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School of Nursing

School of Nursing > Academics > Doctor of Nursing Practice > Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

The post-master's DNP program is designed for nurses who have already earned a master's degree in a nursing specialty area, and are ready to take the next step to the practice doctorate in nursing. The DNP degree will prepare these nurses to serve at the highest level as an advanced practice nurse or leader in their existing specialty. The KU post-master's DNP does not provide a pathway to a new specialty area; instead it builds on the master's program foundation, with doctoral-level courses to expand the breadth and depth of the nursing practice specialty.

KU offers two majors in the post-master's DNP program. The curriculum requires a minimum of 32 credit hours. With the exception of NRSG 935, all required courses are offered online.

  1. Post-Master's DNP Advanced Practice Major
    Appropriate master's preparation for the Advanced Practice Major includes Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Midwife.

Sample Plan of Study: Preferred Plan of StudyPDF document (image)

  1. Post-Master's DNP Leadership Major
    Appropriate master's preparation includes Nursing Leadership (Administration), Nursing Informatics, and Public Health Nursing.

Sample Plan of Study: Preferred Plan of StudyPDF document (image)

Doctor of Nursing Practice Admission Criteria

The KU School of Nursing selects applicants who, in the judgment of the Student Admission and Progression Committee, demonstrate the academic achievement, integrity and motivation necessary for successful advanced practice or functional area leadership in nursing. In addition, the Committee looks for applicants who will contribute academic, nonacademic and socioeconomic diversity to the class.

    Eligibility and requirements:
  • Completion of a master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program (NLNAC or CCNE)
  • Minimum cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Preference is given to applicants with a 3.25 in the master's program.
  • Potential for leadership and application of scholarship in nursing.
  • National specialty certification is required for all nurse practitioner and nurse midwife applicants. For all other specialties, national certification is preferred but not required.
  • Graduate level statistics course (may be completed prior to admission or during first semester of enrollment)
  • Satisfactory criminal background check, to be completed once an offer of admission has been extended to applicant.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis. Space in the School of Nursing graduate programs is limited, and admission is competitive.

English Language Requirements: All applicants for study at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) whose native language is not English must demonstrate an established level of English language proficiency through either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the academic format of the IELTS(International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the first semester of enrollment. When submitting test scores to KU Medical Center, please submit only original scores sent directly from the testing agency. Photocopies will not be accepted. For testing purposes, the ETS school code is 6895. Contact the Office of International Programs for more information.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Application Process

The following materials are required for application to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. Prospective students can apply to the DNP program using the KU Medical Center Online Application.

Application deadline: December 1, 2019 for Summer 2020

  • Graduate application to the School of Nursing, online at 
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcript(s) of all college-level coursework. Transcripts should be sent directly to the University of Kansas School of Nursing.
  • Written statement of career goals and practice interests.
  • Three references from advanced practice nurses, nursing faculty or physicians who are able to attest to the applicant's potential ability for advanced practice and engagement in scholarly activity and leadership roles.
  • An application vitae, as outlined in the guide to application vitae format PDF document
  • Evidence of current registered nurse licensure in at least one state of the United States. Upon admission, students will need to meet additional licensure and participation requirements. Please see the section regarding enrollment in nursing courses for more information.
  • Documentation of faculty-supervised practicum hours completed in the master's in nursing program.
  • An informational on-campus or telephone interview with a School of Nursing representative. To schedule an appointment, call (913) 588-1619.

Admission decisions for each semester are finalized approximately 8 weeks after the application deadline.  All applicants are then notified of their admission status with mailed letters from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Enrollment Deposit: To verify admission acceptance and secure enrollment, admitted graduate students must submit a $400 (non-refundable) enrollment deposit. This deposit is applied to the first semester's tuition and is not an additional fee.

NRSG 935 Professionalism and Scholarship Workshop: New DNP students are required to attend this two-credit hour course, which serves as an introduction to the KU DNP program and to doctoral study. The course meets on the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City, June 1 through June 5, 2020.

Background Check Requirement

For KU programs to maintain accreditation status, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires that all persons, employees, volunteers and students involved in patient care activities to have background checks. This status is very important to healthcare organizations to demonstrate to patients and professionals that they meet the highest of standards for patient care.

This background check will be done at the applicant's expense after provisional acceptance has been granted. The information from this report is held in confidence by the school. More information regarding background checks for students

Last modified: Jun 11, 2019