College of Nursing

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.


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).

    BSN to DNP

    All applicants must have:

    • Three letters of recommendation (from nursing faculty or clinical supervisor), indicating potential for graduate study, attesting to the applicant's academic ability, clinical competence, and commitment
    • Personal goals statement
    • Current resume or curriculum vitae
    • Sealed official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
    • A BSN from a CCNE or ACEN regionally accredited institution and satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
      • "B" average or better in all work attempted while registered as an undergraduate student working for a degree, or
      • "B" average or better in all work attempted while registered as an Upper Division undergraduate student working for a baccalaureate degree.
    • The equivalent bachelors and/or graduate degrees in nursing from a foreign institution
    • Current unencumbered license as a registered nurse and/or advanced practice nurse in the United States upon matriculation. Current license as a registered nurse and/or advanced practice nurse in the state of Florida, or a compact multi-state license allowing practice in the state of Florida, before the first clinical course.
    • Completed a 3-credit hour or equivalent in length undergraduate level statistics course with a grade of B or better.
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care applicants must have one-year current experience as an RN in an aggressive adult ICU critical care unit, completed prior to matriculation into the program.
    • GRE recommended, not required

    MSN to DNP 

    Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to apply for the program:
     
    • Three letters of recommendation (from nursing faculty or clinical supervisor), indicating potential for graduate study, attesting to the applicant's academic ability, clinical competence, and commitment
    • Personal goals statement
    • Current resume or curriculum vitae
    • Sealed official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
    • MSN from a regionally accredited college or university
    • An overall 3.0 GPA at the graduate level
    • Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse (CRNA, NP, CNM, CNS) -Florida license needed for residencies
    • National certification in area of advanced practice
    • GRE recommended, not required

    Important Notification:

    All admitted nursing students are required to complete a background check, immunization verification, and drug screening. Admitted students will be provided with the steps to complete this process.

    Complete By: First week of class
    Required Immunizations: MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B, Tdap Booster (Documentation), TB Skin Test, CPR Certification (American Heart Association), Flu Shot

    Note: This requirement is not the same as the USF Student Health Services (USF Health Form) and cannot be submitted as a substitute.


  • Curriculum

    BSN to DNP

    The BSN to DNP post-baccalaureate curriculum builds on the baccalaureate level competencies required for professional nursing practice. It provides students who hold a 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 clinical 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 (2012) and the population-focused specific competencies established for their respective future area(s) of practice. All Nurse Practitioner concentrations lead to eligibility to sit for one or more national population-focused certification exams. Students in selected concentrations may also be prepared to sit for one or more specialty certification exams. 

    Please Note: Program length varies depending on the concentration selected.

    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 standard plan and course sequence. The specific sequence of courses for each admission cycle is determined upon admission to the program and students will be provided their specific program plan upon accepting their offer of admission.

    Options are also available for students seeking preparation for certification in a new or second population-focused area of advanced practice. Additional course work and practicum experiences in the new area of population specialization will be required. Upon completion of these additional learning experiences and the program, students will be eligible to sit for one or more national certification exams in the second population-focused area of practice.

    All students are required to complete the following courses and to fulfill the requirements associated with the DNP evidence-based practice project and the DNP practicum.

    MSN to DNP Knowledge Building Core Course Requirements

    Course Number Course Name Credits
    NGR 6673 Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing
    3
    NGR 7766 Health Systems Leadership and Interprofessional Practice
    3
    NGR 7767 Practice Management, Quality Improvement, and Patient Safety
    3
    NGR 7848 Fundamentals of Statistics for Clinicians
    3
    NGR 7874 Informatics and Patient Care Technology
    3
    NGR 7892 Health Care Policy & Clinical Prevention for Imprv Pop Health
    3
    NGR 7945 Doctor of Nursing Practice Practicum
    8*
    NGR 7974  Doctor of Nursing Practice Practicum  4*
    *Minimum required hours
  • 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. 

    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

    All steps in the application process must be completed by 5 p.m. on the deadline for the application term.

    MSN to DNP
    Term     
    Application Opens 
    Deadline to Apply          
    Spring June 15
    October 15

    BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP
    Term              
    Application Opens                   
    Deadline to Apply
    Fall September 15
    March 15


    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

    See past student projects and titles to assist in developing your own project.