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Post Graduate - DNP Completion

The Fran & Earl Ziegler College of Nursing is excited to announce the addition of the BSN to DNP Program to its academic offerings starting Summer 2020. Students interested in pursuing an MSN in the roles of family nurse practitioner, adult/gerontology clinical nurse specialist or nursing administration are encouraged to explore this new option which combines the graduate and doctoral coursework into one seamless terminal degree.

The creation of an integrated BSN to DNP curriculum is in line with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties' (NONPF) and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists’ (NACNS) commitment to move all entry-level nurse practitioner education to the DNP degree by 2025. Additionally, the program supports the American Organization of Nurse Leaders’ position that nurses at the highest leadership levels be prepared at the doctoral level.  The program is not an addition to master's studies, but rather an integration of the objectives and learning opportunities required for attainment of doctoral level core and population-focused competencies.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice doctorate that prepares clinical scholars recognized for outstanding leadership and innovative evidence-based patient/population centered outcomes.  The program focuses on interprofessional collaboration and developing competencies in practice, leadership, and quality improvement an safety that lead to enhanced outcomes important to patients, families, providers, and organizations. 

Residency requirements: Due to federal regulations from the Department of Education, the College of Nursing currently accepts applications for its online doctoral degree programs from residents of the states participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), view a list of participating states. Applicants are encouraged to check with their local State Boards of Nursing regarding any specific professional licensure requirements prior to applying or enrolling. 

Program Outcomes

 Student outcomes: 

  • The effective verbal articulation of knowledge and its application 

  • Use science-based theories and concepts to: 

  • Determine the nature and significance of health and health care delivery phenomena 

  • Describe the actions and advanced strategies to enhance, alleviate and ameliorate health and health care delivery phenomena as appropriate 

  • Evaluate outcomes 

  • Develop and evaluate care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations based on scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences. 

  • Design, direct and evaluate quality improvement methodologies to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care. 

  • Provide leadership in the evaluation and resolution of ethical and legal issues   within healthcare systems relating to the use of information, information technology, communication networks and patient care technology. 

  • Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas. 

  • Use conceptual and analytical skills in evaluating the links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal and policy issues. 

  • Employ interprofessional collaborative teams to improve patient and population health outcomes and healthcare delivery systems. 

Prerequisite Courses

Undergraduate Nursing Research  

General Statistics  


Program Start: Fall  

DNP without Pathways: 38-45 credit hours / 1,000 clinical hours  

Hybrid Program: Some on-campus and online components  

Admission Requirements

  • Application deadline - June 1
  • Completion of a Master's degree in Nursing from an accredited institution
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours
  • Current United States license to practice as a Registered Nurse in state where clinical rotations are completed
  • University admission and supplemental applications [Including submission of three reference letters, an essay, and a resume]
  • Potential interview with DNP faculty
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses prior to application deadline