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College of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Post Masters Entry

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program at South Carolina prepares you to become an advanced practice nurse or take on a leadership role. Through online classes and select on-campus immersions, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to implement evidence-based practices and system-wide changes to improve patient outcomes.

The DNP program provides two pathways for entrance: post-master’s entry and BSN to DNP. BSN-entry students can choose from full-time or part-time program options, whichever pace best fits your career needs and lifestyle. Applications are now open for starting summer 2020 start.

 

Plans of Study

Enhance your leadership skills or gain certification as a doctoral-prepared advanced practice registered nurse.

Nurse Executive Leadership

The Nurse Executive Leadership concentration is open to both BSN and master’s-prepared applicants. Program graduates are prepared to influence health care environments through professionalism, leadership, strong communication skills and business knowledge.

Clinical Concentrations

If you enter as a BSN-prepared student, you may choose to earn one of three DNP degrees with a clinical concentration: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). If you are a post-master’s student with a certificate in advanced practice nursing, you may expand on your APRN role with the advanced practice DNP (no concentration). All DNP clinical concentration APRN graduates develop skills to assess research and evaluate outcomes to improve patient care.

 

When you choose the DNP program at South Carolina, you’re choosing to learn from a leader. Our program was one of the first four nationally recognized DNP programs in the country, and our online graduate nursing programs continue to be nationally rated. 

Online course delivery is paced for you to succeed at home, in the workplace and at school. As a South Carolina DNP student, you’ll be able to collaborate with dynamic faculty mentors on evidence-based projects, develop your own grants and participate in a health policy internship. The College of Nursing offers assistance with clinical placements in cases where you cannot complete your clinical experience in your current workplace. The program also offers scholarships for qualified students. 

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from nationally accredited programs and evidence of credentialing within the applicant's specialty

  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.

  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.

  • Applicants with a master’s degree in nursing must be certified, licensed and practicing as an advanced practice nurse with prescriptive authority in order to proceed to the 33 credit hours DNP terminal degree unless seeking the Executive Leadership concentration.

  • Evidence of writing competence, which will be evaluated through the candidate’s prepared written statement submitted with the application, as well as by written response to an essay question given during the admissions interview

  • Personal goal statement

  • Current CV or Resume (in addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)

  • Three letters of reference that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character from doctoral-prepared registered nurses or physicians

  • Onsite or phone interview with nursing graduate faculty

  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse (RN) or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur

  • Current BLS certification

  • Verification of clinical hours completed during the applicant’s MSN program

  • GRE not required

  • Successful completion of BSN degree from a nationally accredited program

  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.

  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attended a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.

  • Three letters of reference that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character from doctorally prepared registered nurses or physicians

  • Personal goal statement

  • Evidence of writing competence, which will be evaluated through the candidate’s prepared written statement submitted with the application, as well as by written response to an essay question given during the admissions interview

  • Current CV or Resume (in addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences)

  • Current unencumbered, active RN licensure in the state where clinical experiences will occur

  • Current BLS certification

  • Onsite or phone interview with nursing graduate faculty

  • GRE not required

  • Apply scientific and theoretical knowledge to the practice of advanced nursing in the clinical or leadership emphasis areas

  • Integrate a population health perspective in the analysis of health needs and design of interventions for individuals, families and communities; and in striving to meet national and global health care goals

  • Combine strategic thinking, and effective management of health, quality, cost and consumer satisfaction in the context of financial, political, ethical and social issues to improve patient outcomes in complex health systems

  • Demonstrate effective information literacy and management skills in analyzing the strength of evidence in the scientific literature as the basis for implementing a research utilization project or designing evidence-based protocols for advanced practice

  • Complete graduate residency of at least 18 graduate hours for three consecutive semesters

  • Complete an approved program of study

  • Complete a DNP final project

  • Complete program within six years. Programs are designed for completion within six to 12 semesters.

Master’s-prepared students / Nurse Executive Leadership concentration – 36-39 hours 

Master’s-prepared students / APRN no concentration – 33 hours

BSN-prepared students / Nurse Executive Leadership concentration – 74 hours

BSN-prepared students / Clinical Concentration – 73-74 hours, depending on specific track

  • Complete a minimum 1,000 clinical hours. Credit will be given via a gap analysis for some clinical hours earned during the master’s program. Each student, after admission will be required to submit a portfolio for evaluation of clinical hours and after evaluation, the required number of hours required in the DNP program will be outline prior to matriculation
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and earn a 3.0 or better in all required classes and courses number 700 or higher

The DNP program (Post-Master's entry) accepts applications Nov. 1 – Mar. 1 for fall entry. All students must begin coursework the semester of acceptance

The DNP program (BSN entry) accepts applications Aug. 1 – Nov. 1 for summer entry. The college will continue to accept and review applications until Feb. 1 on a space available basis. All students must begin coursework the semester of acceptance.

The DNP program (MSN entry) accepts applications Nov. 1 – Mar. 1 for fall entry. All students must begin coursework the semester of acceptance.

Apply to Graduate School

The Graduate School coordinates online applications to our master's and doctoral programs. There may be supporting materials that are required along with your online application for graduate admission, so be sure to review the requirements before you apply.

DNP program costs depend on several factors. Estimate your costs by visiting the university’s Bursar’s Office website.

Financial aid is available. To determine your eligibility, complete the FAFSA form on the university’s Financial Aid website. The College of Nursing also offers general scholarships and scholarships for graduate study. In addition, other scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available through The Graduate School and the university’s Financial Aid and Scholarships office.

Only a limited number or type of courses may be transferred into the program. To be eligible, you must have earned a “B” or better in the proposed transfer credit class. The university evaluates prior coursework for transfer, a process that generally takes six months to determine approval.

Accreditation

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree programs at the University of South Carolina are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education through 2021.

State Authorization

Although the University of South Carolina is a member of SARA, some state Boards of Nursing or state higher education commissions have recently started imposing restrictions for offering distance education courses within their state. Check to see if our online programs are open to residents in your state.


Contact Us

Have additional questions about the DNP Program?

Phone: 803-777-7412
Email: NURSGRAD@mailbox.sc.edu

Address: 
Williams-Brice Building, Room 208
1601 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208


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