How to Apply to the DNP Program

Return to DNP Program Tracks:

Before Starting NursingCAS Application

  1. Review the Application Requirements to ensure you meet the requirements.
  2. Complete NursingCAS Application
    Review the application support documentation below.
    Watch our tutorial videos if you get stuck.
  3. After submitting the NursingCAS Application

What is NursingCAS?

NursingCAS is the Centralized Application Service for Nursing that provides accredited nursing colleges an admissions platform to manage application reviews efficiently.

Step 1.
Review Application Requirements

Education Requirements

  • Post-baccalaureate DNP applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program
  • Post-master’s DNP applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another field AND:
    • A master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

      OR
    • A graduate nurse anesthesia degree from a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

      OR
    • A graduate nurse-midwifery degree from a program accredited by the American College of Nurse Midwives Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher in a bachelor’s, and if applicable, master’s program
  • Official transcripts from all previous college work

Practice & Professional Requirements

  • 1 year of full-time nursing practice preferred
    • International students are strongly encouraged to have working experience in the field of nursing in the US
  • Students must hold a current, unencumbered RN license in each state or United States territory where practice or clinical experiences occur.
  • Vancouver DNP Students: Every effort is made to place you in a location which is convenient to you with a schedule that works with your current schedule; however, travel and adjustments to your schedule are often necessary. If you live in the greater Vancouver/Portland area, it is highly recommended that you hold a current and active license in both Oregon and Washington to open placement opportunities.

International Students

International students are eligible to apply if they are eligible to obtain a current, unencumbered RN license in each state or United States territory where practice or clinical experiences occur. International applicants must meet general Graduate School international applicant requirements.

Required Documentation & Interview

  • Your NursingCAS application will require the following documents by uploading them into the application:
    • Updated professional CV/Resume
    • Copy of RN License (optional)
    • Applicants who have attended, but did not complete, a previous graduate nursing school/health-related profession school must also provide a contextual letter. That letter must be from that school, including a statement regarding the student’s standing and reason for non-completion at that previous school. The letter will get uploaded into Nursing CAS.
      • Applicants who have been previously dismissed from a program or who are not in good standing will not be considered for admission. Admission will not be considered for anyone who earned a “NC”, or ”C” in any two graduate nursing courses or a “D”, “F”, “WD” or “WF” in any graduate nursing course
  • Note that a virtual interview through Kira Talent will be done online as part of the application process.

You will also be asked for additional items, so we encourage you to assemble these in advance:

  • Determine three references willing to provide a recommendation for you
    • The reference will discuss your leadership, academic standards, and skills as they pertain to your primary interest area.
    • You will need to provide names and emails of your references on your application. We recommend (but do not require) your references include a current or past faculty member in a nursing program you attended and two professionals from a work setting (head nurse, provider, NP/PA etc.).
    • Your references will be contacted directly by CAS via email after you have saved their information to your application. Each reference will receive instructions for submitting their recommendation online. CAS requires you to add a Due Date for the reference, please make this due date within one week of adding them your application.
    • Please note: the reference is an online form only, there is not a place to submit a letter.

Please note that an offer of admission is provisionally contingent upon acceptance to the University, satisfactory completion of all academic coursework prerequisite to nursing, completion of all general requirements by the end of the semester prior to beginning the program, and completion of all required onboarding and compliance needs prior to their relevant deadlines.

Step 2.
Begin NursingCAS Application

  • Review the application support documentation below. Additionally, we have tutorial videos that were made for our prelicensure BSN program. There are some exceptions to the DNP process but it may prove helpful to see how CAS works.
  • Navigate to Nursing CAS at https://nursingcas.liaisoncas.org/apply/. Select the term that you are applying for. Click apply to set up your account.
    • Check your junk mail and spam folder for the initial account confirmation to ensure that NursingCAS emails are safely going to your inbox. 
    • NursingCAS priority and final deadlines will vary depending the specialty track you apply for, so review in advance what your timeline will be.
  • You have two ways that you can find WSU applications that are currently available:
    • Once you have either created or signed in to a NursingCAS account you can use this link to view available programs.
    • Alternatively, Select “Add a Program.” Search for “Washington State University.” Select the appropriate specalty track you are applying for. Depending on when you apply, there might be additional applications open for WSU, so it’s important you select the correct one so your application goes to the right place.

