3003 Human Health Building
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the terminal degree for nurses in clinical practice. It is a 38-credit, post-master’s program intended to prepare nurse leaders for clinical practice.
Registered Nurses who possess a DNP degree are prepared to assume clinical and leadership roles in both academic and practice settings. Knowledge acquisition in the DNP program includes the ability to analyze organizational and clinical systems, critique evidence to support clinical practice and improve patient outcomes, and develop practice guidelines to enhance patient safety.
Doctor of Nursing Practice program objectives
Building on the foundation of the master’s program, the DNP program will prepare the student for the highest level of clinical nursing practice. The DNP graduate will:
- Integrate the science and theory of nursing practice with scientific and theoretical knowledge from other disciplines to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes.
- Integrate knowledge of effective communication and leadership skills based on professional standards to work as an effective member of an inter-professional team in the provision of safe, high quality, patient-centered care.
- Demonstrate the appropriate and ethical use of information technology and research methods to improve practice and the practice environment.
Application terms and deadlines
Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Admissions by the semester deadlines listed below. Currently, students are admitted for the fall semester only.
- July 15 for the fall semester
Readmission and program transfer
Requests for readmission and program transfers must be completed and approved prior to the beginning of a semester.
International application deadlines
International applications are reviewed for fall and winter admission only. To ensure adequate time for review, international applications must be completed at least six months before the desired date of intended enrollment in the University. All international application materials must be submitted by May 1 for fall admission.
International applicants: International applications are reviewed for fall admission only. To ensure adequate time for review, international applications must be completed at least six months before the desired date of intended enrollment to the University. All international application materials must be submitted by May 1 for fall admission.
To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all of the following university and program application documents by the published application deadlines.
University graduate application requirements
Program application requirements
- Completion of a master’s degree in nursing in a clinical area (includes nursing administration but not nursing education) from an institution accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education with a graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.
- Proof of current certification in their specialty area.
- Applicants who have a master’s degree in nursing education can apply to the DNP program, but will first have to complete the academic requirements of a post-master’s certificate in an advanced practice specialty, and pass the respective certification exam.
- Proof of Practicum Experience
- DNP applicants must provide evidence of how many clinical practicum hours they completed in their master’s educational programs. Students may receive credit for up to 640 clock hours of practicum accrued in their master’s program (you may not count unsupervised post-graduate clinical practice). Clinical practicum hours are assessed individually for each applicant.
- DNP applicants must submit a completed Validation of Supervised Clinical Practice Hours form found in School of Nursing Supplemental Application.
- Copy of unrestricted license to practice as a Registered Nurse in one of the 50 states or U.S. Territories.
- School of Nursing Supplemental Application.
- Both recommendations (above University requirements) must be from professionals and must include at least one from an advanced practice nursing colleague familiar with the applicant.
- Written goal statement of 500 to 1,000 words. The goal statement should focus on the applicant’s professional experiences as an advanced practice nurse, how the DNP will enhance the applicant’s professional development, and the applicant’s career goals following completion of the program. The goal statement will be evaluated on many areas, including content and appropriate use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. The goal statement should be written on a word-processer in size 12 Times New Roman font.
- Individual interview with a School of Nursing faculty member.
Admission review and assessment
Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires Registered Nurses who graduated with an advanced practice focus in their master’s programs to complete a minimum of 38 credits, depending on prior course/clinical work taken at the master’s level. All DNP students must satisfy a minimum of 1000 supervised clock hours of practicum experience to demonstrate attainment of the doctoral level competencies. Students may receive credit for up to 640 clock hours from their master’s educational program; each applicant’s supervised clock hours of practicum experiences from their master’s programs are assessed individually. Registered Nurses without an advanced practice clinical focus to their master’s degree must complete the necessary coursework to obtain a post-master’s certificate, and pass their respective certification exam, in addition to completing the 38 credits of DNP coursework.
All DNP students must complete a minimum of 38 credits of required coursework, of which at least 24 credits must be taken at Oakland University. In the DNP program, graduate credit will not be awarded for courses in which a grade less than 3.0 is earned. All numerical grades earned are used in computing a student’s grade point average.
a. Foundation courses (13 credits)
b. Clinical core (7-17 credits)
c. Research (18 credits)
The purpose of the research sequence is to prepare DNP students to evaluate current research, develop a research proposal, carry out the research process, and prepare a report that could take the form of a manuscript submitted for publication, a grant proposal submitted for funding, or a report that represents the outcomes of the research effort. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006) and the policies of Oakland University Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will be used as guides for what constitutes appropriate formatting for the final project.
DNP students must identify faculty who will serve as advisers on their DNP project and supervise the student’s progress in completing the project, ensuring that all human investigation requirements are met. It is permissible for students to work in pairs (no more than two students) on the final project, with permission of the advising committee. The School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Handbook provides information and policies related to the project.
Satisfactory academic progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.
Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.
Good academic standing
All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program.
To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.
Good academic standing is a requirement for:
- Holding a Graduate Assistantship
- Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
- Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
- Going on a leave of absence
- Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.
Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.
School of Nursing requirements: Students are required to follow university policies and procedures for graduate students, as described in the Oakland University Graduate Catalog. In addition to the university requirements, specific School of Nursing policies and procedures are outlined in the School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Handbook.
Students are expected to earn a grade of 3.0 or above in each course in the DNP program. In courses graded Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory (S/U), students are expected to earn a course grade of satisfactory.
Students who are not making satisfactory progress in the program may be placed on probation with conditions imposed for retention in the program or may be recommended for dismissal from the program.
Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.
Related program information
Students are responsible for requirements and policies stated in the School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Handbook and each course syllabus. Every student admitted to the DNP program is assigned to an academic adviser who is available to assist with the interpretation and implementation of relevant policies and procedures.
The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.