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Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, D.N.P.

Aug. 16, 2023

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Online Courses

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Ensure Quality Patient Outcomes

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program offered by the School of Nursing prepares you to practice at the highest level of professional nursing and to advance the application of nursing knowledge for the purpose of improving health care for diverse populations. DNP nurses possess a blend of clinical, leadership, economic, and organizational skills that puts you in a unique position to deftly critique nursing practice and design programs of care delivery that are economically feasible, locally acceptable, and that significantly impact healthcare outcomes.

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program prepares advanced practice nurses to practice at the highest level of professional nursing and to advance the application of nursing knowledge for the purpose of improving healthcare for diverse populations. This post-graduate program can be completed in as few as 32 credit hours (seven to 10 semesters depending on the progression plan).

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Additional clinical and capstone credits may be required to meet program objectives. Enrollment in nursing courses is based upon readiness, availability of space and an adequate cohort of students. At the completion of the program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate will be able to practice at the highest level of professional practice to:

  • Use science-based theories and concepts to:
    • Determine the nature and significance of health and healthcare delivery phenomena,
    • Describe actions and advance strategies to improve healthcare delivery, and
    • Develop, deliver and evaluate theory-based healthcare.
  • Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership that emphasizes the primacy of clinical work, continually improving health outcomes, and ensuring patient safety.
  • Use analytical methods and research to develop best practices and practice guidelines and to facilitate the evaluation of systems of care that will improve patient outcomes.
  • Use information systems and technology-based resources that support clinical and administrative decision-making, care systems, nurse-sensitive outcomes and quality improvement.
  • Assume a leadership role in the development of healthcare policy.
  • Establish, participate and lead inter-professional teams.
  • Utilize a strong conceptual foundation in clinical prevention and population health.
  • Base practice on biophysical, psychosocial, sociopolitical, and cultural principles; economics; nursing science; and ethics.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate practice and care delivery models, which are politically and culturally appropriate.

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Doctor of Nursing Practice, D.N.P. Admission Requirements

  • A master's degree in nursing or health-related field from a regionally accredited college or university,
  • An overall grade point average on all college work attempted of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,
  • A minimum overall nursing GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,
  • An active, unrestricted RN license in at least one state at the time of application (and licensure in the state in which he or she plans to complete clinical immersion),
  • Advanced practice certification (NP, CNS, CNM, CRNA) from a national certifying body (new MSN graduates may be provisionally admitted with the requirement to obtain national certification before the end of the first semester of the program). View the certification list.

Requirements also include:

Completion of a nationally accredited Master of Science in Nursing Program. Graduate transcripts will be evaluated to ensure students have met the AACN 2011 Master’s Essentials which require:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Advanced Health Assessment

Additionally, transcripts will be evaluated via a gap analysis related to the Essentials to ensure completion of content in these areas:

  • Research Process/statistics
  • Quality & Safety
  • Informatics
  • Nursing Theory

Note: Admission criteria are subject to change.

To be considered, applicants will be required to meet all WVU admission requirements in addition to program-specific admission criteria.

Note: Any student who has been dismissed from the West Virginia University School of Nursing or any other nursing program will not be readmitted or considered for admission to the program.

Application Requirements

  • Apply with the online Graduate Application
    • Student Type: Professional
    • Intended Program: Nursing DNP
  • Pay graduate application fee.
  • Submit three (3) letters of reference. Applicants must also provide three letters of reference addressing the applicant’s likelihood for success in graduate work. You will list your references, with their email addresses, on the Recommendations screen. Your references will receive an email from Hobsons with an electronic form. They will also need to upload a letter of recommendation.
  • Complete the Supplemental Application for admission
  • Submit current curriculum vitae
  • Writing example identifying a clinical practice problem of interest to you. Please limit the writing sample to two type-written, double-spaced pages. View the guidelines on writing the essay.
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and send to:
    WVU Office of Admissions
    P.O. Box 6009
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6009

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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.

Students are encouraged to:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the March 1 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your graduate degree.

