Celebrating over 20 years: Outcomes from the First Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

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2 Scopus citations


The first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program was opened at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing (UKCON) in 2001. As the CON celebrates 20 plus years of DNP education, leaders decided to do an assessment of the accomplishments and outcomes from the work of graduates. The purpose of this study was to delineate the achievements, outcomes and perception of the impact of graduates from the UKCON DNP program and assess the correlations of specific “perception of impact” variables. DNP graduates from 2005 to 2021 (n = 348) received an email about the study and a link to the survey. Ninety graduates who resided in 14 states responded. Over 84 % of participants indicated that their DNP degree helped them stand out as a leader. Participants reported that having a DNP education increased their knowledge and expertise in multiple areas, including how to lead, to influence, and to improve outcomes within their organizations. Narrative feedback related to top achievements since graduation included career advancement/promotion (n = 22), improving patient care quality/implementation of evidence-based initiatives (n = 21), and becoming a better leader (n = 19). This study illustrated the broad return on investment and the quantification of value that a DNP education brings, both to practice and academia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Advanced practice nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Graduate education
  • Outcomes
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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