Apr 25, 2018  
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin 
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Department Chair:  Johnnie Sue Cooper Wijewardane 

Doctor of Nursing Practice Faculty

 Program Coordinator:  Mary Atkinson Smith

Professor: Patsy Smyth
Assistant Professors: Sueanne Davidson, Carey McCarter, Mary Atkinson Smith, Johnnie Sue Cooper Wijewardane 


The purpose of the Doctorate of Nursing Practice is to prepare a family nurse practitioner who is a leader in the promotion and maintenance of health and the improvement of health care outcomes across practice settings at the local, state, national and global levels.  This purpose relates to the mission of the university by providing strong academic and leadership preparation to both women and men.  The graduate is able to function as a provider of care, designer/manager/coordinator of care and a member of the profession.  Graduates from the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program are prepared to apply, synthesize, and evaluate evidence-based strategies and their outcomes that contribute to the acquisition of professional knowledge and practice.  In-depth preparation in the application, analysis, and evaluation of advanced practice management, research interpretation and application, and standards of professional nursing practice enhances the graduate to contribute further to their professional role in the world wide community.


The Doctorate of Nursing Practice Faculty at Mississippi University for Women are committed to the learning process and to the professional development of students by providing programs of academic excellence.  In accordance with the mission/purpose of MUW and the School of Nursing, the faculty have developed a philosophy based on the concepts of person, environment, health, and nursing.


Person constitutes a biopsychosocial, spiritual system constantly interacting with and adapting to the environment to achieve and maintain a homeodynamic state.  Person is valuable, holistic and worthy of respect and concern.  Person may be defined as an individual, family,  community, or society and has varying capabilities for independently meeting universal needs.  These capabilities are dynamically influenced by structures, gender, value systems, culture, and environments.  Person is responsible for meeting health needs an dhas the right to make necessary decisions and to receive professional assistance in achieving health goals.


Environment includes all conditions, circumstances, and influences encountered by and affecting person.  Environment may be intrapersonal, interpersonal, or extra personal in nature.  The intrapersonal environment is concerned with forces or interactive influences contained within the person.  The interpersonal environment is concerned with forces or interactive influences between persons.  The extra personal environment is concerned with forces or interacting influences existing outside the person.  Environment affects the continuous process of becoming, evolving, and changing.  Person and environment are complementary systems so that the relationship between the two is reciprocal.  Change in one system elicits response in the other.


Health is defined by person in accordance with gender, culture, values, and capabilities.  Health is a constantly changing state and exists on an illness to wellness continuum.  Promotion and facilitation of optimal health is developed in collaboration with person, when possible, and is based on resources available to both the person and the nurse.


Nursing, as a profession, combines concepts from the sciences and liberal arts into an applied science and a creative art which focuses on health needs.  The science of nursing is an organized body of knowledge derived through scientific research and theory development and applied through critical thinking skills.  The art of nursing is the creative and caring application of this knowledge.  The scope of nursing practice deals with diverse populations and includes dependent, independent and interdependent functioning of the nurse within primary, secondary, and tertiary settings.  The faculty believes that the scope of nursing practice changes as health care continually evolves, thus the professional nurse must posses the core competencies and scientific knowledge to provide care across all health casre settings.  Professional nursing further requires professional role deveopment to include provider and manager of care, designer/manager and coordinator of care and member of a profession.  Basic nursing values such as altruism, accountability, caring, human dignity, integrity and social justice are inherent inthese roles.


Learning is considered to be a complex lifelong development process involving the interaction of the person with the environment.  The teacher and learner share in the challenge of creating an atmosphere which stimulates intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and individual creativity.  The teaching-learning process is augmented when the learner actively participates in defining outcomes and assumes responsibility for achieving these outcomes.  The teacher serves as a facilitator, counselor, and resource person.

Curriculum Objectives

  1. Enhance scientific knowledge to improve nurse practitioner practice and patient outcomes. 
  2. Examine standards of care for safe and accurate nurse practitioner practice.
  3. Practice at the highest level of advanced practice nursing through integration of knowledge from nursing, science, ethics, and the biophysical, analytical, and organizational sciences.
  4. Demonstrate leadership through the development and evaluation of healthcare delivery approaches that ensure quality and safety.
  5. Employ clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice.
  6. Utilize information systems and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of healthcare.
  7. Provide leadership in teh development of healthcare policy with respect to ethics, social justice and equity.
  8. Employ collaborative approaches to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  9. Implement clinical prevention strategies for improvement of the health status of the diverse national population.




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