Doctor of Nursing Practice, D.N.P. total degree cost: $23,808 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $744
3 $2,232
6 $4,464
9 $6,696

Courses and Curriculum

Course Title Credit Hours
NSG 702 Population Health Promotion 3
NSG 704 Health Care Leadership 3
NSG 707 Evidence Based Practice Methods 3
NSG 710 Health Care Issues, Policy, and Ethics 3
NSG 724 Health Research Statistics 1 3
NSG 739 Scientific Underpinnings of the DNP Role 3
NSG 745 Clinical Immersion * 5
NSG 754 Transforming Health Care Through Information Technology 3

DNP Project **

Course Title Credit Hours
NSG 830 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Development 2
NSG 831 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Implementation 2
NSG 832 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Presentation 2

Total Hours: 32

* A minimum of 5 credits of Clinical Immersion is required prior to graduation. A total of 1000 hours post baccalaureate supervised clinical practice is required prior to graduation and therefore students may be required to take additional credits to meet this total. Spread over multiple semesters.
** Total DNP Project hours - at least 6 credits. Spread over multiple semesters.
*** Individual progression plans to be developed based on previous course work. Total credit hours will vary according to previous course work provided credit for, including number of post-baccalaureate clinical experience hours gained prior to admission to the program.

Your future with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

The West Virginia University School of Nursing offers a post-master's program of study leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Graduates of the DNP program advance the application of nursing knowledge through the translation and implementation of evidence for practice to improve health outcomes for diverse populations. This expert level practice builds on the past advanced practice education, experience, and certification.

The Benefits to Choosing the Docotor of Nursing Practice Degree

There are several reasons why a student might choose the West Virginia University (WVU) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program:

Quality Education: WVU is a well-respected institution with a strong reputation for providing high-quality education. The DNP program at WVU is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), ensuring that students receive a rigorous and comprehensive education that meets national standards.

Career Advancement: A DNP degree can open many career opportunities for nurses, including positions in advanced practice, leadership, education, and research. The WVU DNP program is designed to prepare nurses for these advanced roles, with a curriculum that focuses on leadership, innovation, and evidence-based practice.

Flexibility: The WVU DNP program offers both full-time and part-time options, as well as online and hybrid delivery formats, allowing students to customize their education to fit their busy schedules and personal preferences.

Supportive Environment: WVU has a strong commitment to supporting its students, with a range of resources available to help them succeed. This includes dedicated faculty and staff, clinical placement assistance, and academic support services.

Community Engagement: WVU is deeply committed to serving the needs of the community, and the DNP program reflects this commitment. Students have opportunities to engage in service learning and community-based research projects, gaining hands-on experience and making a positive impact in the community.

Overall, the WVU DNP program offers a comprehensive and high-quality education that prepares nurses for advanced practice, leadership, education, and research roles, with the flexibility and support needed to succeed in today's fast-paced healthcare environment.

Career Outlook for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program

The DNP-prepared nurse is prepared to participate in healthcare in numerous roles including:

  • advanced practice nurse
  • nurse entrepreneur
  • nurse administrator
  • health care advocate

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice program?

This post-graduate DNP program can be completed in as few as 32 credit hours. The plan of study for the DNP degree requires 1,000 post-baccalaureate hours of clinical immersion and completion of a DNP project. Students must complete a minimum of 5 credits of clinical immersion and 6 credits in DNP project courses (additional clinical immersion and DNP project credits may be required to meet program outcomes).

What is the Doctor of Nursing Practice project?

The DNP Project demonstrates mastery of the DNP curriculum and is a requirement for doctoral education. It involves identifying and addressing practice-related problems through evidence-based change, with guidance from faculty and experts. The project documents the student's growth in knowledge and expertise, serving as a foundation for leadership in future scholarly practice within clinical settings.

Is the Doctor of Nursing Practice program offered on the Morgantown campus?

The programs are offered by faculty on the Morgantown and Charleston campuses. Courses are offered via web-based modalities, with both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Enrollment in nursing courses is based upon readiness, availability of space, and an adequate cohort of students. The DNP project proposal and final presentation take place on either campus depending on the preference of the committee chair.

Can students also work full-time while pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree?

It is a strong recommendation by the University and the School of Nursing that graduate students limit their credit load if they are also involved in full-time work. Full-time work and studies may negatively affect the student’s ability to succeed academically.

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