DNP: Post-Master's Option

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Earn your DNP without repeating coursework you completed for your master's degree.

Ranked Among the Best

U.S. News and World Report - Best Grad Schools - Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice 2022

See all of our rankings.

Through the post-master's DNP option, you'll complete only the courses necessary to earn the DNP — there's no need to retake courses you already completed.

Depending on your prior coursework, it could take as few as 37 credits for you to complete your DNP.

This option is ideal for candidates who either:

  • have a master's degree in nursing*

    OR

  • possess a bachelor's degree in nursing
  • possess a master's degree in a relevant field, such as an MBA, MPA, or MPH
  • currently utilize your master's preparation in an area of advanced nursing practice such as health services leadership management, nursing informatics, or community and public health

    If you have an entry-to-practice master's degree (Clinical Nurse Leader) or a master’s specialty in education, please call us for information about the best pathway to your DNP.

And who:

  • want to earn a DNP
  • are already an advanced practice registered nurse or are not interested in becoming one.

Courses are offered in a blended format.

The Post-Master’s DNP option is delivered in a blended format, offering flexibility and efficiency for busy professionals. The blended program consists of classes that are offered online, including synchronous and asynchronous web conferencing. Students will have synchronous web conferencing five times per semester at scheduled class time.

Streamline your education: Take only the courses you need.

Our DNP program has an option that fits your goals and experience.

Program Snapshot: Post-Master's Option

Length

As little as 2 years

Format

Blended (face-to-face and online)

Tuition View overview

In State: $856.00/credit
Out of State: $1,519.00/credit

Credits

37-47

Accreditation Read Details

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Want to earn a certificate, too?

Save time and money when you count up to two courses toward both your DNP and one of these certificates:

If you are planning a career in academia, you can share your elective coursework with the DNP and a Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions Certificate.

Contact admissions.nursing@umaryland.edu for more information.

 

More Information

Courses You'll Take

For financial aid purposes, there are credit minimums for full-time status that may differ from the plans of study. See details.

The program requires 37-47 credits. Full-time or part-time options are available.

Sample Plans of Study:

Plans of Study Prior to Fall 2022:


3-Year Plan of Study

NDNP 890 Practicum: 1 Credit = 45 hours

  • Students who bring in 500 practicum hours: complete 6 practicum credits
  • Students who bring in < 500 practicum hours: complete additional practicum beyond 6 credits as needed to meet 1,000-hour requirement

Fall Year 1

NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits

NRSG 785 Professional Writing

1 Credits

NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits

Semester Total

7 Credits

Spring Year 1

NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits

NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care

2 Credits

NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum

1 Credit (45 Hours)

Semester Total

6 Credits

Summer Year 1

NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems

3 Credits

NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice

3 Credits

Semester Total

6 Credits

Fall Year 2

NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum

2 Credits (90 Hours)

NDNP 890: Practicum

1 credit (45 Hours)

Semester Total

3 Credits 

Spring Year 2

NDNP 810: DNP Project Identification

1 Credit

NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy

3 Credits

NDNP 890: Practicum

1 Credit (45 Hours)

Semester Total

5 Credits

Summer Year 2

NDNP 811: DNP Project Development

1 Credit

Elective

3 Credits

Semester Total

4 Credits

Fall Year 3

NDNP 812: DNP Project Implementation

1 Credit (45 Hours)

NDNP890: Practicum

2 credits (90 Hours)

Semester Total

3 Credits

Spring Year 3

NDNP 813: DNP Project Evaluation/Dissemination

1 Credit (45 Hours)

NDNP890: Practicum

2 Credits (90 Hours)c

Semester Total

3 Credits

Program Total

37 Credits (minimum)

4-Year Plan of Study

NDNP 890 Practicum: 1 Credit = 45 hours

  • Students bringing in 500 practicum hours: complete 6 practicum credits
  • Students bringing in < 500 practicum hours: complete additional practicum beyond 6 credits as needed to meet 1,000-hour requirement

Fall Year 1

NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits

Semester Total

3 Credits

Spring Year 1

NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits

NRSG 785 Professional Writing

1 Credits

Semester Total

4 Credits

Summer Year 1

NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice

3 Credits

Semester Total

3 Credits

Fall Year 2

NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care

2 Credits

NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum

1 Credit (45 Hours)

Semester Total

3 Credits 

Spring Year 2

NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice

3 Credits

NDNP 890: Practicum

1 Credit (45 Hours)

Semester Total

4 Credits

Summer Year 2

NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems

3 Credits

Semester Total

3 Credits

Fall Year 3

NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum

2 Credits (90 Hours)

NDNP 890: Practicum

1 Credit (45 Hours)

Semester Total

3 Credits

Spring Year 3

NDNP 810: DNP Project Identification

1 Credit

NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy

3 Credits

Semester Total

4 Credits

Summer Year 3

 

