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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Advancing Evidence into Practice
Jemma Ayvazian
"When I learned that Johns Hopkins matched my needs and interests, I didn’t apply for any other program."
Jemma Ayvazian , DNP '13, ANP-BC

In 2003, Jemma Ayvazian was a typical military spouse, residing on a U.S. Army base in Germany--then she saw the veterans coming back from Iraq. "That's when I set a goal to become a nurse," she says. After earning her bachelor's and master's degrees, she began the DNP program at Johns Hopkins. For her capstone project, she designed a comprehensive care program for veterans that addressed mental health, pain management, and traumatic brain injury, too.

Read Jemma's Story
  • Program

    Program Overview

    Planning to drive healthcare innovation and influence policy? Get the analytic skills and evidence-based practice principles you need in the DNP program at Johns Hopkins. You'll forge your own intellectual path and wrap up your curriculum with an intense Capstone experience. You'll address significant healthcare problems-defined by your interests and based on your experience-in real time and in your practice setting. And you'll find numerous opportunities for collaboration, challenging problems for study, and a tradition of rigorous scholarship.

    Those who earn a Johns Hopkins DNP degree:

    • Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership for quality and safety in healthcare systems
    • Apply clinical scholarship, as well as information systems and technology, to provide and/or transform healthcare
    • Use strategies of risk reduction/illness prevention, health promotion, and health maintenance to improve the care of individuals, families, and populations
    • Develop, evaluate, advocate, and provide leadership for healthcare policy that shapes healthcare financing, regulation, access, and delivery

    Executive Mentorship

    The Nurse Leader Executive Mentorship Program has been established by the School of Nursing to provide extraordinary executive mentorship opportunities for students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

    This opportunity is for students entering year two of the DNP program. The mentorship program enables three exceptional DNP students to participate each year. More

    Available States

    In accordance with state law, the School of Nursing cannot currently enroll in this program students who reside and/or plan to complete clinical/practice hours in certain states. View States

  • Program

    Program Requirements

    • Bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program or equivalency
    • Master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program
    • At least a 3.0 GPA in a master's of nursing program
    • Demonstrated commitment to nursing practice and scholarly pursuit
    • RN Licensure and APRN certification or licensure to the state where the capstone courses will be completed
    • An interview with faculty either in person or by phone


    Graduate Level Biostatistics (3 credits): Demonstrates evidence of statistical literacy and statistical reasoning enabling students to critically read and evaluate healthcare literature. Course must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a letter grade of B or better.

    Completed application

    • Application form and non-refundable $100 application fee
    • Three recommendations
    • Official transcripts from all previous colleges/universities attended
    • Current resume or curriculum vitae
    • Goal statement/project proposal

    Capstone Project

    The DNP program includes a capstone project which provides an opportunity for the student to apply advanced theoretical, policy and specialty knowledge and skills in clinical practice and systems level experiences.

    During the capstone, students must demonstrate an ability to employ effective communication and collaboration skills to influence healthcare quality and safety, and negotiate successful change in care delivery processes for individuals, groups, or populations across a broad spectrum of healthcare delivery systems.

    Upon completion of the capstone, the student will demonstrate:

    1. Advanced clinical judgment, expertise and specialization in a defined content area
    2. Advanced levels of systems thinking and accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care to improve health care quality, safety, and outcomes
    3. Leadership in the development and implementation of patient-driven, institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international health policy in a select content/specialty area

    Applicants are required to propose a mentored capstone project that meets their individual needs and career goals during the application process. Projects should focus on clinical problems and/or organizational systems to promote effective, efficient and accessible care for individuals, groups, or populations.

    International Students

    This program does not qualify for F-1 or J-1 student sponsorship. Legal Permanent Residents and non-immigrants who are otherwise physically present in the U.S. and in a status that allows for full or part-time study, may pursue this program.

  • Curriculum


    The program's executive session format can be completed in six semesters of full-time study, integrating approximately two weeks of on-site classes each semester during the first year with online and virtual learning experiences.

    View Curriculum

    Onsite Dates

    Dates are still being determined at this time. Stay tuned.

  • Tuition

    Tuition and Other Costs

    Billed Expenses (June 2014 - May 2015)

    $27,436(1st year, 19 credits)

    Per credit cost: $1,444
    Matriculation fee: $500 (onetime only fee for first-time enrolled JHU students)
    Health Insurance: $3,679**

    Estimated Other Expenses***

    On-Site Allowance: $5,670
    Books/Supplies: $2,320

    **All students must have health coverage. Purchase of the School’s plan is optional.
    ***Amounts for other expenses vary based upon student's selection of books, supplies, and living arrangements.

