Admission Requirements: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students will be admitted to the DNP program by recommendation of the School of Nursing Graduate Admissions Committee based upon eligibility requirements and available resources. Under most circumstances, students admitted to the program will have met the following requirements: 

  1. Master’s degree in nursing or post-master’s certificate from an accredited institution. 
  2. Current unrestricted registered nurse (RN) license in the state in which practice will occur.  
  3. Advanced Practice RNs (APRN) must have current national certification and be licensed and approved to practice as an APRN in their state of residence and currently employed in an advanced practice role. The APRN roles as defined by the American Colleges of Nursing are nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife or nurse practitioner.
  4. GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher on all previous graduate coursework as documented by official transcripts with evidence of completion of graduate level pathophysiology, pharmacology, and advanced physical assessment courses from an accredited school.
  5. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for international students which is acceptable for two years from the date the test is administered and shows the minimum achievement levels. Students with foreign student visas must present evidence of professional standing in their home countries.
  6. Written essay addressing your advanced practice expertise, career goals, how earning the DNP will promote these goals, and description of DNP project topic area limited to 600 words.
  7. Submit a completed application and pay the application fee to the Graduate School.
  8. Three professional letters of recommendation to substantiate practice and leadership capabilities (one each from a former nurse faculty member and a current or former employer, preferred).  
  9. Current curriculum vitae/resumé.  
  10. Criminal Background Check and 12 Panel Drug Screen is required for all applicants. An annual drug screen may also be required. Costs for these requirements are the responsibility of the applicant.
  11. Interview with the School of Nursing faculty may be required to determine congruence between student practice interests, career goals and faculty expertise.

Students entering the doctoral program must have completed successfully the following graduate courses: statistics, and nursing research. Applicants must have access to a computer capable of supporting electronic mail, a web browser, a word processing program and multi‐media presentations.

For questions about licensure in North Carolina, please contact the North Carolina Board of Nursing, 3724 National Drive, Koger Center Office Complex, Camden Building, Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27612; (919) 782‐3211; Internet:

Computer Proficiency

As this program is primarily online, applicants must proficient with computer skills including the ability to use electronic mail, web browser, a word processing program, PowerPoint, and basic database software. Enrolled students must own or have access to a computer with internet capabilities. If remediation is needed, please seek assistance from Information Technology Services Department at UNCW.