Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

The College of Nursing has designed a predominantly online post masters Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program for the nurse with a masters degree. The program of study is 39 credits and is designed for part-time study. The DNP degree provides the academic preparation for masters prepared nurses to acquire advanced knowledge in biostatistics, cultural competency, epidemiology, and advancements in healthcare and education.

Due to state authorization requirements, the College cannot accept applications from residents of the following states: Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin.

Students from Texas:

  1. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is accepting applications.
  2. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code.
  3. Complaints or other contact with applicable regulatory agencies can be made by using the contact information found on the website (accreditations tab). 

Potential out of state applicants need to contact the Graduate Dean to determine state authorization eligibility regarding distance education.


Admission Categories

Unconditional:  Unconditional acceptance is given to all applicants who meet all the admission criteria and are approved by the Admission Committee of the Graduate Program.


Residency Requirements

Students enrolled in the 39 credit DNP program must earn a minimum of 30 semester credit hours from the College of Nursing to be eligible to receive their degree. All credits must be completed within five years of taking the first DNP course at the College.


How To Apply For Admission

  1. Please send the following to the Graduate Office:
    •     Non-refundable application fee of $50.00
    •     Application for Admission
    •     750-1000 word essay-typed
    •     Copy of RN Licensure
    •     Copy of Advanced Practice License
    •     Three letters of recommendation (see below)
  2. Please request that the registration office of all higher education institutions that you have previously attended send an official transcript to the Graduate Office. Please note that we must receive an official transcript from every institution, even if transfer credit from that institution appears on the transcript of another institution.
  3. Complete a personal interview with a graduate nursing faculty member, if requested by the College.
  4. When all of the above documentation has been received and evaluated, you will receive a letter from the College of Nursing confirming your admission status.


Admission Requirements Post Masters DNP:

  1. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  2. DNP-Clinical: Earned Master's degree in nursing and 500 practicum hours, from an accredited program or school.
  3. DNP-Leadership: bachelor’s degree in nursing, and a master’s degree in health administration, leadership, or other masters approved by the Dean of the Graduate Program or the Graduate Committee. Must show evidence of any practicum hours completed for master’s degree. If fewer, than 500 hours, then it is required to add practicum hours during the doctoral program to complete the 1000 hours required for graduation or show documentation of Nurse Executive Advanced certification through ANCC.
  4. Grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
  5. Curriculum vitae with publications listed (if applicable).
  6. Copy of license as a Registered Nurse (and Advanced Practice Nurse, if applicable) in state where currently licensed.
  7. A 750--1000 word typed essay outlining goals, objectives, and focused area of interest in pursuing the DNP.
  8. Evidence of one year professional nursing experience preferred.
  9. Three letters of recommendation from persons who are able to speak to the applicant's ability to undertake doctoral study. (At least one from a former faculty or academic advisor and at least one from a former employer.)
  10. An interview may be requested by the College.


Essay Guidelines for Admission

This essay is an essential aspect of the admission process and will be carefully evaluated by the Graduate Program Committee in order to make a decision on your direct entry into the DNP program. Follow the guidelines carefully, speaking to each item listed below. The paper should be 750-1000 word essay. Evaluation of the essay will include assessment of:

  • Content
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Grammar, punctuation, etc.

Please address the following:

  • Describe your practice area, which includes your leadership and collaboration, ability to work with others.
  • Discuss your current professional role, your analytical thinking, and your synthesis of research findings into practice or educational methods.
  • Identify goals for your doctoral nursing education.
  • Describe how the attainment of your goals will advance your professional practice.



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