Doctor of Nursing Practice Overview
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 PhD in Nursing Science and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)?
Accreditations – Visit our Accreditation page to learn more.
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.
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:
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Health Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing subspecialty*
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Oncology subspecialty — ON HOLD as of Fall 2021 admission cycle
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
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.
Applicants who meet the admission requirements should complete the steps below to successfully apply:
- 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)
- Submit a NursingCAS Application
- NursingCAS Application
- Submit all required documentation through NursingCAS
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.
- 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 by NursingCAS electronically or 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.
BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP
Application Opens: August 15
Deadline to Apply: July 1
Priority Application Deadlines: February 15
See past student projects and titles.
Meet Our Program Director
Ken Wofford, PhD, CRNA, CHSE, FAWM, DiMM
Dr. Wofford is an Associate Professor and DNP Program Director at the University of South Florida College of Nursing, where he teaches simulation, statistics, epidemiology, evidence-based practice, foundations of anesthesia practice, and anatomy and physiology.
Before joining USF, he served for 26 years in the US Navy, joining as a Hospital Corpsman and retiring as a Commander. During his time in the Navy, he served as an ICU nurse, Staff CRNA, Nurse Scientist, faculty, and Fleet Marine Staff Officer, and received degrees from Jacksonville University, Georgetown University, and Duke University. His final six years were served at the Uniformed Services University, where he was Director of Research and Evidence-Based Practice for the Registered Nurse Anesthesia Program and instructor in the austere medical training courses at the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing.
He holds a Diploma in Mountain Medicine, is a Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. He currently maintains an active independent clinical anesthesia practice in a CRNA-only group in Tampa, FL.