The DNP program is designed as an online post-master’s degree program for nurse practitioners wishing to expand their scope of practice. The program is based on the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice guidelines put forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2006). Applicants who are not yet certified in an advanced practice nurse practitioner role who are interested in the DNP program may apply, but can expect additional program requirements in order to meet NP certification requirements prior to completion of DNP coursework. This coursework may be done concurrently with DNP courses as schedule permits.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program has initial approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). A campus visit for final approval is anticipated. The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) has accepted the candidacy application for the DNP program. Full program accreditation is based on a campus visit prior to graduation of the first student cohort.
DNP Admission Requirements
Admission to the DNP program is achieved in three (3) consecutive steps:
- General University admission – documents submitted to graduate studies office
- Graduate Application
- Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate schools attended, documenting a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 and evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate course in statistics (3 credit hours)
- Three letters of recommendation (2 from a clinical setting; 1 academic)
- Narrative statement describing the applicant’s purpose and goals
- Curriculum vitae
- School of Nursing admission to the DNP program – documents submitted to graduate enrollment counselor in the School of Nursing
- Scholarly writing sample (e.g. previous graduate-level paper)
- Current RN licensure in state or location of residence
- Current Advanced Practice Certification from a nationally recognized organization (or approved plan for obtaining certification as part of DNP program)
- Current Advanced Practice License in state or location of residence as required by that jurisdiction (or approved plan for obtaining APN license)
- Work experience as an RN or NP. A minimum of one year (2000 hours) is generally expected. Acute care applicants should document acute care skill set.
- Interview by faculty member(s) - scheduled once all other documents have been submitted
- International students must submit official transcripts along with an evaluation by an accredited evaluation service. Applicants must achieve a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internet-based) within the past year prior to application.
- Satisfactory outcome of the health and safety assessments, and completion of basic emergency training requirements of the program – documents submitted to graduate enrollment counselor in the School of Nursing
- Physical exam
- Criminal background check
- Drug screen
- Current immunizations*
- CPR / BLS certification*
*currency must be maintained throughout DNP program
Admission to the Program
The DNP program is designed as an online five-semester program (fall-winter-summer-fall-winter) with three campus visits of approximately four days each scheduled in the first, third and fifth semesters. Students will be accepted into the program as a cohort and progress through the curriculum as a unit. An initial cohort will be admitted in the fall of 2012. A second cohort will be accepted in the fall of 2014. Cohorts will be accepted annually thereafter.
All documents for Step 1 and Step 2 of the admission process must be complete prior to July 20, 2012 for fall 2012 admission, and by May 1, 2014 for fall 2014 admission. Application will be prioritized for review based on an applicant’s level of education, work experience, and completion of all items of the application process.
Applicant Notification of Admission Status
Applicants will be notified in writing of the DNP Admissions Committee’s decision within one month following the published application deadline. Initial cohort will receive notification of acceptance prior to July 30, 2012.
The program is designed to meet the needs of working adults. Students typically complete two to three courses each semester. Course loads range from six to nine hours per semester. Students who are unable to take a full load of classes will be eligible to take a missed class with the next cohort. The total time allowed to complete the program from enrollment in the program to the conferring of the DNP degree may not exceed five years. An application for an extension will be considered on an individual basis.
A criminal background check and drug screen are required of all students upon enrollment. Background checks are paid for and completed by the student online. Drug screens are facilitated by the School of Nursing Graduate Enrollment Counselor and University Health Services. Additional screening may be done at random. Progression may be adversely affected by negative background or drug screen reports.
Student academic standing is monitored regularly for incomplete, unsatisfactory or low course grades and GPA. Students noted to have difficulties in any of these areas are subject to advisement and consideration regarding program progression. In general the following rules apply to progression:
- No grade below a B is allowed during the DNP program.
- A course with a grade below B must be repeated.
- One course may be repeated in the DNP program.
Of the designated credit hours required to complete the differing tracks of the DNP program, the last 20 semester hours must be taken through the Southern Adventist University School of Nursing. Seventy-five percent of program requirements must be completed at Southern Adventist University. Transfer courses must be taken at an accredited institution, carry grades of B or better, and be approved by the School of Nursing.
DNP Graduation Requirements
- Completed application to graduate, to be filed with the Records and Advisement office a minimum of two months prior to expected graduation date.
- Complete all coursework with a minimum grade-point-average of 3.00