DNP FAQs

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the DNP program is to prepare Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Certified Nurse-Midwives, with advanced knowledge in evidence-based practice, organizational leadership, and financial acumen to lead innovation in nursing practice and health care.

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What can I do with a DNP in nursing?

The DNP is a practice focused doctoral program designed to prepare APRNs for a variety of nursing practice roles.  The DNP prepares APRNs to translate nursing science into clinical practice to improve health care outcomes for patients in the clinical and community settings.

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Should I get a DNP or a PhD?

The DNP and PhD are committed to advancing the profession of nursing through scholarly efforts. However the PhD is a research focused doctorate. The PhD student is prepared to generate new knowledge in nursing. The DNP is a practice focused doctorate designed to implement nursing knowledge to improve clinical practice. 

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Can I work while obtaining the DNP?

The DNP program is designed with the working clinician in mind.  The curriculum is offered on-line.  There are two one week on campus requirements in the DNP program. The first one week session is in early June at the start of the program and the second one week requirement will be during the following summer.  There is a one weekend on campus requirement during the fall, spring and final fall semesters. For a general curriculum plan and a detailed curriculum plan for the current DNP cohort, please review the Plan of Study information.

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I am not a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse mid-wife, or clinical nurse specialist. Can I still attend the DNP program?

Our DNP program is designed specifically for Post Master’s APRNs.  This includes nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse mid-wives and clinical nurse specialists.

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Will I have to complete additional practice hours for the DNP program?

In order to meet the DNP requirements, students must complete a minimum of 1000 practice hours. Students may transfer 500 practice hours from their MSN program.  An additional 500 practice hours are required to complete the DNP.  The 500 practice hours include in-depth experiences with nursing and interdisciplinary professionals to acquire advanced knowledge to assist with collecting, synthesizing and disseminating the acquired knowledge into the DNP project. These practice hours are focused on the DNP curricula content and DNP Project. Please see Plan of Study listing practice hours applied to course content and DNP Project.

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Is the program offered online or on campus?

The DNP curriculum is offered predominately on-line.  Students can expect to meet on-line two evenings a week in the fall, spring, summer and final fall semester. There are two one week on campus requirements. The first one week session is in early June at the start of the program. The second one week session is early June in the following summer semester. There is a one weekend on campus requirement during the fall, spring and final fall semesters.

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How many credits are required?

The DNP is a 32 credit Post MSN program.

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Where can I find the curriculum plan?

For a general curriculum plan and a detailed curriculum plan for the current DNP cohort, please review the Plan of Study information.

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Is this a full-time or part-time program?

The DNP program is only offered full-time.  The curriculum is designed for the working clinician to complete the DNP in five consecutive semesters. For a general curriculum plan and a detailed curriculum plan for the current DNP cohort, please review the Plan of Study information.

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When are applications accepted?

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. As soon as applications are complete and all supporting documentation has been received, applicants are reviewed by the DNP Admision Review Board and notified of the admission decision.

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Is there a dissertation requirement?

The DNP program requires students to complete a scholarly DNP Project under the direction of a DNP Project Faculty and DNP Project Clinical Mentor.  The DNP Project exemplifies the culmination of advanced nursing knowledge and expertise in clinical practice at doctoral level intensity.

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What is the DNP scholarly project?

The DNP Project demonstrates the students’ ability to master and synthesize advanced nursing knowledge acquired throughout the program in a scholarly body of work. The DNP Project may be delivered in a variety of forms.  Examples of the DNP Project include analyzing, developing, implementing, and evaluation of a clinical practice change initiative including by not limited to; improving the health care delivery of patient populations,  a health policy issue, financial analyses of health care models, and quality improvement of a health care outcome.

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What are the computer requirements for the DNP program?

The DNP program is primarily a distance learning program. Please review the computer requirements for distance learning to ensure your computer and communications hardware and software meets or exceeds Villanova's distance learning requirements.

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How are the distance learning classes scheduled?

The distance learning classes will be offered online two nights a week Monday through Friday between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Will I be able to obtain a nursing faculty position with a DNP?

The DNP program is designed to prepare APRNs with the highest level of education in nursing practice.  DNPs may teach in academic settings however the course work does not prepare the APRN with the science of pedagogy.  Students interested in receiving courses in education may consider a Post Master’s certificate to build on their clinical degree.  Students may also consider our PhD program which prepares teacher-scholars for academic settings.

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Are GRE scores required for admission into the DNP program?

No.  GRE scores are not required.

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Do I need to complete additional course work before I start the DNP?

Students must have completed a graduate level research course and received a grade of B or higher.

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What is the minimum grade point average required for acceptance into the DNP program.

The DNP program is highly competitive.  A 3.5 grade point average is required for admission into the DNP program.

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What is the tuition for the DNP Program?

The tuition is $44,000 and accepted students pay a $1,000 seat fee.  This fee is not applied towards tuition. The University bills a student fee of $50 per semester. There is a $400 graduation fee at the end of the program.

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Is there financial assistance available?

Yes, you can obtain information about financial assistance at the Financial Assistance website.

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DNP student presenting

Contact us

Questions?

Debra Shearer, EdD, MSN, FNP-BC
Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program
610.519.8337 debra.shearer@villanova.edu

Liz Nicastro
DNP Program Assistant
610.519.3040 elizabeth.nicastro@villanova.edu