Graduate Degree - Nursing Practice - Doctor of Nursing Practice

Nursing Practice - Doctor of Nursing Practice
Program Code:
4030 Nursing Practice
Program Level:
Award Type:
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Start Term:
College of Nursing
Relevant Excerpt(s) from Academic Programs:

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.
Requirements as represented in Degree Navigator are not available for this program.

College of Nursing

Graduate Study

Nursing Practice - Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) curriculum prepares advanced practice nurses to provide clinical, organizational and systems’ leadership at the highest level. The program develops practitioners who design, implement and evaluate high quality and cost-effective health care services for diverse populations including the disadvantaged and underserved. The graduate will champion healthcare policy and operational changes using evidence-based data and technology that enhances and guides nursing practice. The individual prepared as a doctor of nursing practice actively collaborates across disciplines and organizations with providers and client groups to achieve sustainable healthcare outcomes.


Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is limited to (1) Master's Prepared Registered Nurses graduated from an accredited master's program in nursing or (2) hold a B.S.N. from an accredited nursing program and a master's degree that qualified them to sit for national certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In addition to meeting the requirements of the College of Nursing, students must meet the requirements specified below.

  1. The application process requires two steps:
    1. Applicants must apply to Michigan State University. The University application is available online at An application fee applies.
    2. Applicants must concurrently apply separately to the College of Nursing. There is no fee to apply to the College of Nursing. The application process requires an official transcript from each college, university, and school attended, covering all academic work completed to date, and must be sent directly to the College of Nursing, Office of Student Support Services, 1355 Bogue Street, Room C120, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  2. An essay is required as part of the application which addresses the following:
    1. A concise academic statement of your goals for doctoral study, your professional experiences and career goals, and how the MSU College of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice program will support you in meeting your career and educational objectives.
    2. A personal statement about how your background and life experiences including social, economic, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges motivated your decision to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
    3. Description of your vision of the role of the nursing leader,  giving an example of a professional situation in which you assumed leadership.
    4. What qualities do you possess that will facilitate your ability to balance the challenges presented by doctoral education?
  3. Three letters of recommendation. The reference letters must be from sources that have direct knowledge of the applicant’s work and educational experience specifying the applicant’s ability to do graduate work. As a general guideline, individuals who understand the demand and rigor of graduate nursing education should complete letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation should be completed by a nurse holding master’s or doctoral credentials.
  4. A professional resume documenting years of clinical work and educational experiences. At least one year of full-time professional experience as a registered nurse is required.
  5. Current unrestricted RN license without probationary status in the applicant’s state or country.
  6. Approved graduate-level statistics, research methods and health policy courses of at least 3 semester credits, each.  Each must have been successfully completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The statistics course must have been completed within 5 years prior to admission. The policy course must be completed prior to starting NUR 963 Leadership II: Leadership in Complex Healthcare Organizations and the methods course must be completed prior to starting NUR 962 Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice.
  7. Cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 basis) for the Master of Science in Nursing.
  8. International applicants whose academic language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as a condition for regular admission to Michigan State University. See the International Student Admission Minimum Requirement for Regular Admission section in the Graduate Education section of this catalog. All official transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator.

Following initial screening, applicants identified as well-matched with the College of Nursing academic standards and program focus will be contacted for a required personal interview with program faculty. Recommendations for admission are made by the faculty committee to the Dean of the College based on the requirements for admission and the personal interview.

Students who do not meet the requirements for regular admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Nursing Practice program may be accepted provisionally. Provisionally admitted students are required to satisfy deficiencies as specified in the letter of admission and will be formally removed from provisional status once the deficiencies are satisfied. Students on provisional status may not progress in the program if deficiencies are not satisfied in the specified time frame. Provisional course work does not count towards fulfillment of degree requirements.

Requirements for the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Practice Degree

1. All of the following courses (36 credits):
CAS 850 Health Informatics 3
EPI 840 Clinical Epidemiology for Healthcare Practice 3
NUR 910 Health Status Outcomes: The Individual and Family 3
NUR 920 Translation of Research and Scientific Knowledge to a Community Setting 3
NUR 960 Scientific Foundations of Nursing 3
NUR 961 Leadership I: Organizational Leadership 3
NUR 962 Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice 3
NUR 963 Leadership II: Leadership in Complex Healthcare Organizations 3
NUR 964 DNP Practicum I 3
NUR 965 DNP Practicum II 3
NUR 989 DNP Synthesis Project 6
2. Completion of a minimum of 1000 supervised clinical hours between the master’s degree program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. Students will enroll in NUR 990 Special Problems to complete an individualized clinical learning plan that will achieve the remaining required hours.

Guidance Committee

Each student admitted to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will form a guidance committee with the approval and the assistance of the college. The guidance committee will consist of at least three members. A minimum of two will be Michigan State University College of Nursing graduate faculty.

Academic Standards

A cumulative grade–point average of 3.0 and a grade of 3.0 in each nursing course is required.

Comprehensive Examinations

In lieu of a comprehensive examination, students will complete 6 credits in a synthesis project. Students will be assigned a guidance committee who provides regular written and verbal feedback on project components, assists the student in setting reasonable timelines, and leads the proposal defense and final project presentation session.

Transfer Credits

Up to 25% of graduate course work (excluding thesis credits) may be transferred into the Doctorate of Nursing Practice from other Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredited programs upon approval of the College of Nursing.

Time Limit

The time limit for completing the degree is six years from the beginning of the first semester in which credit toward the degree was earned.