May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Nursing Practice, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs and Graduate Certificates

School of Nursing
3008 Human Health Building  (map)
(248) 370-4253 • Fax (248) 364-8740

► Apply Online

 Class Schedule Search

Program Coordinator:
Carly Miller, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
2031 Human Health Building
(248) 364-8738


Program description

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the terminal degree for nurses in clinical practice. This 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.

Program delivery

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is a fully online program. As such, all courses in the DNP  program plan of study are delivered online; however, courses may require online synchronous and/or distance-learning activities.

Doctor of Nursing Practice program outcomes

At the end of the DNP program, the DNP graduate will be able to:

  1. Integrate scientific and theoretical knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to develop, identify, evaluate, and disseminate best practices to improve health care and health care systems.
  2. Lead organizations and systems to enhance quality and safety to improve patient, population, and organizational outcomes.
  3. Employ data analytic methods, information systems, and technology to evaluate, integrate, and translate evidence to improve programs of care, outcomes of care and care systems.
  4. Lead and influence health policy to reduce health disparities, encourage cultural sensitivity and promote access to quality care while advocating for social justice and equity at the system, state, national, and international levels.
  5. Use models of interprofessional collaboration to enhance patient and population health outcomes.
  6. Provide the highest level of ethical, patient-family-centered care as a scholar in nursing specialty practice.

Admission terms and application 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 NursingCAS by the semester deadlines listed below.

  • August 15 for admission to the fall semester
  • International students: August 15 for admission to the fall semester (see additional requirements below)

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and any additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

Applicants do not submit an online Oakland University Graduate Application.  A completed application and required materials must be submitted through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS).  

Additional department application requirements submitted through NursingCAS

  • Applicants will be considered with a graduate cumulative grade point average of B (3.0) or above. Must submit an 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 (through NursingCAS) 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
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be from professionals and must include at least one from a 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.

International Students

  • International students are encouraged to contact The Graduate School ( to determine what additional documentation is required for admission eligibility.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, 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. 

Qualified applicants will be selected for an individual interview with member(s) of the School of Nursing faculty. The interview will be scheduled after all application materials have been submitted.

Related links

Degree requirements

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-Master’s) degree program is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 38 credits in an approved plan of study. The program of study commences in Fall and allows full-time students to complete the requirements over 2 years or 6 consecutive semesters.

All Post-Master’s DNP students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 practice hours. Applicants who have a Master’s Degree in a clinical area of Advanced Practice Nursing may receive credit for up to 640 clock hours of practicum accrued in their master’s program. For those students with a MSN who enter without the APRN or Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), completion of all 1,000 hours with a leadership focus is required

Course requirements

b. Specialty Courses (6 credits)

  • (3 credits)
  • 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 DNP program coordinator or the graduate program director.

    Post-master’s credits that are not part of a post-master’s degree or graduate certificate will be reviewed individually according to Oakland University graduate policy. Students will be required to submit a report showing how the AACN DNP Essentials were met during any proposed courses in order to be eligible to reduce the required credits in this area.

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 School will be used as guides for what constitutes appropriate formatting for the final project.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Handbook provides more specific 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 (B) 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 B (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. In courses graded Satisfactory Progress/Unsatisfactory Progress (SP/NP), students are expected to earn a course grade of satisfactory progress.           

Students who are not making satisfactory progress (i.e., <3.0, U, NP) 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 standing in the School of Nursing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Continuous enrollment

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 Oakland University Graduate School.

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.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with the Post-masters DNP program coordinator, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be signed by the program coordinator and student.

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.


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 and program coordinator who are available to discuss coursework, plans of study, concerns regarding progression in the program, and student career goals.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs and Graduate Certificates