Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP-FNP) Admission Information

Family Nurse Practitioner DNP

Become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Do more with a Doctor of Nursing Practice. 

Now is an opportune time to become a nurse practitioner. Not only is there is an increased demand nationally for nurses, but there are new and abundant opportunities for nurse practitioners including demand for inpatient nurse practitioner care to the advent of “Express Care” clinics in retail outlets as well as a burgeoning need for providers to care for the uninsured and indigent population. In addition, there is a "graying" of the nation's nursing profession with many RNs approaching retirement age. Consequently, opportunities for NPs have never been better.

The DNP-FNP program combines Samuel Merritt University's history of high-quality advanced practice nursing with the future of nursing education. Our program prepares the registered nurse to practice as an advanced practice family nurse practitioner in the primary care setting with multi-cultural and underserved populations while at the same time developing nurse leaders who will transforce healthcare on a local and national scale. Designed for working adults, the DNP-FNP program offers classes mostly during the evening and in weekend intensives. The program length is three years (9 semesters) and includes 79 semester units and 1000 practice hours. The curriculum is blended, a combi­nation of face to face in-class sessions and online/distance learning.

Why should I get a DNP?

New areas of knowledge such as genetics, environmental health, care of diverse populations, and global health require new models for education and practice. The nursing profession is the critical link for delivery of safe, effective, and patient-centered care. DNP education will produce the profession's future leaders. SMU's DNP program is designed to develop nurse leaders who will transform healthcare on a local and national scale.

An individual with a DNP-level education will be able to:

  • Design programs of care delivery that are effective, acceptable to patients and care providers, and economically feasible
  • Significantly impact health care outcomes
  • Critique and apply scientific clinical findings
  • Transform health care delivery by applying best practices to the clinical care of individuals, families, and communities
  • Develop advanced competencies for increasingly complex care and leadership in global health, genetics, and biomedical sciences

DNP-FNP Program Offerings



Application Deadline



December 1 (application will close August 15 and reopen at end of August)


July 1

Questions about the program can be directed to any of the following faculty or staff:

Rhonda Ramirez, Ed.D, FNP, RN
Associate Professor, Director of FNP Program
Ellen Daroszewski, Ph.D, APRN
Professor, Associate Dean Graduate Nursing
Allyson Purcell
Admission Counselor


In less than two years, my family has a better life. It was a fast program and I spent many nights studying after the kids went to bed, but now I’ve got a lot to show for it: A new career Alejandra Villegas FNP
Our background in sports and passion for physical performance drove us to study the science of human movement. Tino and Tron Tino & Tron Hardy Physical Therapy
So many foot problems can be successfully treated if they are identified early, and corrective measures are taken. Then, there are patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases that require specialized, ongoing foot care. We see everything in our clinics. Samantha Ralstin Samantha Ralstin Podiatric Medicine

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