Doctor of Nursing Practice

Description | Program of Study | Admission Requirements |  Application Process | Degree Requirements

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Click here to view the states from which the Capstone College of Nursing currently accepts applications for admission.

2017 Joint DNP Intensive Information



The DNP is a practice-focused degree to prepare graduates to function at the highest level in specialty practice or to assume leadership positions in health care. Entry into the program is available every fall. Graduates of the DNP program focus on providing care with an emphasis on improving quality and access to underserved and diverse populations. Graduates employ abilities and skills in these areas to advocate for reasonable, rational and data-driven health regulations, standards, and practices; sustain collaborative and strategic relationships, promote innovative, effective health care programs; and form partnerships with diverse groups to address health disparities. We currently have two entry points for the DNP Program, post-baccalaureate and post-master. The post-baccalaureate program admits BSN prepared nurses to the DNP program with a dual nurse practitioner specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health and Primary Care for Rural Populations.  The post-baccalaureate DNP is currently only available to Alabama and Mississippi residents. The post-master’s DNP option admits advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse executives, and clinical nurse specialists).  Certification is required prior to completing 12 credit hours in the program.

The DNP curriculum includes the development of a practice improvement project. This scholarly project is designed to synthesize scholarship in an advanced practice specialty or an area of health care leadership and serves as the capstone program experience. All courses are offered in a distance accessible format, and students develop the scholarly project under the direction of a team, including program faculty, the student, the clinical advisor, the faculty advisor, and alumni mentors. Note: This program requires a clinical component. It is the student’s responsibility to identify a site and an appropriate clinical advisor.

Program of Study:

Sample Post-Baccalaureate DNP Program of Study

Sample Full-Time Post Masters DNP Program of Study

Sample Part-Time Post-Masters DNP Program of Study 

Admission Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate DNP:

Admission requirements are consistent with those of the Graduate School. Applicants for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will be considered on a competitive basis.

The following are requirements for admission:

  1. For unconditional admission, a grade point average of at least 3.0 overall (based on a 4.0 grading scale) or 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work is required. For conditional admission, a grade point average of at least 2.5 overall (based on a 4.0 grading scale) for undergraduate work, and a score of at least 300 on the revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) OR at least in the 40th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required.
  2. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing.
  3. Current unencumbered RN licensure in Alabama or Mississippi.  Click Here to view the states from which the College of Nursing accepts applications for admission.

Note: Currently, only baccalaureate prepared registered nurses who are residents of Alabama and Mississippi are eligible for admission to the post-baccalaureate DNP concentration.  

Admission Requirements for the Post-Master’s DNP:

Admission requirements are consistent with those of the Graduate School. Applicants for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will be considered on a competitive basis. The following are requirements for admission:

  1. Current unencumbered RN licensure in a state approved for admission. Click Here to view the states from which the College of Nursing accepts applications for admission.
  2. Master’s degree in nursing in an advanced nursing practice area (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist) from a regionally and CCNE or NLN accredited school of nursing. Students who have a master’s degree in nursing in an area other than advanced practice may request to have their application evaluated to determine if they meet requirements for admission to the DNP program.
  3. Advanced practice national certification or eligibility to sit for advanced practice national certification, and must pass certification exam prior to completing 12 credit hours of DNP coursework. Students who are not yet certified will only be considered for conditional admission.
  4. A 3.0 grade point average, based on a 4.0 system in a completed graduate degree.

Application Process

Enrollment into the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is available for fall semester each year.  Your completed application must be received by the April 1st deadline.  

Doctor of Nursing Practice Application Process

  • Begin your graduate application at the Graduate School’s Application Center.  Select the Distance Learning Application and the appropriate track.
  • Request transcripts following the Graduate School’s transcript instructions.
  • Submit supporting documents.  Within 48 hours of submitting the initial part of your application, you will receive an e-mail with your Campus-Wide Identification (CWID) number.  It is very important that you safeguard this number.  Once you have received this e-mail, you will need to submit the following documents through Manage Supporting Documents:
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or curriculum vitae 
  • Contact information for two references – The references should be professionals who can provide insight regarding your potential for success in the doctoral program.  The Graduate School will contact these references via e-mail.
  • Copy of active RN license from every state in which you are licensed.  Note: Licensure must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Copy of active national advanced practice certification (if applicable)– Your certification must be for nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or advanced nurse executive.  If you are not certified, you must provide proof from a national certification center that you are eligible.  Note: Certification must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Verification of Clinical Hours – Send Verification of Post-Baccalaureate Clinical Hours Form to your previous master’s program/s and have them complete and return to you.
  • Writing sample describing a potential scholarly project. See Writing Sample Guideline and Template.

Additionally, we may require the following:

  • Phone interview with a graduate faculty member.
  • English proficiency exam score – Whether an international or a permanent resident, if your first language is not English, you must submit an official score report from one of the following proficiency examinations: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English (PTE). Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for further information.

Upon admission, you will receive written notification of admission from the Dean of the Graduate School. You will also receive a letter from the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs at CCN outlining requirements for entry into the MSN program.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

Acceptable graduate credit of up to twelve credit hours, earned in a regionally accredited institution in which the student was enrolled in that institution’s graduate school, may be transferred and applied to the requirements for a doctoral degree if approved by the CCN and Graduate School. Consideration of credit does not guarantee transfer. Evaluation of credit for transfer will not be made until after the student has enrolled in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama.  Further information can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Degree Requirements:

The Doctor of Nursing Practice will be awarded to the student who has met the following requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • good standing at the time of graduation
  • successful completion of the scholarly project
  • successful completion of the required coursework and scholarly project hours
  • attendance at one (1) DNP Intensive during program