NDNP 811: DNP Project Development

1 Credit

Elective

3 Credits

Semester Total

4 Credits

Fall Year 4

 

NDNP 812: DNP Project Implementation

1 Credit (45 Hours)

NDNP890: Practicum

2 Credits (90 Hours)

Semester Total

3 Credits

Spring Year 4

 

NDNP 813: DNP Project Evaluation/Dissemination

1 Credit (45 Hours)

NDNP890: Practicum

2 Credits (90 Hours)

Semester Total

3 Credits

Program Total

37 Credits (minimum)

Practicum Hours

Practicum hours ensure that students can put theory into practice. The hours are described in the AACN Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006), and refer to 1,000 post-baccalaureate hours that must be completed in practice environments. 

  • Students are required to provide official verification of hours completed in their master's/post-master's in nursing program and must complete any remaining hours to meet 1,000 hours.
  • A total of 495 hours are built into the DNP plan of study, with an additional five hours allotted for DNP Project proposal presentation and dissemination.
  • Two hundred fifty practicum hours will be granted to nurses who hold a national certification in advanced nursing practice that requires a graduate degree. The applicant must provide evidence/documentation of the national certification. 
  • Regardless of the number of master’s/post-master’s hours completed, at least 500 hours must be completed at the doctoral level to demonstrate doctoral competency.

Practicum hours are acquired through a core course within the plan of study and/or through the practicum course, NDNP 890.

  • The hours in NDNP 890 must be approved and academically supervised by the DNP Practicum course faculty and advisor.
  • Students are required to document the hours.
  • Elective courses that have associated practicum hours may be taken to satisfy some of the practicum requirement, with permission from the director of the program.

Please refer to the Student Handbook for additional practicum information. Some students will need to complete more credits (over and beyond the 37 credits) to meet the practicum hours required by AACN.

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your graduate education.

Type of AidAward
Federal Financial Aid various award amounts
Merit Scholarships $1,500-$3,000 per semester
(You are automatically considered for a merit scholarship upon submitting a completed application for enrollment in an UMSON academic program.)
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition and fees
(for those who will have completed 12 credit hours of graduate study by the start of the semester for which the Conway Scholarship is awarded and who have at least half of their credit hours remaining)
Graduate Assistantships stipend, tuition remission, in-state status, and paid student health insurance

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships


All students receiving funds through the University must:

  • be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree-seeking program
  • complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by UMB's award priority deadline
    • FAFSA Submission period: Oct. 1 (of the previous year) through Feb. 28
    • FAFSA School code: 002104

The UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education is available to guide prospective and current students through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.


Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 | nrsscholarships@umaryland.edu

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 | aidtalk@umaryland.edu

 

DNP Admission Information

The Nurse Anesthesia specialty accepts applicants for the summer session only and has different deadlines and requirements. 

All other specialties and the Post-Master's DNP option accept students for fall admission.


In this section:


Deadlines:

For best consideration, applicants are encouraged to have all required application materials submitted by the deadlines listed below.

  • Completed applications received after the priority deadline are reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • After the admissions committee file review, applicants may be invited to an on-campus interview.
  • Applicants not selected for an interview will not be advanced to the next stage of applicant review.  
Fall 2023 Timeline
Priority Deadline

Dec. 1, 2022
Completed applications received after the deadline are reviewed solely on a space-available basis. Only those who apply by this deadline will be eligible for consideration for merit scholarships (no additional application required). This deadline does not impact eligiblity for federal financial aid.

Applications Submitted After the Priority Deadline

Completed applications received after Dec. 1 are reviewed solely on a space-available basis.

Application Review December 2022 through February 2023
Interviews December 2022 through February 2023
Admissions Decisions Announced February 2023

Qualifications:

  • bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing from:
    • an ACEN- (formally known as NLNAC) or CCNE-accredited college or university
      or
    • an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution
  • an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0

Work experience requirements, if applicable, are included under the Required Work Experience dropdown on each DNP specialty page.


Application Materials and Instructions:

Materials

Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now via the Admissions Dashboard.

The Admissions Dashboard is where you will:

  • submit your online application and fee
  • submit/request any supplemental documents
  • check your application status.

You can save your progress and return to your application at a later date. We recommend that you continue to log in for regular updates.

Two recommendations. Recommendations must come from sources knowledgeable about your work performance and experience. Only the first two recommendations received will be considered.

