The DNP is the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused programs (AACN, 2012). The MSU College of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is a curriculum developed for nationally certified advance practice nurses. This program does not provide preparation for nurses seeking an APN credential. The degree prepares nurses to:
- Provide clinical, organizational and systems’ leadership at the highest level
- Design, implement and evaluate high quality and cost-effective healthcare services for diverse populations
- Champion healthcare policy and operational improvement using evidence-based data and technology to enhance and guide nursing practice across all clinical practice settings
- Collaborate across professions and organizations with providers and clients to achieve sustainable improvements in healthcare outcomes
Is the Program Online?
The DNP Program is hybrid. Courses will include online and face-to-face requirements. The on campus face-to-face component includes an intensive scheduled at the beginning of each semester. During this 3-4 day on-campus session, students will have classroom sessions for courses, meet with advisors, work on their scholarly project, participate in professional development sessions with faculty and leaders serving as visiting faculty as well as network with student peers. Dates for the Intensive will be communicated in a timely fashion to allow for scheduling. Additionally, students will be required to come to campus for their project proposal defense and final project public presentation.
I’ve heard that all Advanced Practice Nurses have to be DNPs by the year 2015. Can you tell me more about this deadline?
In 2004 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommended that advanced practice nursing programs move from the Masters degree to the doctorate level by 2015. This is not required by certifying bodies or Michigan licensure. At this time, Michigan State University will continue to offer our APN Programs at the MSN level while providing a post masters DNP program. For more information about the DNP, visit the AACN website and the DNP Fact Sheet. Additional information and resources for specific APN roles can be found at www.aana.com, www.nacns.org, www.midwife.org and www.aanp.org.
When did your program begin?
The DNP Program at Michigan State University began fall 2013.
Is your DNP Program Accredited?
The Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science Programs at the Michigan State University College of Nursing are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The CCNE accreditation policy for new DNP programs does not allow a University to seek accreditation until students have been enrolled for at least one year. The MSU College of Nursing has a plan in place to apply for and achieve CCNE accreditation in a timely fashion when eligible to apply. For more information on the CCNE Accreditation Policy for DNP Programs, see item #4 on the CCNE Frequently Asked Question document.
What degree will I earn once I’ve completed the program?
The degree earned will be a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
Will I be able to continue working full time while in the Program?
Doctoral study is intense and requires significant commitment of time outside of course time. There will be intensive writing assignments which will require in depth literature search and “think” time. The College recommends that if students work during the program that they limit hours use the three-year plan of study.
Will I have to travel to East Lansing for classes?
Yes, there will be times when attendance on campus is required; however, most coursework will be managed online. The on campus face-to-face component is an intensive scheduled at the beginning of each semester. During this 3-4 day on-campus session, students will have classroom sessions for courses, meet with advisors, work on their scholarly project, and participate in professional development sessions with faculty and leaders serving as visiting faculty as well as network with student peers. Dates for the Intensive will be communicated in a timely fashion to allow for scheduling. In addition, optional seminars, and educational offerings are available for all MSU College of Nursing Doctoral students. It is highly recommended that students take advantage of the opportunities at MSU for cross disciplinary learning.
How do I become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurses?
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses(APRNs) have four specialty areas: Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) and Nurse Midwife (CNM). MSU offers programs to prepare for Family and Adult Gero NP, Adult Gero CNS, and CRNA certification. Applicants for the MSU DNP Program are required to be nationally certified APN by the time the program starts in fall 2013.
Do I need a BSN or MSN to Apply?
A Masters of Science in Nursing with national certification as a CNM, NP, CNS or CRNA is required for application to the DNP. All applicants will have earned an MSN (with APN focused curriculum) prior to the DNP program start. Applicants for the MSU DNP Program are required to be a nationally certified APN by the end of their first semester of DNP coursework.
How do I apply?
The application for fall 2015 is open. Applications will be due December 1, for the early process and May 1 for the final process.
Do I need to apply to Michigan State University as well as the College of Nursing?
No. As of fall 2014, you only need to apply to Michigan State University.
What is the DNP Major Code?
The DNP Major Code is 4030. Please use this code when applying to Michigan State University.
Do I need to apply to MSU as a graduate student if I received my MSN from the MSU College of Nursing?
If you earned your MSN from the College of Nursing at Michigan State University, you will still need to submit a new graduate application. Please indicate Major Code 4030 on your application.
What is the application timeline?
- Applications are due December 1 for the early process and May 1 for the final process.
- Interviews are determined once applications are complete. Interviews are by invitation only.
Will all applicants be interviewed?