Apply to the correct DNP program

There are multiple DNP application options so be sure to review the names of each to ensure you’re selecting the correct one. For example, you will see two FNP options – one is for post-baccalaureate and one is for post-masters. Make sure you have the correct one.

  • Once you’ve found the program(s) you’re looking for, click the blue ‘+’ to add them to your application.
    • If you wish to remove a program, you’ll do so from this list. Click the green checkmark next to the program and it will ask if you’d like to delete that program from your application.
  • Note: In NursingCAS, all WSU campuses are combined as Spokane/Tri-Cities/Vancouver/Yakima, WA. After you begin the application, you will be able to select the campus you want to apply for. The campus selection is a required question so you will have to answer it. Depending on the specialty track you apply for, you may be asked if you would like to select a secondary campus choice. If there is not a space for you in your first campus choice, we will reach out to you if your secondary campus choice has space available. Once you submit your application, your campus decision(s) cannot be changed. To help determine which campus to pick, please check out our campus overview
  • The application fee is $80 and non-refundable. The NursingCAS application is open from 8/15 through either 11/15 or 3/15 depending on your specialty track.
  • Select the “My Application” tab to begin filling out your application  

Personal Information

  • Fill out all 7 sections. Make sure you click “save and continue” at the bottom of each section.
  • Ensure that your contact info is accurate – your email is what we use to contact you for issues and info.
  • This section is run by NursingCAS – anything that is optional you are welcome to skip without it affecting your application.

Academic History

  • Fill out all sections other than standardized test.
  • For Colleges Attended, click “add a college” and input every college you have ever attended. Complete the questions asked for each college you added. This section will likely take you the most time, though our tutorial videos has an overview to assist.
    • PLEASE NOTE: You must input every institution of higher education in which you have been enrolled AND provide a transcript for each. NursingCAS will reject your application if coursework from an unreported institution shows on a submitted transcript, or if a transcript for an attended institution is not submitted.
  • You will need to order official transcripts for every college/university you have attended, including for your undergraduate degree. We recommend ordering an electronic transcript if possible. If your school does not offer electronic transcripts through one of the 3 companies that NursingCAS uses, please follow the instructions for “Option 2: Order a Mailed Paper Transcript.”
  • For Transcript Entry, input every course exactly as it appears on that institution’s transcript. NursingCAS will reject an application if the transcript entry does not match the transcript.
  • We recommend pulling up an unofficial transcript so you can copy over the classes accurately.
    • Note: We do not recommend using the Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) function as it takes far too long and may delay your admission. If you do use the Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) paid feature, please allow a large amount of time for CAS to finish that process. If you are late on a deadline or miss something due to PTE the responsibility is still with you. After you receive notification from NursingCAS that the PTE is complete, you must log back into your application and approve the coursework entry before your application will be submitted.
    • Note: Do your best with the course subject drop-down. It will not cover every option possible, and as long as it is close enough we will know what you are going for. The same goes for freshman/sophomore class standings. Those are not reviewed. The prefix, title, grades, and credits sections are the most important to us.
  • Once you have completed the transcript entry, choose to review and finalize your transcripts.
  • Ensure that you accurately indicate repeated classes. Type out exactly what is on your transcript.
  • This section is the longest to fill out and often the most complicated. Do not hesitate to follow along on our video guide or reach out to nursing.admissions@wsu.edu if you have any questions.

