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Ramapo College of New Jersey offers a mainly online, post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice.

Ramapo’s 36-credit practice based program offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs, placing greater emphasis on practice and less emphasis on theory, research methodology and statistics. DNP-prepared nurses are well equipped to fully implement the science developed by nurse researchers prepared in PhD, DNSc and other research-focused nursing doctorates.

The DNP curricula builds on traditional master’s programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership, among other key areas. Courses are online with a small number of in-person sessions per course.

Program Outcomes

The DNP builds on the academic, clinical and programmatic strength of Ramapo’s BSN and MSN programs. The DNP Program outcomes are listed in the table below and demonstrate the logical progression from the three MSN track outcomes.

Construct Nursing Education Nursing Administration Family Nurse Practitioner Doctorate of Nursing Practice
Knowledge Draws on extant literature and knowledge to design and implement evidence based teaching/learning and evaluation practices to support global nursing education Incorporate administration and leadership theories in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of quality nursing health care delivery programs

Encompass concepts of fiscal responsibility and human resource management in designing quality care

Applies knowledge of organizational practices and complex systems to improve health care delivery

Develops new practice approaches based on the integration of research, theory and practice knowledge

Integrate and apply knowledge from the sciences with the fields of organizational management, ethics, health policy and information technology to improve health care outcomes and patient safety for diverse populations


Evidence based research and practice Contributes to the development of the science of nursing education through the critique, utilization, dissemination of current evidence and the conduct of research Integrate principles of evidence based practice and current research in the design and implementation of nursing and health care delivery programs Uses best available evidence to continually improve quality of clinical practice

Provides leadership in the translation of new knowledge into practice

Synthesize and translate scholarly and evidence based findings to transform nursing practice, drive innovation and

organizational decision making


Disseminate innovations in nursing practice and organizational decision making




Construct Nursing Education Nursing Administration Family Nurse Practitioner Doctorate of Nursing Practice
Information Management Develop and use information and communication technologies to enter, retrieve, and evaluate data appropriate for the delivery and evaluation of nursing education Advocate for and use information and communication technologies to enter, retrieve, and evaluate data appropriate for the delivery and evaluation of nursing care delivery Uses technology systems that capture data on variables for the evaluation of nursing care

Contributes to the design of clinical information systems that promote safe, quality and cost effective care

Apply information systems/technology to improve health and systems and populations level outcomes
Professionalism Models professional behavior for learners and fellow faculty

Engage in life long learning activities, dissemination of information through scholarship and advocacy

Develops networks, collaborations and partnerships to enhance nursing’s influence within the academic community

Incorporate ethical principles in leadership and management practices

Build leadership alliances for collaborative action, change and decision making across the health care delivery system.

Applies ethically sound solutions to complex issues related to individuals, populations and systems of care

Advances practice through the development and implementation of innovations incorporating principles of change

Integrate ethical decision-making in research, systems evaluation, advanced clinical

practice, and organizational decision making


Communicate and collaborate with members of the inter-professional community to assure achievement of healthcare standards, advanced clinical practices, and the quality of healthcare for diverse populations.

Construct Nursing Education Nursing Administration Family Nurse Practitioner Doctorate of Nursing Practice
Social Advocacy Utilize knowledge about the educational environment within they which they practice and recognize how the political, institutional, social and economic forces impact the global educator role Influence the health policy making process through the involvement and leadership of nurses having diverse perspectives Analyzes the implications of health policy across disciplines

Contributes to the development of health policy

Evaluates the impact of globalization on health care policy development

Lead interprofessional teams in the crafting of health policies  and strategies that promote health promotion and  disease prevention strategies for diverse groups of individuals, populations and systems

Demonstrate high levels of skills in health promotion and disease prevention strategies for diverse groups of individuals, populations and systems

Leadership Provides leadership in the parent institution as well as in the nursing program to enhance visibility of nursing and its contribution to the global academic community Lead in a manner that recognizes the cultural and spiritual context of the health care community and environment Assumes leadership to foster collaboration with multiple stakeholders  (patients, community and interprofessional groups) to facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of care provided in complex systems Provide leadership of interprofessional collaborative teams to improve health outcomes for individuals, populations, systems


Provide leadership skills in organizational and health systems management to improve the safety and quality of healthcare


