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Otterbein Graduate Nursing Program

Otterbein University’s graduate nursing programs are designed with the changing roles of nursing and the healthcare delivery systems in mind. Whether you are considering becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), a Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), a Nurse Anesthetist (NA), or adding additional expertise to your work our clinically expert nursing faculty will assure that you have the knowledge and skills to function at the highest level of practice possible!  Otterbein students outpace state and national rates for passing national certification exams every year. In 2020, the pass rate for first time test takers in the NA major was 84% and in the FNP major was 95%.

Our redesigned student-friendly, flexible curriculum allows working adults to find a healthy work/life balance necessary to succeed in a graduate program.  Please note, the NA program continues to require full-time study.

What makes our program exceptional is how well our graduates do when they leave our program. Nurses graduating from Otterbein are prepared, competent, and confident. We hear that compliment time and time again from organizations hiring our graduates. Job placements rates are excellent for both FNP majors and NA majors, as reported by spring 2019 graduates!

The FNP major can be completed in 2 years, allowing students to become certified and begin practice as an Advanced Practice Nurse with a Master’s degree.  An added bonus is you accrue DNP course credit along the way.

The PMHNP program is completely online and can be completed in just 3 years!  An added bonus is you accrue DNP course credit along the way!

The NA program complies with the requirement of a completed DNP degree to practice (required beginning 2023).  You can complete the program in 3 years.

Otterbein’s Department of Nursing offers the following degrees and certificates:

  1. Family Nurse Practitioner
  2. Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  3. Nurse Anesthesia, BSN to DNP  (Application Deadline August 1, 2022 for Summer 2023 start.)
  4. Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master’s Degree to DNP (Accepting applications for Summer 2023.)
    • Advance Practice Focus
    • Nurse Executive Focus
  5. ADN to DNP pathways

Program Highlights

  • New student-friendly, flexible plans of study available.
  • Support provided in finding clinical placements.
  • Graduate nursing faculty also maintain active clinical practice.
  • Clinical skills practiced in clinical settings and in safe simulated learning environments.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner major comprises a combination of online, hybrid, and in-classroom learning.
  • Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner major comprises online courses and clinical experiences in your local area.
  • Nurse Anesthesia major is a full-time in-residence program.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice core courses and project courses are online.
  • “The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Otterbein University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (”

Program Contact:
Kelly Cornett, BS, ASN, RN
Graduate Nursing Recruiter

Graduate nursing degrees hold approval from The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

Read about our Nursing Accreditation >

Your Experience at Otterbein

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree has at its core an online program that includes virtual webinar- based meetings. Some majors also require on-campus classes. All majors require at least three on- campus visits during the course of the program (orientation, project proposal presentation, & final project presentation). Some courses have optional face-to-face sessions as well.

For the bachelor’s-prepared nurse, each of the three Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice majors are experienced a bit differently:

The Family Nurse Practitioner major is taught through online, hybrid, and on campus classroom course work. Advanced Assessment and Advanced Procedure Skills courses are taught on campus in our skill’s labs. Students are prepared to enter into their preceptored clinical experiences.

The Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner major is taught through online coursework and clinical experiences in your location. Clinical experiences occur in outpatient and inpatient settings including experience with talk therapy, and address child, adolescent, adult and geriatric populations. Students are prepared to enter into their preceptored clinical experiences with didactic coursework.

The Nurse Anesthesia major classes are held at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus. In addition to studying the science and application of anesthesia, we spend time on communication, emotional intelligence and being prepared for the pressures that come with the nurse anesthetist role. Simulated patient care experiences combine with a high volume of cases and clinical hours to prepare you for practice.

For the master’s-prepared nurse, the Master’s Degree to DNP pathway prepares you to work at the highest level of practice. The Advanced Practice Focus prepares APRNs  to  improve  patient outcomes within complex healthcare systems from a clinical perspective. The Nurse Executive Focus  is for nurses in executive roles to improve patient outcomes from a systems-level perspective.