The application process is competitive and selective. Not all applicants will be invited to interview. Invitations to interview will be sent to selected candidates as applications are processed.
When does the program start?
The DNP Program Starts in fall Semester of every year.
What is the minimum GPA required for application?
Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) from their MSN Program or Post Masters Program.
Do I need to know a topic/focus area for my DNP project at the time of application?
Applicants should have an idea of their area of focus for the DNP project when applying to the program. Part of the required essay includes a description of your proposed project area. Project work will begin early in the program and extend throughout each semester. If you do not have a specific project area identified, you should have a general area of focus delineated. Discussion of your focus for the DNP project will also be a major topic during interviews.
Is the GRE required?
No. The GRE is not required for application to the DNP Program.
Can I take DNP classes as a guest student?
No. All DNP coursework is limited to those students admitted to the Program.
Is the Program Part-Time or Full-Time?
The DNP Program can be completed in two years or in three years.
Do you accept out-of-state students? What about International students?
Yes. Out-of-State and International students are eligible to apply to the Program. All applicants, including international students, must be certified as Advance Practice Nurses (or will earn the MSN before the program starts). If admitted, some campus attendance is required each semester and students need to be able to travel to East Lansing, MI for Intensive Sessions at the beginning of each semester.
Do you require references?
Yes. The DNP Program requires three recommendations from professional references. The references must be from sources that have direct knowledge of the applicant’s practice and educational experience specifying the applicant’s ability to do doctoral work. As a general guideline, individuals who understand the demand and rigor of graduate nursing education should complete letters of recommendation. All recommendations should be completed by health care professionals who are able to evaluate your work within the scope of your practice as an Advanced Practice RN. At least one reference should be from an Advanced Practice Nurse in your specialty area and at least one reference should be from a Doctorally-prepared nurse. The recommendation should not be from a relative or personal friend.
Applicants will provide contact information for references in the online application. References will then be automatically notified by the application administrator to fill out the forms electronically. References can download the form, fill it out and then save it to their files. References will then be directed to upload the document to the online application.
How much nursing experience is required before I can apply?
One year of full-time equivalent experience as a Registered Nurse is required at the time of application.
Will I be required to do a dissertation?
No. DNP students complete a synthesis that is related to their area of practice specialty.
What is the profile of your most competitive applicants?
The Profile for the cohort admitted fall 2013 is:
- Type of APRN Certification: NP 78%, CNS 22%
- Average GPA from MSN Program: 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (Range: 3.3-4.0)
- Years of Nursing Experience:
- Average total years in Nursing: 19 (Range: 4 -33)
- Average years as APRN: 9.53 (Range: new grad to 18)
Approved graduate level statistics, research methods and health policy courses of at least 3 semester credits each is required and must have been successfully completed at an accredited college with a grade of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The statistics course must have been completed within 5 years prior to admission. The policy course must be completed prior to starting NUR 963 Leadership II: Leadership in Complex Healthcare Organizations. The Methods course must be completed prior to starting NUR 962 Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice.
- To apply to the fall 2015 DNP Program, Statistics must have been taken no earlier than Fall 2010.
What if my prerequisite coursework is more than 5 years old?
If your prerequisite statistics course is more than 5 years old, you will need to refresh the content by taking an approved graduate level statistics course before the start of the DNP Program.
How many clinical hours are required in the program?
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education requires the following for DNP Program Clinical Hours (see item #6 of the CCNE Frequently Asked Questions about the DNP).
The 1,000 post-baccalaureate faculty supervised practice hours includes both hours in the MSN and DNP programs. The MSU DNP includes 300 hours in the required DNP coursework. A clinical hours validation form is part of the application process. Students requesting more than 300 hours to meet the 1,000 hours will plan experience with faculty to achieve 1,000 hours.
Do I need to arrange my own clinical hours?
No. The MSU College of Nursing has a Clinical Placement Office that manages all clinical placements.
What materials are required in order to verify my educational background and licensure?
All applicants must have their MSN and/or Post Masters Program verify all clinical hours completed along with core advanced practice curriculum content in pathophysiology, pharmacology and physical assessment. Documentation should be provided in the form of official transcripts, nursing license(s) and APN certificates.
How much does the DNP Program cost?
Doctoral Program Tuition Rates can be found on the Controller’s Website. Rates differ between in-state and out-of-state students and are calculated per credit hour.
Is there funding available for DNP students through the College of Nursing?
Yes. Scholarship Applications are available at www.nursing.msu.edu. The deadline for Scholarships is March 1st of each year. Applicants are eligible to submit scholarship applications while waiting for an admission decision.