that is the focus of their final project. The environment for the practicum experience is a professional site at which learners, with the support of program faculty and their on-site preceptors, design and participate in a practice change initiative such as a pilot study, program evaluation, quality improvement project, evaluation of a new practice model, or consulting project. Learners use the practicum experience to help them achieve the DNP program outcomes and competencies and the learning objectives related to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

What Can I Expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Ever Wonder What a Capella Course is Like?

Sign up for a free GuidedPath Trial Course and see all the great benefits each online learning format has to offer.

Get started

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.