201 KAR 20:061. Approval of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree programs.


      RELATES TO: KRS 164.295, 164.298, 314.111, 314.131

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 164.298(1), 314.111(3), 314.131(1), (2)

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 164.298(1) requires the Board of Nursing to collaborate with the Council on Postsecondary Education to establish standards for the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. KRS 314.111(3) requires the board to promulgate by administrative regulations standards set for the establishment and outcomes of nursing education programs that prepare an advanced practice registered nurse. KRS 314.131(1) and (2) authorize the board to promulgate administrative regulations to implement KRS Chapter 314 and require the board to approve nursing programs. This administrative regulation establishes those program standards for a DNP degree.


      Section 1. Notification and Initial Approval for Accredited Programs. (1)(a) A postsecondary education institution that is currently accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), now known as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and wishes to offer the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree shall notify the board in writing of its intent.

      (b) The notification letter shall be accompanied by the fee required by 201 KAR 20:240, Section 1(2)(p)-(q).

      (2) The notification letter shall include the following:

      (a) The desired date for the admission of the first class;

      (b) That the Council on Postsecondary Education has been notified;

      (c) That the postsecondary education institution intends to apply for additional accreditation for the DNP degree; and

      (d) How the proposed track or degree complies with the provisions outlined in Section 2(2) of this administrative regulation;

      (3) When the notification letter is received by the board, the board shall grant the institution initial approval.


      Section 2. Initial Approval for Nonaccredited Programs. (1) An institution not presently accredited by NLNAC or CCNE that desires to establish a DNP degree shall meet the following requirements:

      (a) It shall be accredited as established in 201 KAR 20:260, Section 2;

      (b) It shall submit information to establish a DNP degree which shall be accompanied by the fee required by 201 KAR 20:240;

      (c) If the information is submitted to the board, the institution seeking program approval shall begin the application process with NLNAC or CCNE;

      (d) The information shall be submitted to the board no less than twelve (12) months prior to the first intended admission of students;

      (e) The information shall be completed under the direction of the registered nurse who shall serve as the designated chief nursing academic officer as defined in 201 KAR 20:062; and

      (f) The institution seeking approval of a program shall not advertise or enroll students until the board has granted initial approval status.

      (2) The information shall include:

      (a) General information about the institution including:

      1. Mission;

      2. Ownership;

      3. Method of financing;

      4. Accreditation;

      5. Enrollment;

      6. Area served;

      7. Institutional faculty qualifications; and

      8. Resources that are sufficient to support defined outcomes and goals;

      (b) An organizational chart of the institution and a written plan which describes the organization of the program of nursing and its relationship to the institution;

      (c) A designation of NLNAC or CCNE as the national nursing accrediting body to be used in the development of the program;

      (d) A description and rationale for the proposed DNP degree;

      (e) Approval from the governing body of the institution proposing the DNP degree or other empowered approval bodies as applicable;

      (f) A copy of the curriculum vitae of the registered nurse identified as the chief nursing academic officer;

      (g) Results of a needs assessment, including availability of an adequate number of potential students and employment opportunities for program graduates;

      (h) Evidence of support from the community of interest;

      (i) A timeline for the admission of students, projected graduation of the first class, and any plans for expansion;

      (j) A description of physical or virtual resources adequate to meet the needs of the faculty and students;

      (k) Evidence of a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability available for planning, implementing, and maintaining the proposed program of nursing;

      (l) The philosophy of the DNP program and program outcomes for graduates;

      (m) Curriculum design for each identified track to include:

      1. Proposed course sequence;

      2. Description of courses; and

      3. Credit hours delineating those credits assigned to theory and practice;

      (n) Availability of experiential practice activities sufficient to accommodate the number of students and program outcomes;

      (o) A five (5) year plan for recruiting and retaining qualified nurse faculty; and

      (p) A recruitment plan and five (5) year projection for student enrollment and policies and procedures for student selection and progression.

      (3) A proposed DNP program that has met all the requirements of this administrative regulation including evidence that it has applied for accreditation from NLNAC or CCNE shall be granted initial approval. This designation shall be for no more than a two (2) year period of time pending review and approval by NLNAC or CCNE.

      (4) If initial approval has been granted by the board, the program may proceed with implementation including the admission of students. It shall be the responsibility of the designated chief nursing academic officer to notify the board of the admission and graduation of the first class.

      (5) The initial approval of a DNP program shall expire eighteen (18) months from the date of approval if a class of students is not admitted.

      (6) All formal communication between the DNP program and the national nursing accrediting body shall be forwarded to the board within thirty (30) days of receipt.

      (7) The designated chief nursing academic officer shall notify the board within five (5) business days of any change in accreditation status.

      (8) The designated chief nursing academic officer shall notify the board of pending visits by the national nursing accrediting body.

      (9) The designated chief nursing academic officer shall provide the board with a copy of the national nursing accrediting body’s report within ten (10) days of its receipt by the program.


      Section 3. Standards and Final Approval. (1) In order to receive final approval, a postsecondary education institution shall provide to the board evidence that it has met the accreditation standards for doctoral education of either:

      (a) The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; or

      (b) The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

      (2) This evidence shall be in the form of a copy of the letter of accreditation from either organization identified in subsection (1) of this section.

      (3) A postsecondary education institution that has offered a DNP degree prior to the effective date of this administrative regulation may receive final approval from the board by submitting a copy of its letter of accreditation from either organization identified in subsection (1) of this section.

      (4) Failure to maintain accreditation standards may result in withdrawal of approval by the board.


      Section 4. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Tracks. A postsecondary education institution that offers tracks within the DNP degree that lead to licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) shall meet the standards in 201 KAR 20:062 in addition to the standards set forth in this administrative regulation. (37 Ky.R. 635; Am.1413; eff. 12-15-2010; 40 Ky.R. 1326; 1707; eff. 2-19-2014.)