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 at the highest level of nursing practice to improve patient outcomes and translate research into practice (American College of Nursing).
Registered Nurses who possess a DNP degree are prepared to assume clinical and leadership roles in clinical 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.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is an online program. Students enrolled in this program qualify for in-state tuition.
Additional department application requirements
- Admission Criteria for students who chose a practice focus in the post-masters DNP must be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurses with a master’s degree from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) accredited program and who have current national certification in their specialty.
- Admissions criteria for students who chose an executive leadership focus in the post Masters DNP must possess a Master’s Degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited program.
- Applicants must demonstrate a graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above in their Master’s program.
- Submit official transcript with master’s degree posted.
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
Applicants are admitted for the fall semester only. 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.
- February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for Fall semester
- October 1 (eary) and November 15 (regular) for Winter semester
- March 1 (regular) for Summer semester
To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and any additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:
- Additional department 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. Must submit official transcript with master’s degree posted.
- Proof of Practicum Experience
- DNP applicants must provide evidence of the number of 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 complete and submit the Supplemental Application-Doctor of Nursing Practice Program form to provide Validation of Supervised Clinical Practicum Hours.
- Copy of unrestricted license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the United States or its territories
- Requirements for recommendations:
Both recommendations must be from professionals and must include at least one from an nursing colleague in an advanced practice role familiar with the applicant.
- Written professional statement of 500 to 1,000 words. The professional statement should focus on the applicant’s professional experiences as a nurse in an advanced practice role , how the DNP will enhance the applicant’s professional development, and the applicant’s career goals following completion of the program. The professional statement will be evaluated on many areas, including content and appropriate use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. The professional statement should be prepared in size 12 Times New Roman font.
- Individual interview with a School of Nursing’representative.
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 and graduate, professional statement, letters of recommendation, telephone interview, 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 or a Master’s in Nursing (for the Executive Leadership Track) 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 program are assessed through a written validation form found in the supplemental application. Registered Nurses without an advanced practice clinical focus to their master’s degree will be considered on a case by case basis.
All DNP students must complete a minimum of 38 credits of required coursework. 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 (12 credits)
b. Clinical core (4-7 credits)
- NRS 8455 - Introduction to Clinical Immersion (2 credits)
- NRS 8965 - Clinical Immersion Practicum (5 credits)
(NRS 8965 is the clinical immersion course with a credit-to practice hour ratio of 1:70 that can be taken across a number of semesters. Additional NRS 8965 credits may be required depending on the number of supervised, clocked hours of practicum experiences acquired in the student’s Master’s program. DNP students can register for 1 to 5 credits per semester of NRS 8965)
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 final 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 DNP project team members(one faculty team chair and one or more members) on their DNP project to 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 team members. The School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Handbook provides information and policies related to the project.
d. Elective (3-4 credits)
The student is required to identify a 3-4 credit elective that supports his/her area of interest. The elective must be a 5000 level graduate course or higher and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
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 or project is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Students are required to submit a leave of absence form if extenuating circumstances arise where the student has to take a semester off. Failure to submit this form may result in a loss of admission status.
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.