MS to DNP with Specialty

The Master of Science (MS)-Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with specialty pathway is designed for nurses with an earned master's degree in nursing who wish to pursue the practice doctorate with an advanced practice specialty. Master's prepared nurses who are not eligible for national certification as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist may select the MS-DNP entry pathway. 

MS-DNP students will receive a broad foundation of educational preparation in advanced care of the selected specialty population, nursing theories and  evidence-based practice and quality improvement methods. Graduates of the program are prepared as providers of care at a beginning level of advanced practice within their specialty, and as scholarly clinicians who use evidence-based practice methods to improve the health-care quality and patient safety for their selected specialty population. Health assessment, health promotion, health-care maintenance, clinical decision-making and illness management are emphasized in the classroom and clinical practice settings. All students complete a minimum of 1,000 practice immersion hours, including extensive clinical time and a faculty-mentored scholarly DNP project. Upon completion of the degree, graduates will be eligible to take the national certification exam and then apply for licensure in the graduate's practice state.

Students admitted to the MS-DNP with specialty begin the program at a five-day scholar in residence program called RISE (Resident Intensive Summer Experience) in August just prior to the regular start of the fall term. Some required courses will actually begin during RISE. Students who have not taken a graduate statistics course will be required to do so during the first fall semester of the program. Full-time and part-time options are available on the appropriate specialty page.

Nurse practitioner students may opt for additional preparation for practice in rural areas by enrolling in rural health coursework as electives and by practicing in a rural setting when enrolling in NURS 693A Clinical Residency.

Transfer of Graduate Level Coursework

Students who have previously completed Graduate Level Coursework may be eligible to transfer up to 9 units into the program. The full policy on transfer units is available in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Handbook, available on the College of Nursing website.

RN Licensure

Enrollment in the DNP program requires registered nurse licensure. Admission is conditional upon the individual obtaining and maintaining the license in active and good standing.

Program Application System

For more information and instructions on the DNP application, click here.

For more information contact:

Office of Student Support & Community Engagement
College of Nursing, Room 112
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (520) 626-3808 or 1-800-288-6158