SU [Nursing]
Henson Science Hall

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

About the DNP

For More Information

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Overview:
- Post B.S. (PDF)
- Post Master's (PDF)

Dr. Molly Parsons, Director of Graduate and Second Degree Programs                    410-543-6416

Mrs. Carmel Boger, Administrative Assistant for Graduate and Second Degree Programs
410-543-6420

In an effort to meet the increasing demands for advanced health care practitioners, Salisbury University’s Department of Nursing is offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.  The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program addresses the growing need for nurses in advanced-practice nurse roles with special skills in managing complex health needs in a cost-effective and collaborative manner. The curriculum emphasizes the use of evidence-based practice and technology to guide administrative and clinical decisions, as well as policy development. D.N.P. graduates practice at the highest level, whether working with individuals, groups or organizations, and serve as leaders in health care for the state and region.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice will prepare graduates to promote the delivery of safe, high quality care for patients with increasingly complex health care needs.  In addition, these graduates will be able to develop and implement new policies designed to improve the health care outcomes of individuals, groups and communities. They will be adept at navigating healthcare systems, working with other disciplines toward quality improvement and improved patient outcomes.  DNP graduates will also be able to move into clinical faculty roles, helping to ease the shortage of RN’s in the area by serving as faculty for the local institutions of higher education.

There are two options for completing the DNP:

  • Post-Master's DNP for professionals with an M.S. in nursing
  • Post-Bachelor's to DNP (FNP) for professionals with a B.S. in nursing who wish to complete a DNP and become family nurse practitioners.

Post-Master's DNP Option

  • For professionals with an M.S. in nursing
  • Application currently being accepted.

Post-Master's DNP Curriculum

The Post-Master's DNP curriculum is a 38 credit option sequence for individuals in advanced practice roles, including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, and nurse educators.

Course work includes: evidence-based practice, health policy and health care systems, health care management, finance, informatics, quality improvement, health promotion and clinical prevention, genetics and genomics.  A three-credit graduate elective chosen by the student with the approval of their advisor is used to supplement the core of required courses and is tailored to student interests.  All students complete a DNP project and 1000 clinical hours between their Master's degree and SU's Post-Master's DNP program.  Curriculum plans are developed on an individual basis with the Director of the Graduate program.

Designed for working professionals and available in a distance accessible format, candidates may possibly complete their degree in three years, taking approximately six credits per semester. Individuals who take fewer courses per semester, will take longer to finish. Any students who do not already hold national certification as an Advanced Practice RN may need to take additional credits, and will meet with the Director of the Graduate Nursing program for an individualized curriculum plan.

The first group of Post-Master's DNP students is expected to graduate in Spring 2015.  Applications are currently being accepted for additional students to begin in Fall 2014. 

Admission Requirements-Post-Master's DNP

Admission to the Post-Master's DNP program requires acceptance to the University for graduate study, as well as acceptance into the Nursing Program.  Admission to the Post-Master's DNP program is a competitive process, and the following required items will be considered individually as the final applicant selections are made.

  • MS in Nursing from a nationally accredited program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Current and active United States Registered Nursing (RN) license
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Current CPR Certification for healthcare providers
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three academic or professional references/letters of recommendation
  • A 500 to 1,000-word essay outlining why the DNP is important to the applicant, and how it is consistent with their academic and professional goals and objectives
  • Residency/Domicile Information form (for those students applying for in-state tuition)
  • Documents required of international students: Please consult the Center for International Education at http://www.salisbury.edu/intled/ISS/admissions/
  • International Students: Proficiency in spoken  and written English with the following minimum TOEFL scores: 550 for the paper-based examination, 79 on Internet-based examination

All Post-Master's DNP applicants will be interviewed by the Graduate Program Director, Department Chair or members of the Graduate Program Committee. Clinical experience is not required, but students are encouraged to work in professional nursing roles during summers and semester breaks.

Enrollment Requirements-Post-Master's DNP:

After acceptance into the nursing program and prior to beginning any courses students must:

  1. Meet all Department of Nursing health requirements.
  2. Provide evidence of current CPR certification, and evidence of current RN license in Maryland or state where you are practicing.
  3. Provide a 2x2" passport photo for their permanent department file.