Construct Nursing Education Nursing Administration Family Nurse Practitioner Doctorate of Nursing Practice
Role Function Participates in interdisciplinary efforts to address health care needs locally, regionally, nationally and internationally Integrate advanced core competencies and clinical expertise to evaluate and continually improve nursing care delivery systems


Integrate advanced core competencies and clinical expertise to evaluate and continually improve nursing care

Provides a full spectrum of health care services to include health promotion, disease prevention, health protection, anticipatory guidance counseling, disease management, palliative and end of life care

Provides patient/family centered care recognizing cultural diversity of the family recognizing the patient/family as a full partner in decision making

apply organizational and systems thinking that advance the design, implementation, and

evaluation of healthcare initiatives to ensure quality outcomes

Curricular Constructs (the organizing framework for all Ramapo nursing curricula) and course objectives relate to AACN’s published Essentials of Doctoral Education Related to Advanced Practice, which details the curricular elements and competencies required of all DN programs).

Knowledge 1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical,

psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.

2. Use science-based theories and concepts to:

• determine the nature and significance of health and health care delivery


• describe the actions and advanced strategies to enhance, alleviate, and

ameliorate health and health care delivery phenomena as appropriate; and

• evaluate outcomes.

3. Develop and evaluate new practice approaches based on nursing theories and theories from other disciplines.

4. Synthesize concepts, including psychosocial dimensions and cultural diversity, related to clinical prevention and population health in developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address health promotion/disease prevention efforts, improve health status/access patterns, and/or address gaps in care of individuals, aggregates, or populations.

Evidence based research and practice 1. Use analytic methods to critically appraise existing literature and other evidence to determine and implement the best evidence for practice.

2. Design and implement processes to evaluate outcomes of practice, practice patterns, and systems of care within a practice setting, health care organization, or community against national benchmarks to determine variances in practice outcomes and population trends.

3. Design, direct, and evaluate quality improvement methodologies to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care.

4. Apply relevant findings to develop practice guidelines and improve practice and the practice environment.

5. Use information technology and research methods appropriately to:

• collect appropriate and accurate data to generate evidence for nursing

Practice • inform and guide the design of databases that generate meaningful evidence for nursing practice

• analyze data from practice

• design evidence-based interventions

• predict and analyze outcomes

• examine patterns of behavior and outcomes

• identify gaps in evidence for practice

6. Function as a practice specialist/consultant in collaborative knowledge-generating research.

7. Disseminate findings from evidence-based practice and research to improve healthcare outcomes

Information Management 1. Design, select, use, and evaluate programs that evaluate and monitor outcomes of care, care systems, and quality improvement including consumer use of health care information systems.

2. Analyze and communicate critical elements necessary to the selection, use and evaluation of health care information systems and patient care technology.

3. Demonstrate the conceptual ability and technical skills to develop and execute an evaluation plan involving data extraction from practice information systems and databases.

4. Provide leadership in the evaluation and resolution of ethical and legal issues within healthcare systems relating to the use of information, information technology, communication networks, and patient care technology.

5. Evaluate consumer health information sources for accuracy, timeliness, and appropriateness.

6. Analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, and other appropriate scientific data related to individual, aggregate, and population health.

Professionalism 1. Employ effective communication and collaborative skills in the development and implementation of practice models, peer review, practice guidelines, health policy, standards of care, and/or other scholarly products.

2. Lead interprofessional teams in the analysis of complex practice and

organizational issues.

3. Employ consultative and leadership skills with intraprofessional and

interprofessional teams to create change in health care and complex healthcare delivery systems.

Social Advocacy 1. Critically analyze health policy proposals, health policies, and related issues from the perspective of consumers, nursing, other health professions, and other stakeholders in policy and public forums.

2. Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international health policy.

3. Influence policy makers through active participation on committees, boards, or task forces at the institutional, local, state, regional, national, and/or international levels to improve health care delivery and outcomes.

4. Educate others, including policy makers at all levels, regarding nursing, health policy, and patient care outcomes.

5. Advocate for the nursing profession within the policy and healthcare


6. Develop, evaluate, and provide leadership for health care policy that shapes health care financing, regulation, and delivery.

7. Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas.

Leadership 1. Develop and evaluate care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations based on scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences.

