Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs
Q: How does the DNP program at SMU differ from other doctoral nursing programs?
A: A graduate from our DNP program will be a valuable counterpart to colleagues prepared in a PhD nursing program. Our program focuses on developing systems of care based on research utilization, while PhD nursing programs tend to focus on research to provide new knowledge.
Q: When is the deadline for applying?
A: Applications will begin to be reviewed August 1st for the class that starts in January. Although applications will continue to be accepted until the class is filled, space in the DNP program is limited and interested students are encouraged to apply early in the admission cycle.
Q: When does the program start?
A: A cohort is admitted to start the DNP program every spring (January).
Q: How long is the program?
A: The program consists of 36 semester units and is expected to be completed over a two-year period.
Q: What are the academic prerequisites for admission?
A: A college or university level Statistics course must have been completed within the past three years ago with a grade of "B" or higher.
Q: What if my Statistics course is older than three years?
A: If your Statistics course is older than three years, you have two choices: you may choose to take another Statistics course or you may choose to provide verification of successful completion (CE Certificate) of the LEARNWELL CE statistics course, http://www.learnwell.org/statistics.htm (C110 & C111).
Q: What is the format of the program?
A: The DNP program is offered primarily online. Students will be required to attend on-campus sessions related to their capstone project a minimum of once each year during the two-year program.
Q: What makes Samuel Merritt University special?
A: Samuel Merritt University is a premier health science institution with a reputation for educating outstanding clinicians. With more than a decade of experience in distance education we have the technology and faculty expertise to effectively deliver a curriculum that is approximately 93% online.
Q: What accreditation does Samuel Merritt University have?
A:SMU is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 510.748.9001. The DNP program is accredited by the Senior Commission of WASC.
Q: Are there clinical requirements?
A: Yes. At the conclusion of the DNP program, you must have obtained 1,000 clinical practice hours. These hours must be from a supervised educational environment (e.g., the clinical hours completed during your MSN together with the clinical hours in the DNP program).
Q: Does the DNP program prepare me to teach?
A: While the DNP program will include educational components that are central to both education and practice, it is not specifically designed for those who wish to teach.
Q: Do SMU BSN or MSN graduates have an advantage in the admission process?
A: While we welcome and encourage SMU BSN or MSN graduates to apply to the DNP program, all students will be evaluated equally in the admission process.
Q: Is the GRE required?
A: No, GRE is not required.
Q: Is an interview required?
A: An interview may be required. If required, the purpose of the interview is to assess "fit" between your career goals and the DNP program at SMU. Additionally, your leadership, communication and decision making skills will be evaluated. The interview also provides an opportunity for you to address questions you may have about the program. Phone interviews may be accepted.
Q: How many students are admitted into the DNP program?
A: We expect to admit 18-20 students to the first several cohorts.
Q: What does the DNP program cost?
A: Please visit the tuition page for the costs.
Q: Is there financial aid available?
A: Yes. More information about financial aid is available on the financial aid page on the SMU website, www.samuelmerritt.edu/financial_aid.