APRNs, content analysis, Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP, graduate nursing students, graduates, NPs, nursing education, program evaluation, qualitative research, practice doctorate



  1. Brown, Marie Annette PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN
  2. Kaplan, Louise PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN


Abstract: This descriptive, qualitative research study describes the educational experience and preparation for future practice of the initial three cohorts of DNP graduates of a Northwest university. "Opening doors: The practice degree that changes practice" was the overarching theme identified. Five additional themes included students and faculty as colearners; explaining the DNP; thinking differently about practice; navigating the capstone; and building bonds/collegial connections.