Courses in both foci are taught online.

The associate’s degree nurse can pursue preparation for initial licensure as a nurse practitioner via our Associate Degree in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Four courses get you ready for graduate education in your selected nurse practitioner major: Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Once these transition courses are completed, you enter the appropriate major (PMHNP or FNP), and when you complete the requirements for certification, you earn the Master of Science in Nursing degree. After beginning to work as a nurse practitioner, the final year of study leads you to earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Most of your faculty continue to work as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, bringing a high-level of expertise to the course content that is relevant and applicable to today’s nursing practice. Our faculty consistently collaborate with other professionals in the healthcare care community and serve on boards, present at national conferences, and publish in professional journals.

Our programs value research, political advocacy, evidence-based practice and nursing as a practice art. The goal of our Department of Nursing is to prepare lifelong learners who are committed to the profession and the community, and to meeting changing health care needs of society.

Department of Nursing Mission

The Department of Nursing is committed to quality nursing education that uses a holistic caring framework to promote quality and safe healthcare. Our mission encourages personal and professional development of faculty, staff and students. An appreciation for diverse perspectives and humane values is central to the mission. Building on a liberal arts education and a strong science foundation, the goal of the Department of Nursing is to prepare lifelong learners who are committed to the profession, the community, and to meeting changing health care needs of society.

Student Learning Outcomes & University Learning Goals (KMERI*)

DNP Student Learning Outcomes & University Learning Goals (KMERI*)

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from the natural and social sciences as a basis for the highest level of nursing practice. Knowledge
2. Provide organizational and systems leadership in advanced nursing practice roles to improve patient and health care outcomes, through advocacy and implementation of management and quality improvement strategies. Responsible
3. Provide leadership for evidence-based practice, through translation of research for practice, dissemination of research findings, application of research findings, implementation of quality improvement methodologies, evaluation of practice outcomes, and participation in collaboration research. Inquisitive
4. Demonstrate proficiency in the utilization and evaluation of information systems/technology resources for knowledge application, management of individual and aggregate data, and quality improvement. Knowledgeable
5. Provide leadership in the analysis, development, implementation and evaluation of healthcare policies, congruent with advocacy for social justice, equity and ethics in global health care. Multi-literate, Responsible
6. Employ effective communication, collaboration and leadership skills with individuals, groups and teams to facilitate problem solving and team functioning for improvement in health care and health care delivery. Engaged
7. Analyze epidemiological, bio-statistical, environmental and other appropriate data for developing, implementing and evaluating clinical prevention and population health interventions. Inquisitive
8. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment in designing, implementing and evaluating therapeutic interventions to improve patient and/or health care outcomes. Knowledgeable
9. Analyze the legal, ethical, economic, and professional functions of the APN. Multi-literate, Inquisitive
10. Integrate caring behaviors and patterns including cultural competence and attention to underserved regional and global individuals and groups into ANP roles. Engaged, Responsible

MSN Student Learning Outcomes & University Learning Goals (KMERI*)

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Synthesize knowledge from nursing and relevant fields of study as a basis for an advanced nursing role. Knowledgeable
2. Use the nursing process to perform the independent, collaborative, multifaceted functions of an advanced nursing role to optimize health care outcomes. Engaged
3. Demonstrate critical thinking when making decisions regarding the delivery of quality, cost-effective, culturally relevant health care to individuals or populations. Responsible
4. Analyze the legal, political, ethical, financial, and professional functions of advanced nursing roles. Inquisitive
5. Examine the implications of health care issues, health care delivery systems and informatics on nursing. Multi-literate
6. Provide leadership in advanced nursing roles through advocacy and change management within the health care delivery system. Multi-literate
7. Integrate caring behaviors and patterns into advanced nursing roles. Engaged
8. Apply the body of nursing knowledge through systematic inquiry, professional standards of care, and evidence-based practice. Knowledgeable, Responsible

Make a Commitment to Meet the Changing Health Care Needs of our Society.

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