Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs
A: A graduate from our DNP program will be a valuable counterpart to colleagues prepared in a PhD nursing program. The DNP focuses on research application, while PhD nursing programs tend to focus on knowledge generation.
If your highest level of nursing education is a BSN and you'd like to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner, the FNP-DNP is the appropriate option. If you have a Master's degree, you can apply for the Post-Master's DNP program. Post-Master's DNP students are often those with degrees in advanced practice nursing specialties (CRNA, NP, CNM) as well as nurse educators or administrators. The Post-Master's DNP program alone, does not prepare a student as a nurse practitioner.
A: The Post-Master's DNP program is offered online with the exception of one 3-day session on campus each year in December. The FNP/DNP curriculum includes blended online and face-to-face learning modalities.
A: Applications for the FNP-DNP and Post-Master's DNP are accepted on a rolling basis, however, students who would like to be considered for a particular start date, should submit at least four months before that time to allow for application review and interviews.
A: The Post-Master's cohort is admitted every spring (January) and FNP/DNP students begin in summer (May) or Fall (September).
A: The Post-Master's DNP program consists of 36 semester units and can be completed in a two-year period for full-time students. The FNP/DNP program consists of 79 semester units and can be completed in ~3.5 years.
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.
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 KLIMES Institute statistics courses at http://cecourses.org/statistics/ (S101 & S201).
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, faculty expertise, and support to effectively deliver an online curriculum.
A:SMU is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Senior Commission of WASC.
A: Yes. At the conclusion of the DNP program, you will have obtained 1,000 clinical practice hours accrued between your Master's (if applicable) and doctoral programs. These hours are completed in a supervised educational environment with an expert mentor.
A: While the DNP program will include educational components that are central to both education and practice, it is not specifically designed for preparing educators.
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. SMU alumni are, however, eligible for 20% tuition discount if admitted to the DNP program within 2 years of graduation.
A: No, the GRE is not required.
A: An interview will be scheduled when your application is complete. The interview's purpose is to assess "fit" between your career goals and the DNP program at SMU. Additionally, your leadership, communication, academic writing, and decision making skills will be evaluated. The interview also provides an opportunity for you to address questions you may have about the program. Interviews may be conducted by phone or in person.
A: The maximum size for any cohort is approximately 18-20 students.
A: Please visit the tuition page for the costs.