Graduate Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest practice degree any nurse can achieve. Our DNP program prepares nurses with the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to ensure quality of care and positive patient outcomes. Students with degrees in nursing are offered the opportunity to acquire the competencies required for entry to advanced nursing practice while also completing the requirements for the DNP degree.

This program prepares graduates to exercise advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and expanded responsibility and accountability in planning, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based strategies to improve individual patient and population health outcome.

DNP vs PhD Comparison

What is the difference between the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the PhD in Nursing Science?

Click here for the comparison details.


Accreditations – Visit our Accreditation page to learn more. 


  • Admission Requirements

    Two Entry Points

    The college is committed to recruiting a diverse pool of applicants who are highly motivated to achieve the doctoral program objectives. Admission to the program is based on a number of factors to evaluate a student's potential for academic success at the doctoral level. In Fall 2013 the College of Nursing implemented a revised DNP program curriculum and revised admission guidelines to provide two entry-level options: (1) post-baccalaureate (BSN to DNP) and (2) post-master's (MSN to DNP).

    Important Information:

    All admitted nursing students are required to complete a background check, immunization verification, and drug screening. Additionally, students will be required to provide proof of current health insurance. Admitted students will be provided with the steps to complete this process. 

    To learn more about the requirements for each entry point, please consult the Graduate Catalog


  • Curriculum

    BSN to DNP

    The BSN to DNP post-baccalaureate curriculum builds on the baccalaureate level competencies required for professional nursing practice. The program provides students who hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing with the opportunity to acquire the competencies required for entry to advanced nursing practice while also completing the requirements for the DNP degree.

    The following BSN to DNP concentrations are available:

    All BSN to DNP students are required to complete the didactic and practicum experiences necessary for achievement of the competencies associated with doctoral education as delineated in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (2006) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Nurse Practitioner students must also meet the Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies as defined by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (2017) and the population-focused specific competencies established for their respective future area(s) of practice. All students that successfully complete the requirements of the Nurse Practitioner concentrations are eligible for national certification.  

    MSN to DNP

    The post-master's DNP curriculum builds on the master's level competencies for advanced practice nurses. This program prepares graduates to exercise advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and expanded responsibility and accountability in planning, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based strategies to improve individual patient and population health outcomes.

    All students are required to complete the didactic and practicum experiences necessary for achievement of the competencies associated with doctoral education as delineated in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's (2006) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

    A minimum of 30 credits are required, which must include a minimum of 8 credits of practicum and a minimum of 4 credits of project. Project and Practicum must be completed in Florida. Practicum credits must correlate directly with the DNP Project and may be fulfilled by direct patient care hours, immersion hours, or other clinical experiences approved by the DNP Director.

    The program follows a lock-step plan and course sequence. Students will be provided the lock-step program plan upon accepting their offer of admission.

    For more information, please consult the Graduate Catalog.

  • Apply

    Application Process

    Applicants who meet the admission requirements should complete the steps below to successfully apply:

    1. Submit a Graduate Admissions Application
      • USF Graduate Admissions Application
      • For all questions, contact the USF Admissions Office at (813) 974-3350 or visit the website
      • Note: Do not upload supplemental documentation; please bypass these sections of the application (e.g., test scores, transcripts and personal statements)
    2. Submit a NursingCAS Application

    Required Documentation: All documentation (e.g., transcripts, resume, certifications, etc.) must be uploaded to NursingCAS by the deadline in order for applications to be considered.

    Interview Requirement: In addition to fulfilling the application requirements, a personal interview with faculty will be required. 

    Learn more by attending an information session and application workshop.

    International Admissions

    • Foreign Transcripts: All coursework and degrees completed outside the United States require a course-by-course evaluation from an approved evaluating agency. Foreign transcript evaluation services are approved by the USF Graduate School. Please note that the Florida Board of Nursing maintains its own list of approved evaluating agencies. Transcript evaluations must be received at the College of Nursing in their original sealed envelopes by the deadlines posted.
    • English Language: Applicants from countries where English is not the official language must demonstrate English proficiency. Please see USF Graduate Catalog for more information or contact USF Office of International Admissions.
  • Application Deadlines

    MSN to DNP
    Term     
    Application Opens 
    Deadline to Apply          
    Spring 2021 June 15, 2020
    November 1, 2020

    BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP
    Term              
    Application Opens                   
    Deadline to Apply
    Fall 2021 September 15, 2020 March 15, 2021 (February 15 priority deadline)

    Priority Application Deadlines:

    • MSN to DNP Spring Admission - August 15
    • BSN to DNP Fall Admission - February 15
    • MSN to DNP Fall Admission - February 15

    Note: All concentrations will admit students on a space available basis after the deadline to apply. To see the current space availability click here.

    Priority admission and consideration for financial support will be limited to those meeting the priority deadline.
     

    NOTE: Application deadlines for Graduate Student Success fellowships, including the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, are often prior to the priority College of Nursing deadline. Applicants should consult the pertinent funding agency as additional application materials may be required for each fellowship.


  • DNP Project Poster Showcase