Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Nursing Student Handbook 
2023-2024 Nursing Student Handbook

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Overview, Goals, and Outcomes


This Handbook will provide you with information about the programs of study and the policies and procedures specific to our School of Nursing. It should be used as a supplement to the Widener University Bulletin, Widener University Student Handbook, the School of Nursing Fact Books, and other University Publications. As such, the policies, procedures, regulations, requirements, standard of conduct and other information contained in such other publications are not reprinted herein, but are incorporated by reference herein as if all of the foregoing were set forth at length. All students are obliged to be familiar with and to comply with all of the policies, procedures, regulations, requirements, standards of conduct and other information set forth in such other publications.

The contents of this Handbook provide for the continuing integrity of the programs of study in the School of Nursing, thereby preparing you, the student, for professional roles. The University and the School of Nursing reserve the right and authority at any time to alter any of all of the statements contained herein, to modify the requirements for admission and graduation, to change or discontinue programs of study, to amend any regulation or policy affecting the student body, to increase tuition and fees, to deny admission, to revoke an offer of admissions, and to dismiss from the University any student at any time, if it is deemed by the University or the School of Nursing to be in the best interest of the University, the School of Nursing, the university community, or the student to do so. The provisions of this publication are subject to change without notice, and nothing in this publication may be considered as setting forth terms of a contract between a student or prospective student and Widener University.

Professional Nursing Law

The following statement is taken from the “The Professional Nursing Law” as enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Professional Nursing Law can be found at PA Code for Registered Nurse.  

 “The ‘Practice of Professional Nursing’ means diagnosing and treating human responses to actual or potential health problems through such services as case finding, health teaching, health counseling, and provision of care supportive to or restorative of life and well-being, and executing medical regimens as prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist. The foregoing shall not be deemed to include acts of medical diagnosis or prescription of medical therapeutic or corrective measures, except as performed by a certified registered nurse practitioner acting in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Board”. For additional information, click on the PA Professional Code for Nurses

Professional Code for Nurses

The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (ANA 2015) was developed as a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession. Students at Widener University are responsible for understanding and adhering to the Code of Ethics.  Additional information on the Code can be found at Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. 

Diversity Statement

Widener University School of Nursing is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and equity throughout our programs, our nursing practice, and in our workplace. The School of Nursing’s unique, powerhouse programs serve the needs of diverse students at all stages of their careers. We’re All Widener. That’s not just a saying here; it’s a way of life. It represents the culture of our university - a powerful call for respect, mutual understanding, and unity. Here you’ll be embraced and supported by a welcoming and inclusive community regardless of your race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexual identity, socioeconomic status, ability, religion, political affiliation, among other things. You’ll join a community of students and scholars who hail from across the country and around the world. Our community is woven together by diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives, and our classrooms, residence halls, and social spaces are enriched by this variety. You’ll interact with people and engage in the kinds of transformational moments that broaden your own worldview and prepare you for the world and workforce you’re about to enter. For more information about Diversity and Inclusivity, please click here.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Goals and Outcomes


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide clinical leadership in the delivery of culturally competent, evidence-based, disease state management and/or system-based care. The graduate is also prepared for interprofessional collaboration and outcome management to support the provision of quality and safety in complex health care systems.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program prepares experts in specialized advanced nursing practice.

  • The graduates of this clinical doctorate degree program will be prepared to function as expert clinicians for roles at the highest levels of clinical competence in either an advanced practice registered nursing or leadership role with distinct in-depth knowledge of complex health care systems.
  • The graduates of the DNP program will distinguish themselves by their ability to provide direct care, as well as to conceptualize new delivery models, based in contemporary nursing science, and informed by organizational, political, cultural, and economic tenets.
  • The ultimate goals are improving patient and health care outcomes and reducing health disparities.


Graduates of the doctor of nursing practice program will:

  • Apply nursing science and theory with knowledge from ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences to develop, evaluate, and improve advanced nursing practice. 
  • Apply organizational, political, and economic sciences as well as ethical principles for ongoing improvement of health outcomes within health care systems. 
  • Promote evidence based practice by collaboratively conducting, translating, and disseminating research to guide improvements in nursing practice and outcomes of care.
  • Evaluate and use information systems and technology, considering ethical and legal implications, to support, improve, and transform health care. 
  • Assume leadership roles in the analysis and development of health care policies through advocacy, teaching, and active participation in policy making. 
  • Promote collegial and collaborative relationships with inter-professional teams to improve patient and population outcomes. 
  • Assume leadership roles in evidence-based health promotion and risk reduction/illness prevention practices in response to political, socioeconomic, cultural, and ethical issues in individual, aggregate, and population health. 
  • Demonstrate skills in advanced practice roles through the synthesis of biophysical, psychosocial, behavioral, sociopolitical, cultural, economic, and nursing science knowledge as appropriate for area of specialization.