Supporting Information

  • For the DNP program we do not consider this as part of the review, so we recommend that you opt out of all 3 sections to save yourself time. However, if you are also applying to another school that needs these sections, it does not hurt you to have information in there. We will just not review it either way. To opt out, click the “I am NOT adding any achievements, experiences, or licensure/certification” button at the bottom of each respective section.
  • We will consider your experiences, but in the format of an uploaded resume/CV that you provide later in the application.

Program Materials

  • Review the home tab first, then fill out the remaining 3 tabs (Questions, Documents, References).
  • For Questions, thoroughly read through each and answer appropriately – if you answer yes to a question, and later it turns out you should have answered no, you risk ineligibility.
  • For Documents, upload your CV/Resume. Also, if you have attended a previous graduate nursing school or another health-related profession school, but did not complete/graduate from there, you must upload a letter from that school that includes a statement regarding your standing at the previous school.
  • For References, add the contact information for 3 references. More information about the reference requirements please see the Required Documentation & Interview section above.

Submitting Your Application

  • Navigate to “Submit Application” on the top of the page and pay application fee.
    Note that the deadline time is 11:59pm EST of that date.
  • Wait – we will send updates via email, usually within 6-8 weeks of when the application closes.
  • Remember – Email us early on if you anticipate any issues.

Tips for submitting your application

  • Select one campus (Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, or Yakima) you would like to attend. The campus you indicate on your application is where you will be expected to attend in-person classes. If you select one campus and intend to change later, you may lose your place in the program as we cannot ensure space for you at another campus location. Including your current home address will help us to verify you applied at the correct campus.
  • Include an email address you check regularly. Most contact during the admissions process will be done via email. Failure to respond may jeopardize your chances for admission.
  • Make sure your official transcripts are received by NursingCAS by the deadline. Please note that a copy of a transcript from every college and/or university you have attended will be required.

Ready to begin the process?

Step 3.
After you submit your NursingCAS application

  • DO NOT apply to WSU at this time. 
    If you are admitted to the nursing program, you will receive instructions to apply to the University.
  • Consider applying for financial aid. The deadline to apply to larger WSU scholarships is January 31 for the following academic year. WSU’s FAFSA code is 003800.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many students are admitted each year?
    1. 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, and PMG 15 students per year across all campuses.
  2. Is the GRE required?
    1. No, the GRE is not required.
  3. Is an RN license required?
    1. Yes. Students must hold a current, unencumbered RN license in each state or United States territory where practice or clinical experiences occur. Please refer to the program pages for additional details on practice and professional requirements.
  4. Are references required?
    1. Yes. When you apply online, you will be required to provide contact information for three references. Each reference will discuss your leadership, academic standards, and skills as they pertain to your primary interest area. You will need to provide names and emails of your references on your application. We recommend (but do not require) your references include a current or past faculty member in a nursing program you attended and two professionals from a work setting (head nurse, provider, NP/PA etc.).

      Your references will be contacted directly by CAS via email after you have saved their information to your application. Each reference will receive instructions for submitting their recommendation online. CAS requires you to add a Due Date for the reference, please make this due date within one week of adding them your application.

      Please note: the reference is an online form only, there is not a place to submit a letter.
  1. Where do I have my transcripts sent?
    1. Transcripts will be sent through CAS. For more information you can review the CAS Transcript Information page.
  2. Who is the contact person at the College of Nursing if I have questions?
    1. Email nursing.admissions@wsu.edu.
  3. I am currently enrolled in a DNP degree track at WSU College of Nursing but want to change my degree track. Do I have to reapply and pay the application fee again?
    1. No, you do not have to apply online and pay the application fee again, nor resubmit transcripts. Instead, as a current DNP student, please contact a Graduate advisor and/or review the DNP Specialty Track Transfer Policy.
  4. I want to get a master’s degree so I can take the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) exam sooner. Can I do that?
    1. The College of Nursing only offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree for students accepted to the nurse practitioner tracks (FNP or PMHNP)
    2. WSU does not offer a master’s degree exit option for NP students. 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.

If you have any other questions about the application email us!