    Billed expenses are subject to change without prior notice. 

  • Funding

    Funding Opportunities

    The Office of Student Financial Services is available to provide counseling on financing opportunities to ensure that students are able to pursue their educational goals.

    The School of Nursing participates in several financial aid programs that can help to pay education expenses, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work study. Students typically fund their studies through a combination of these sources.

    Scholarships & Grants

    Grants are awards based on financial need that do not have to be repaid. Many students also benefit from scholarships and awards based on merit. More


    Many students will avail themselves of loans to help finance their School of Nursing Education. If necessary, we encourage you to borrow only what is absolutely essential to cover your educational costs. More

    Employment Opportunities

    Many students locate part-time employment to help pay education expenses. Numerous positions are available on campus and within various community based organizations. These jobs provide students with opportunities to gain practical work experience. Most positions are funded through the Federal Work-Study Program. More

    Other Funding Sources

    We encourage students to seek outside funding opportunities. Information can be obtained from library resource books and professional organizations and alumni organizations. More

  • FAQ

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a DNP?

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has proposed that the DNP degree will be the level of entry for all advanced practice nurses by 2015.

    Is a DNP necessary?

    Changing demands of today's complex healthcare environment, outlined in recent reports from the Institute of Medicine, require nurses serving in specialty positions have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. Nurses are constantly working with individuals who have a high level of preparation in their respective fields - physicians, pharmacists, and other health providers. The effectiveness of nurses is directly related to the amount and type of education they receive, and recent research has established a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes.

    What knowledge, skills and abilities will a DNP provide over my previous education?

    Practice-focused doctoral programs prepare experts in specialized advanced practice nursing. Preparation includes the development of advanced competencies for increasingly complex practice and leadership roles; enhanced knowledge to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes; and enhanced leadership skills to strengthen practice and health care delivery.
    AACN's Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice

    Differences between the DNP and PhD programs

    The DNP program builds upon the current master's program content to prepare nurse leaders for evidence-based practice in both direct patient care and executive roles. This requires competence in translating research in practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision-making, and implementing viable clinical and organizational innovations to change practice.

    The PhD program is designed to prepare nurses for careers as research scientists, often in academic or governmental positions.





    Prepare nurses at the highest level of nursing practice who will lead in applying and translating research into practice

    Prepares nurse scholars to conduct research that advances the theoretical foundations of nursing and health care globally

    Competencies and Content

    Knowledge and skills in applying and translating research into practice; leads dissemination and integration of new knowledge in health care organizations

    Knowledge and skills in theoretical, methodological, and analytic approaches to the discovery and application of knowledge in nursing and health care

    Program Outcome

    Practice leaders such as an advanced practice nurse caring for individuals; or other practice leadership positions such as in nursing and health care administration

    Nurse scientist prepared for a career in research in academia or other research-intensive environments

    Hopkins Program Hallmarks

    An intense practice immersion experience with expert clinical faculty

    An intense mentored research experience with a faculty investigator with an established funded program of research

    Final Project

    A practice application-oriented DNP capstone project

    Completion and defense of an original research project

    I'm currently a Nurse Practitioner, will I have to return to school to get a DNP in order to practice?

    No, advanced practice nurses with master's degrees will be able to continue to practice in their current capacities.

    Are graduates able to become nurse educators in schools of nursing?

    Yes, but the DNP degree does not prepare nurses to be educators. Graduates from all doctoral programs (DNP and PhD) who want to teach should take additional coursework in education. Expectations of faculty in terms of scholarship (i.e., research and publications) vary widely across institutions.

    Are GRE's required?

    No, not for the post-master's option.

    Will credits from other programs transfer?

    Up to six credits from another institution may be transferred into the DNP program with approval.

    Is the program accredited?

    Yes, our DNP program has full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education until 2015.

    Is part-time study an option?

    No, currently part-time study is not an option for this program.

    Is a dissertation required?

    No, a dissertation is not required. Instead, a capstone project will be completed by the end of the program. See the "Capstone Project" for details.

    Is funding available?

    Funding is available from a variety of sources including employment tuition benefits, and state and federal loan and scholarship programs. Some sources of funding include:

    Is the program available to international students?

    This program does not qualify for F-1 or J-1 student sponsorship. Legal Permanent Residents and non-immigrants who are otherwise physically present in the U.S. and in a status that allows for full or part-time study, may pursue this program.

Application Deadline

Summer Entry
Rolling for 2014

20 Seats Still Available!

Apply Now

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Important policies, procedures, and resources for ease of reference.

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