Application materials for the Post-Master's DNP

The priority deadline for submitting applications to the DNP programs is    April 15, 2014.

* * * * * * * * *

Post-Bachelor's DNP (FNP) Option

  • For professionals with a B.S. in nursing who wish to complete a DNP and become family nurse practitioners
  • Students may begin classes in August 2014.

Post-Bachelor's to DNP (FNP) Curriculum

Salisbury University has transitioned its family nurse practitioner (FNP) program to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in accordance with the national standards established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).  The post-baccalaureate DNP program allows students with a bachelor's degree to enter directly into doctoral study while also earning the credentials of Family Nurse Practitioner.

The program is designed for students who wish to engage in full-time study.  The 80-credit curriculum spans 4 years - full time during fall and spring semesters with a lighter academic load during the summer.  Variations in length of study may occur based on student needs and circumstances with program director approval.  Courses are taught by experienced faculty, with small classes that foster close student-faculty working relationships.  DNP students culminate their education with the completion of a comprehensive doctoral project.  Students take three separate courses which will guide them through project development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination.

Course work includes: quantitative and qualitative research, evidence-based practice, epidemiology, applied statistics, advanced human physiology, advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacotherapeutics, family nursing, adult health care management, women's and children's health care management, issues in advanced nursing practice, health care systems, finance, informatics, quality improvement, health promotion and clinical prevention, genetics and genomics. All students complete a DNP project and 1000 practicum hours. Graduates will be eligible to take the certification exams offered by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurses Practitioners.

Admission Requirements - Post-Bachelor's to DNP (FNP)

Admission to the Post-Bachelor's to DNP (FNP) program requires acceptance to the University for graduate study, as well as acceptance into the Post-BS to DNP Program. Admission to the Post-BS to DNP program is a competitive process, and the following required items will be considered individually as the final applicant selections are made.

  • BS in Nursing from a nationally accredited program
    • Applicants with cumulative undergraduate GPA 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) are given first priority.
    • Applicants with cumulative undergraduate GPA 3.0 - 3.49 may be considered on an individual basis.
    • Proof of successful completion of basic undergraduate Statistics and undergraduate Research within the last 5 years (minimum grade of "C" required).
  • Current and active United States Registered Nursing (RN)license
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • GRE - Analytical Writing Score (minimum 3.5/6.0)
  • Current CPR Certification for healthcare providers
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three academic or professional references/letters of recommendation
  • A 500 to 1,000-word essay outlining why the DNP is important to the applicant, and how it is consistent with their academic and professional goals and objectives
  • Residency/Domicile Information form (for those students applying for in-state tuition)
  • Documents required of international students: Please consult the Center for International Education at http://www.salisbury.edu/intled/ISS/admissions/
  • International Students: Proficiency in spoken and written English with the following minimum TOEFL scores: 550 for the paper-based examination, 213 for the computer-based examination, and 79 for the Internet-based examination

All Post-BS to DNP applicants will be interviewed by the Graduate Program Director, Department Chair, or members of the Graduate Program Committee. Clinical experience is not required for the Post-BS to DNP, but students are encouraged to work in professional nursing roles during summers and semester breaks.

Enrollment Requirements - Post-Bachelor's to DNP (FNP):

After acceptance into the nursing program and prior to beginning any courses students must:

  1. Meet all Department of Nursing health requirements.
  2. Provide evidence of current CPR certification, and evidence of current RN license in Maryland or state where you are practicing.
  3. Provide a 2x2" passport photo for their permanent department file.

Application materials for the Post-Bachelor's to DNP (FNP)

Scholarship Opportunity

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. (NEF):
  •  is a one hundred year old non-profit organization and the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced study in nursing.
  •  seeks and distributes funds to baccalaureate prepared registered nurses who
    are in need of nursing scholarship assistance for graduate study.
  • offers graduate nursing scholarships to nursing professionals motivated to seek graduate degrees as nursing educators, advanced nurse clinicians, and nurse researchers.
Each year NEF provides 15 to 20 scholarships for Nursing Masters and Nursing Doctoral study throughout the United States.

The 2014/2015 application process will be open on the web site www.n-e-f.org on October 1, 2013 and will remain open until February 1, 2014.

* * *

For More Information

* * *