2. Ensure accountability for quality of health care and patient safety for populations with whom they work.

a. Use advanced communication skills/processes to lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives in health care systems.

b. Employ principles of business, finance, economics, and health policy to

develop and implement effective plans for practice-level and/or system-wide practice initiatives that will improve the quality of care delivery.

c. Develop and/or monitor budgets for practice initiatives.

d. Analyze the cost-effectiveness of practice initiatives accounting for risk and improvement of health care outcomes.

e. Demonstrate sensitivity to diverse organizational cultures and populations, including patients and providers.

3. Develop and/or evaluate effective strategies for managing the ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, the health care organization, and research.


Role Function 1. Conduct a comprehensive and systematic assessment of health and illness parameters in complex situations, incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches.

2. Design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions based on nursing science and other sciences.

3. Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships and partnerships with patients (individual, family or group) and other professionals to facilitate optimal care and patient outcomes.

4. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and

accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes.

5. Guide, mentor, and support other nurses to achieve excellence in nursing


6. Educate and guide individuals and groups through complex health and

situational transitions.

7. Use conceptual and analytical skills in evaluating the links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues.

8. Evaluate care delivery models and/or strategies using concepts related to

community, environmental and occupational health, and cultural and

socioeconomic dimensions of health.

Why Choose Ramapo?

Ramapo College is the sole academic partner in the practice oriented New Jersey Council of Magnet Organizations. NJCOMO is comprised of all the Magnet-credentialed institutions in NJ and some in NY, and these strong relationships allow Ramapo to focus on the clinical practice requirements of nursing and advanced nursing degrees. In addition, Ramapo nursing programs maintain solid partnerships with many local healthcare institutions and hold formal partnerships with The Valley HealthCare System and St. Joseph’s Health.

Job Opportunities

Research reports have shown that a nurse’s level of education is directly tied to their ability to effect change, improve patient outcomes and transform healthcare for the better. As a result, our healthcare system needs more highly educated, skilled and specialized nurses. For this reason, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) called for all Nurse Practitioners to be prepared at the DNP level by 2015. While this call has not yet resulted in regulation, the requirement for a DNP as the minimal level of education for a Nurse Practitioner is in the near future.

Currently, employers often offer a premium for DNP-educated advanced practice registered nurses and administrators. A 2018 Advance Healthcare Network survey concluded that DNP-educated nurse practitioners surveyed earned an average of 7% more than NPs whose highest degree was a master’s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Nurse Practitioner salary in the United States is $108,835 as of March 26, 2020, with the range typically falling between $100,992 and $118,232. In New Jersey, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports DNP-educated nurses earn between $130,630-$158,390.

Industries with the highest levels of hiring for Nurse Practitioners include physician offices, general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, colleges/schools and the offices of other health practitioners.

Admission Requirements

  1. MSN from an accredited institution
  2. Minimum 3.3 GPA
  3. Advanced Practice Certification (NP certification/Licensure, Advanced Certification in Nursing Administration)
  4. 1000 hours post-baccalaureate clinical residency (hours accrued in the Ramapo College MSN program and for annual maintenance of certification can be included in the 1000 post-baccalaureate hours required. Hours beyond those included in the DNP curriculum (540) will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Personal Statement with a focus on potential practice problem
  6. Interview

Curriculum Map

Program Requirements

The DNP program consists of 36 credits. To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and follow guidelines as outlined in the Graduate Policy Handbook – Ramapo College. The courses below are offered in an online/hybrid combo format (mainly online with each course having a small number of in person sessions). The goal is to have students complete the program in less than three years.


  • Leadership and Organizational Systems (3 credits)
  • Health Care Economics and Finance (3 credits)


  • Epidemiology and Population Health (3 credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice in Nursing I (3 credits)


  • Evidence Based Practice Intervention Implementation (3 credits)


  • Data Management (3 credits)
  • Quality and evaluation of outcomes (3 credits)

The DNP capstone is the culminating project that is chosen by the student based upon the their area of interest and expertise, it is the ground work for future scholarship and practice change and innovation. In order to prepare the student for this level of scholarship, they will transition through four levels of residencies, each level building upon each other:


  • Health Policy Leadership (3 credits)
  • DNP Residency I (3 credits) (135 hours)


  • DNP Residency II (3 credits) (135 hours)


  • DNP Residency III (3 credits) (135 hours)


  • DNP Residency IV (3 credits) (135 hours)

Additional hours (if required will be set as Independent Studies of 1 credit with 45 clinical hours)

Nursing Programs Contact Information

Office: AC-215
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Phone: 201.684.7749
Fax: 201.684.7954