pictured above, Ann Spence, DNP, RN 



Carlow University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is designed for nurses who want to become experts in changing the landscape of healthcare. DNP graduates will lead systems- or population-focused transformation by learning to evaluate and synthesize current evidence, translate research into practice, and drive clinical decision-making.

Carlow assigns a statistician to each student in their first semester -- Beth Zamboni, PhD. Beth works with each student to develop their methodology. There is a DNP orientation which includes onboarding students to doctoral preparation. Students get assigned their chair person in their first scholarly inquiry course. 

Carlow provides excellent doctoral preparation for nurses who are seeking a terminal degree in clinical practice. Accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN), this 30-credit, low-residency format is designed to be completed in 20 months. In this unique program, students have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with faculty and peers in a synchronous format on two Saturdays throughout the semester. Other coursework is facilitated online. At the completion of the program, all Carlow DNP scholarly inquiry projects are archived in a digital repository.

Students take two to three courses per term. Six credits (of the 30 required) of electives are chosen from a variety of graduate level courses which enhance or support the student’s area of scholarly inquiry.


What do the experts say? The ACCN recommended that graduate education in nursing be advanced to a doctoral level in 2004. An AACN a task force published a white paper in 2015 reporting on the implementation of the DNP and recommendations regarding graduate education. 

Carlow is pleased to provide the following link to the white paper on the AACN website: Report from the Task Force on the Implementation of the DNP.


Are you ready to lead from where you are? Further your education through this innovative DNP degree program that will prepare you for a variety of advanced practice roles. 

After completing Carlow's DNP program, you will:

  • Critically appraise current scientific findings and theories to enhance the practice of nursing and health care. 
  • Translate and utilize evidence-based concepts and information systems to promote optimal health in diverse populations, settings, and systems. 
  • Create leadership roles and collaborate with other professionals to effect changes within complex systems of care. 
  • Pursue clinical scholarship and scientific inquiry to transform health care practice and systems. 

Faculty Highlight

Ann Spence, DNP, RN

Dr. Ann Spence earned a BSN from Michigan State University and a MSN in Parent Child Nursing from the University of Michigan. A DNP was obtained from Duquesne University. Dr. Spence is an Assistant Professor in Carlow graduate nursing leadership and DNP programs, with primary teaching responsibilities in evidence based practice, research and leadership courses. Her experience includes positions as a neonatal clinical nurse specialist, quality specialist, and director. 

She has been responsible for operations in multiple critical care units and oncology and bone marrow transplant units, as well as general medical acute care pediatrics. She has led professional development programs from bedside nurses, initiated a hospital-based nursing bone marrow transplant fellowship program, and has served as a chair for the hospital based central line committee, monitor task force, and Magnet advisor.
Dr. Spence was elected as the local chapter president for the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses in 2014 and currently is a member of the awards committee as well as a member of the board for the Society of Pediatric Nurses. Her research interests include medication safety, central line infection prevention, and self-care for nurses.


If you'd like to learn more about our doctoral nursing programs, let us know!