Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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The DNP program prepares elite nursing professionals to lead in today's increasingly complex health care system, applying evolving best practices to make dramatic improvements in patient care.

Overview

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is widely considered the highest practice degree in nursing. At UMSON, the curriculum will provide you an immersive education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership. Our graduates possess clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills that have a direct impact on health care outcomes. The DNP will enable you to remain in direct patient care while providing you with the knowledge and training to be a leader in a fast-changing health care environment. With a DNP from UMSON, you’ll be well equipped to translate advances in scientific research into improved outcomes for your patients.

UMSON has transitioned its six Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specialties from the Master of Science to the DNP, effective fall 2014. Graduates who choose an APRN specialty will be eligible to apply for national certification. UMSON also continues to offer the existing DNP (Post-Master’s) option.

Click here to read the DNP program's frequently asked questions.

Get some perspective on the DNP program. Watch these videos.

Jane Kapustin, PhD, MS '85, CRNP, BC-ADM, FAANP, FAAN, assistant dean for the master's and DNP programs, gives an overview of the new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at UMSON, including the new entry options and the difference between the DNP and PhD programs. Current student Sonia Brown talks about what she has learned so far in the DNP program, specifically the key leadership skills that have already helped shape her career and capstone project.
Carmel McComiskey, DNP '10, MS '96, CRNP, discusses her experience in UMSON's DNP program and the powerful partnership between the University of Maryland Medical Center and the School of Nursing. Shannon Reedy Idzik, DNP '10, MS '03, CRNP, discusses the positive impact the UMSON DNP program has had on her role as a faculty member.

Program Details

UMSON offers three DNP entry options: Post-BSN to DNP, DNP with Specialties (Post-Master’s), and DNP (Post-Master’s).

Post-BSN to DNP

This option is designed for nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. If you’re interested in a career as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist, the DNP can provide you with the skills needed to excel in direct patient care. The program offers concentrations in the following specialties:

DNP with Specialties (Post-Master's)

This option is designed for nurses who are interested in a career as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist and:

  • Have a master’s degree in nursing and want to pursue the DNP with one of the specialties listed below:

OR

  • Currently work in health services leadership management, nursing informatics, community and public health; possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (entry-into-practice program); hold a master’s degree in a relevant field such as an MBA, MPA, or MPH; and want to pursue the DNP with one of the specialties listed below:
     

DNP (Post-Master's)

This option is designed for nurses who hold or have held positions such as nurse executives, nurse informatics, nurse educators, community health nurses, clinical nurse specialties, nurse midwives, nurse anesthesists, and nurse practitioners. You must also:

  • Have a master's degree

OR

  • Work in the areas of health services leadership management, nursing informatics, community and public health; possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (entry-into-practice program); and hold a master’s degree in a relevant field, such as an MBA, MPA, or MPH

Click here for more information about the Post-Master's DNP option.

Admissions Requirements

All DNP applicants must provide:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a program resulting in the award of a master's degree in nursing from an ACEN- (formally known as NLNAC) or CCNE-accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign university
  • Official transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate study (including study at UMSON), regardless of whether a degree was earned 
  • Three letters of recommendation from recommenders with knowledge of your work performance and experience. Recommenders must address your ability to successfully complete a doctoral program. While ideal recommenders are doctoral-prepared nurses in the specialty to which you are applying, anyone who can speak to your academic potential, clinical skills, knowledge, and involvement in leadership or professional activities would be a good recommender. Click here for the Letter of Recommendation for DNP Applicants form.
  • An interview with selected applicants will be arranged after the applications are received and reviewed 
  • Essay
  • Active United States registered nurse license required. Clinical agencies will require an active Maryland license. 
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Verification of Nursing Practicum Hours Form required for post-master's option applicants only.
  • Application for In-State Status Classification if claiming in-state status.

Submit all application materials to:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Admissions
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579
admissions@son.umaryland.edu

What You'll Do

After graduating from the DNP program, you'll be prepared to:

  • Initiate, facilitate, and participate in collaborative efforts that influence health care outcomes with scholars, practitioners, clinicians, and policy makers from other disciplines
  • Lead at the highest educational, clinical, and executive ranks
  • Evaluate and apply ethically sound, culturally sensitive, evidence-based practice for the improvement of education, clinical practice, systems management, and nursing leadership
  • Analyze and apply scientific knowledge and related skills for the highest level of nursing practice
  • Design, implement, manage, and evaluate patient care and organizational systems
Want to know more about UMSON's DNP program? Click here to view the DNP program brochure.

To request a paper copy of the DNP program brochure, click here.