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The Vital Role in Healthcare Reform for Nurses With a Doctor of Nursing Practice

With the passage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), America’s complex healthcare system began an unprecedented, rapid transformation directed at balancing cost containment with higher-quality patient care. In the years since the ACA's enactment, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree are positioned to advocate for positive change and spearhead healthcare reform.

Nurse practitioners with doctorates have the highest level of nursing knowledge and expertise grounded in the practice setting. Their doctoral training makes them suited for key positions of influence throughout the healthcare system. Their intensive practice-based experience makes them invaluable collaborative partners with top management healthcare reform teams.

The Vital Role in Healthcare Reform for Nurses With a Doctor of Nursing Practice

How an Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Prepares You to be a Reformer

Walden University is an accredited university with a roster of online nursing degree programs, offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

As an online DNP program graduate, you'll be able to:

  • Translate research findings to direct evidence-based nursing practice.
  • Develop organizational system changes for quality improvement in healthcare delivery in response to local and/or global community needs.
  • Advocate for the advancement of nursing and healthcare policy through sharing of science-based knowledge with healthcare policymakers.
  • Demonstrate leadership to facilitate collaborative, interdisciplinary teams for improving patient and population health outcomes.
  • Implement methodologies to improve population health outcomes.
  • Apply optimal utilization of healthcare information technology across healthcare settings. 

Walden’s College of Nursing features a faculty of scholars and professionals. Academically and experientially qualified to teach at graduate and undergraduate levels, they blend academic theory with firsthand knowledge to enrich your learning experience and broaden your perspectives on the latest issues and best practices in the field of nursing.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Online Curriculum

Here are a few examples of coursework from Walden’s online DNP program curriculum, which helps prepare graduates build skills and knowledge in healthcare policy, quality, and advocacy.

  • Healthcare Policy and Advocacy Course
    Many economic, financial, and political factors influence the delivery of healthcare, making healthcare reform a challenging task. In this course, students examine these factors and challenges, and consider policy reform through legal, regulatory, ethical, societal, and organizational contexts. They examine the political and policy process, including agenda setting, stakeholder analysis, and application of policy analysis frameworks. Students also explore the importance of interprofessional collaboration in improving health outcomes through the policy process and advocacy for development and implementation of nursing and healthcare policies in organizations at the local, state, national, and international levels. Students engage in written analyses through which they develop new policies and critically evaluate existing policies though policy analysis frameworks.
  • Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology
    When used effectively, information technology can support generation of new knowledge and emerging information technologies. In this course, students examine the critical appraisal and use of information technology in advanced nursing practice. Students work to gain the skills and knowledge needed to research, develop, process, integrate, and manage data, communication and information systems, and programs through technology resources in consumer, clinical, and public health settings.
  • Evidence-Based Practice Courses

Students in the DNP program will complete three evidence-based practice courses: Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Evidence-Based Practice I, and Evidence-Based Practice II. Practices I and II are completed under the guidance of an approved clinical mentor, and the process developed with these courses are documented in the DNP student’s keystone doctoral study. 

Take the next step!

With your online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Walden, you will be academically prepared to pursue opportunities in leadership and policymaking in a broad spectrum of public and private healthcare settings at the national, regional, state, county, and local levels of healthcare delivery.

Explore Walden University's online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and change your future! Earn your nursing degree in an online format that fits your life and schedule.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), post-graduate APRN certificate program, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( 

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,