Submit/request these materials via the Admissions Dashboard.   

Essay. You may submit the essay portion with your online application. We recommend that you compose the essay portion using word processing software and copy and paste it into the text box in the online application.Applicants are expected to submit a concise essay (no more than 350 words) addressing the following: How will earning this degree (or post-doctoral certificate) impact your care of the population you expect to serve after graduation?

   

Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

A copy of your valid, unrestricted (current) RN license in the United States. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution.

Returning students are not required to submit UMSON transcripts; we will upload a copy of your UMSON transcript to your application.

Have each institution submit electronically to admissions.nursing@umaryland.edu.

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.


An interview with selected applicants will be arranged after the applications are received and reviewed.


Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, due to the amount of online courses.


If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Scholarships to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below relate directly to the post-master's DNP option. You may also want to refer to our general FAQs regarding the DNP.


I am in the last semester of my master's degree program and will be graduating in May. Can I apply for the Post-Master’s DNP prior to graduation?
Yes.

Do you allow for specialty or concentration in the Post-Master’s DNP?
Nurses with a master’s degree who want to pursue a DNP with a specialty should apply for the Post-Master’s DNP with Specialties.

Is there a residency, clinical, or practicum requirement?
Yes, there is a practicum requirement. Please see information under “Plans of Study.”

Could clinical or practicum time be set up in my home state?
Yes. Students with contacts for clinical or practicum hours may work with course faculty to arrange a contract to participate in out-of-state learning in states participating in SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements)

I am a nurse who holds a master’s degree in a field other than nursing. May I apply to the Post-Master’s DNP without a Master of Science in nursing?
Yes, nurses who work in areas of health services leadership management, nursing informatics, or community and public health AND hold a master’s degree in a relevant field such as an MBA, MPA, MPH, etc., may apply to the Post-Master’s DNP Program
Nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing should apply to the Post-BSN to DNP option.

Is the program full-time or part-time?
There is a full-time plan of study and a part-time plan of study. Please see information under “Plans of Study.”

What is the education format for the Post-Master’s DNP?
The Post-Master’s DNP is delivered in a blended format. This highly accommodating format offers tremendous flexibility and efficiency for busy professionals. The blended program consists of classes that are offered online, including synchronous and asynchronous Web conferencing. Students will have synchronous Web conferencing five times per semester at scheduled class times.

How many days are students required to be on campus or available?
Students are required to participate in synchronous learning/teaching via Web conference approximately five days per semester. Students are informed of the specific Web conferencing dates prior to the beginning of each semester.
On-campus orientation is mandatory only for the first semester and is scheduled in the summer.

I have a master’s degree in nursing. Will any of my credits transfer into the DNP (Post-Master’s) option?
No, the program is a post-master of science option. The number of credits and the curriculum is designed to follow a master’s degree in nursing and builds upon that curriculum.

I have taken non-degree-earning post-master’s coursework. Will any of my credits transfer into the program?
Students may apply to transfer up to six credits into the program. Courses will be reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate doctoral-level courses and are consistent with the objectives of the DNP program. A coursework audit will be completed for all admitted students identifying those courses eligible for consideration for transfer or waiver.  Students will submit the necessary paperwork for approval.  

Can practicum hours be obtained at my place of work
Practicum hours may be completed within the facility in which you work but may not include hours used toward your official employment obligations. For example, you may be employed as a manager in an emergency department but have identified an executive leader within the same facility with whom you would like to partner in a practicum experience.

Applicants with a Master’s in Nursing Education

A qualified applicant to the Post-Master’s DNP program is required to have an area of specialty. In 2015, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) re-affirmed their position on the discipline of education, citing that the "discipline of education encompasses an entirely separate body of knowledge and competence (AACN, 2004, p.13) and is not an area of advanced nursing practice."

If you hold a Master’s in Nursing Education and want to be considered for the Post-Master’s DNP program, you'll need to declare an area of specialty.  This can be fulfilled by:

You'll need to maintain enrollment until completion of the certificate. Graduation from the DNP program and awarding of the degree is dependent upon successful completion of the certificate and the DNP curricula.

Health care is changing so rapidly and I wanted to have the knowledge and skills to be able to effectively lead health care institutions through change. ... I knew that in order to be successful, I needed a challenging environment, but also a program that recognized the balance that working professionals strive to achieve. Danielle McQuigg, student
The post-master's DNP has allowed me to better understand and use evidence-based practice. It not only helped me to get my current job as a clinical nurse specialist but helped to better equip me for it. I have also been able to market myself as a leader and expert in my field. Jennifer Kay Stephenson, DNP '18, MS '12, BSN '01
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