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WSU COLLEGE OF NURSING | GRADUATE PROGRAMS

DNP FAQs

What’s a DNP?
The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a clinical doctorate, versus the more researched-focused PhD. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommends the DNP degree for nurses who want to work as Nurse Practitioners. In many states, including Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, Nurse Practitioners are licensed to operate a full, independent practice, with the ability to diagnose and treat illness, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications.

The WSU College of Nursing offers these DNP tracks: post-baccalaureate DNP focused on Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP); and Population Health. The post-master’s applicant can choose to add a nurse practitioner specialty if they wish. Visit our DNP Admission Requirements page for more information.

Which WSU College of Nursing campus sites offer the DNP program?
The DNP program is offered at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver. If you live outside of these locations and are interested in the DNP program, contact the graduate program coordinator for more information.
Is the program offered online?
The program is considered “hybrid” with most of the instruction offered online, and some required attendance in scheduled classroom time on your campus of registration. In-person class sessions are block-scheduled so that students can attend each of their courses in a 1-2 day block (for example class sessions might be scheduled Aug. 21/22)*.

*Some nurse practitioner courses require lab intensives that are scheduled separately from typical block scheduling.

How are classes delivered?
Class sessions are delivered by two-way, fully interactive videoconferencing, allowing for maximum interaction with the instructor and students from all participating campus sites.
What are the admission requirements for the DNP program?
Post-baccalaureate DNP applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program. Post-master’s DNP applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another field and one of the following: a master’s degree in nursing, a graduate nurse-anesthesia degree, or a graduate nurse-midwifery degree. Applicants also must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher in a bachelor’s, and if applicable, master’s program, provide a written goal statement, and official transcripts from all previous college work. (Degree programs must be accredited; for full information visit the DNP Admission Criteria page.)
How do I apply?
We admit students once a year for the fall term. Students apply online through the WSU Graduate School. Visit our Steps to Apply page for more information. Applications for Fall 2018 will open in August 2017.
How many students are admitted each year?
Admission numbers are coordinated by specialty and by campus to ensure there are appropriate ratios between students and faculty. Typically, the FNP program admits approximately 50 students per year across all campuses, PMHNP 15 students per year across all campuses, Population Health 10 students per year across all campuses and post-MN 15 students per year across all campuses.
What does it cost to attend the program?
In-state tuition for the DNP program is $8,896 per semester, or $890 per credit part-time. Visit our program costs page for fees and book costs.
Is the GRE required?
No, the GRE is not required.
Is an RN license required?
Yes. For U.S. residents, current Washington State RN licensure is required. International students are eligible to apply if they are eligible to obtain a Washington state registered nurse (RN) license, which must be obtained prior to enrollment in any clinical or practicum course. International applicants must meet general Graduate School international applicant requirements.
How many practicum hours are required to obtain my degree?
All DNPs must complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate practicum hours, per national standards. Nurse Practitioner students will complete a minimum of 500 of the 1,000 hours in direct patient care clinical as required by their certification exam eligibility requirements. Population Health students will complete practicum hours consistent with their intended plan of study. Post-master’s students must also complete practicum hours to meet the 1,000 hour total, however, hours completed during a master’s degree will count towards this requirement. Post-master’s students should work closely with the Graduate Program Coordinator to identify practicum hours in the MN/MSN program.
Can I complete my clinical hours where I work?
Clinical hours in the workplace follow strict requirements. You may complete clinical hours within the organization where you’re employed but not within the same unit or the same supervisory area, and no reimbursement may be given for practicum hours.
What is a DNP Project?
A hallmark of the DNP-prepared nurse is the ability to utilize the concept of practice inquiry to translate meaningful health research into practice. Students learn this process through the completion of a final DNP project. Students investigate an area of nursing practice, the health care delivery system, or a health care policy issue to develop a project meaningful to the organization as well as one that meets the scope of doctoral level work. DNP projects may take the form of quality improvement initiatives, practice change programs, program evaluation or translating evidence into practice. See examples of DNP student projects here.
I want to get a master’s degree so I can take the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) exam sooner. Can I do that?
The College of Nursing offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree for students accepted to the nurse practitioner tracks (family nurse practitioner or a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner). We do not offer a stand-alone master’s degree program for nurse practitioner training, but if a student wants to earn a master’s degree while enrolled in the DNP program that may be arranged by working closely with their academic adviser and the Graduate Program Coordinator. Note that completing a master’s degree will require a separate defendable master’s-level project that cannot replace the completion of the DNP project and may include courses that are specific to the DNP program. We discourage nurse practitioner students from exiting at the master’s degree level as employers and national organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing support the completion of the DNP as the degree for entry to Nurse Practitioner practice. Currently the certification exams for both Family Nurse Practitioners and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners still accept completion of the master’s degree but students should monitor the eligibility requirements of the Nurse Practitioner exams to be sure their educational program provides all necessary requirements.
I live in Oregon. Am I eligible for in-state tuition, or do I have to pay non-resident rates?
The Border Bill may be an option for Oregon residents in “bordering counties” attending either the Tri-Cities or Vancouver campuses. The state of Washington’s Border Bill allows Oregon residents who live in specified counties to attend WSU Vancouver and/or WSU Tri-Cities part-time (8 credits or less per semester) and pay resident tuition rates for the courses taken through these two WSU campuses only.  For further information and a border bill application, refer to the links below.

Tri-Cities Border Bill

Vancouver Border Bill

Are course lectures available for later review?
Yes. All course lectures are video-recorded, archived and available for later review if needed. However, archived videos are not meant to take the place of live class. Students are required to attend all classes.
What should I include in my goal statement/statement of purpose?
The essay should include a statement about your long- and short-term professional goals and how they fit with the mission of the College of Nursing and the University. Please keep it to 500 words.
Are references required?
Yes. When you apply online, you will be required to provide contact information for three references. Once you submit your online application, your references will be contacted automatically through the online application system and asked to submit a recommendation form electronically; there is no need for a separate hard copy. We recommend your references include two faculty members in a nursing program you attended and a person from a work setting. Please contact references to ensure they are willing to respond to your recommendation request, and ask them to discuss your leadership, academic standards, and skills as they pertain to your primary interest area.
Where do I have my transcripts sent?
Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application review process, but official transcripts will be required for all admitted students. Visit the requirements page on the Graduate School website for more information.
What are the admission requirements for the DNP program?
Visit our Admission Requirements page to learn more about admission requirements.
Who is the contact person at the College of Nursing if I have questions?
Email nursing.grad.apps@wsu.edu or call 509-324-7445.
How can I reach the Graduate School if I have questions?
WSU Graduate School Admissions can be reached at gradsch@wsu.edu or 509-335-1446.
I am currently enrolled in a graduate nursing program at WSU College of Nursing but want to change my degree program. Do I have to reapply to the graduate school online and pay the application fee again?
No, you do not have to apply online and pay the application fee again. If you are already a graduate student at WSU College of Nursing and want to change your degree plans, please submit the following materials: graduate program interview questions, statement of purpose addressing why you want to switch or continue and a current résumé to nursing.grad.apps@wsu.edu. If you are already enrolled in a graduate nursing program at WSU College of Nursing and reapplied online and paid the $75 fee, contact Jenny Saligumba-Graham at saligum@wsu.edu to request a refund. Faculty will review your file for an admission decision. If they approve admission, you must work with WSU College of Nursing Graduate Program Office to complete and submit a Plan and Degree Level Change Form to the WSU Graduate School.