Degree Requirements: 37 Credit Hours
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree committed to educating advanced practice nurses who possess the knowledge, skills and values necessary to contribute to and lead in the efforts to improve the health care delivery system of the nation. The DNP is a professional terminal degree with an applied nursing focus. Students are trained for advanced-science-based practice and practice-oriented research in private-and/or public sector careers to include clinical practice, health education, research application, leadership, and analysis of health care outcomes. The DNP is a versatile degree which prepares advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners (NP), certified nurse midwives (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), and clinical nurse specialists (CNS) to provide leadership in public and private organizations; assess health care needs, develop and implement new health care practices, care and evaluate health care outcomes; recommend health care policy; and interact with other health care providers and agencies at diverse levels. The program serves both the full-time student preparing for an advanced career in advanced practice nursing, as well as currently employed nursing professionals seeking advanced education to augment their existing skills to assume leadership positions. The DNP program builds on a high quality nursing master’s curriculum.
The Post-Masters DNP requires a minimum of 37 credit hours and is offered on a full-time basis over 6 semesters. Guided by the AACN Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, sequencing of courses allows the development of content expertise prior to the initiation of the clinical project and experience core. A capstone practicum allows for role immersion and competency integration.
The DNP is designed to build upon the foundation of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) role. The DNP program is directed toward advanced practice registered nurses and closely associated specialty areas (i.e. NP, CNS,CRNA,CNM preparation), and other specialty areas reviewed on an individualized basis. All applicants prior course work will be reviewed and individual DNP programs of study will be developed.
- Post-MSN Master’s degree in the proposed field of study (MSN) or its equivalent from a college accredited by the appropriate accrediting association.
- Minimum undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)
- Current Georgia RN license or compact license that includes Georgia
- Three letters of recommendation
- Proof of American Heart Association 2-person (BLS) CPR certification
- International students:
- All international applicants, including resident and non-resident aliens, whose native language is not English and who do not have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, are required to submit official TOEFL scores taken within the year immediately preceding the requested semester of admission. A minimum total score of 83, and minimum scores of 20 for each of the skills evaluated by the TOEFL: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing. An original copy of the test score, sent by the testing agency to the Office of Graduate Admissions is required before any action is taken on an application. The copy of the score provided to the student and subsequently forwarded is not acceptable.
Students in DNP coursework must maintain a 3.0 average (“B” or better) in course work to proceed in the doctoral program and to be eligible to graduate. Grades in all courses applied toward the doctorate must be “B” or better. Students will become academically ineligible when any of the following occur in course work of an approved program of study:
- a grade of “D”, “F”, or “WF” in any course;
- a grade of “C” in any three courses; or
- the minimum 3.0 average is not achieved within the minimum number of credit hours required for the degree
A maximum of 6 credits of doctoral level nursing credits and 9 credits of graduate level electives may be applied toward the DNP upon approval by the Graduate Nursing Program. Transfer credit must also satisfy the same requirements as course taught for doctoral education within the School of Nursing Graduate Program (e.g., minimum grade of “B”), be consistent with the student’s approved program of study, and have been received from a regionally accredited college or university. Thesis and dissertation credit cannot be transferred. The student must provide documentation in support of equivalence, such as a course syllabus, transcript, term paper, and/or instructor testimony. Equivalence is determined by the Faculty Advisor or Program Director. Credit reductions do not influence the residency or enrollment requirements or comprehensive examination procedures.
Course Time Limits
All requirements for the DNP must be completed within seven academic years from the date of the first enrollment for study following admission to the doctoral coursework. For transfer students, the seven year time limit commences with the semester during which the credit being transferred was earned at another institution.
Doctoral students are required to complete a clinical project at an advanced level. A dissertation is not required. The clinical project may take diverse forms (e.g., identification of a health care problem, development of an intervention and analysis of outcomes; an investigation of a health issue with development of health policy strategies to address the health problem; or the development of a complex programmatic strategy within a health care system to address a significant issue). Upon completion of the clinical project the student must present the project to faculty and peers in an appropriate venue determined by the faculty. Submission of the project to a refereed professional organization for presentation or peer reviewed journal for publication is required. It is expected that a minimum of one peer reviewed presentation or peer reviewed publication will be achieved on DNP related content prior to completion of course work.
Upon admission to the graduate program, a program of study (POS) will be provided to the graduate student. Any changes in the POS must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
The School of Nursing Graduate Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The MSN Program and the DNP Program were developed in accordance with the AACN Essentials for both Graduate and DNP Education. The MSN meets the NONPF National Standards for NP Programs, the Consensus Model, and the DNP Program Standards for NP preparation.