Doctor of Nursing Practice

Graduate programs

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Melissa R. Penkalski, Graduate Program Director
Professional Building, Room 301, Phone, 417-836-8374
MelissaPenkalski@missouristate.edu

Kathryn Patterson, Family Nurse Practitioner Coordinator
Professional Building, Room 315, Phone, 417-836-6267
KathrynPatterson@missouristate.edu

Program description

The School of Nursing DNP program is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses at the highest clinical level. Our community-based DNP program will graduate nursing leaders who have the knowledge and skills to address the health disparities of vulnerable and rural populations. The program will prepare graduates to function in a variety of community and acute care health settings as primary care providers, leaders, managers, and consultants.

Program options

  • The BSN to DNP program is an 80 credit hour program that will prepare graduates to practice in the family nurse practitioner role (FNP). The program consists of both online and on-campus courses. The student is required to be licensed and complete FNP clinical rotations in Missouri. The program can be completed in three (3) years full-time study. Part-time study is an option for the first year of the BSN to DNP program.
  • The Post-Master's (PM) DNP Program is a 31 credit hour (minimum) online program for nurses with a Master's in Nursing degree. The online program can be completed with full-time study in 14 months or more, or part-time study.
  • PM DNP applicants without a clinical focus in their master's degree program will need to take the Post-Master's Population Health Certificate program prior to full admission into the DNP program.
  • PM DNP applicants who have some clinical hours but do not meet the minimum 500 clinical contact hours will complete the PM DNP Bridge program. An individualized plan of study will be developed to ensure completion of required postbaccalaureate clinical hours before full admission into the DNP program.

Accreditation

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Missouri State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education: www.ccneaccreditation.org.

DNP application requirements

Completed applications will be reviewed beginning December 1 for summer admission.

The applicant should select the Pre-DNP program on the Graduate College application if prerequisites are needed prior to beginning the DNP program. When submitting the Graduate Application, the student should select the semester that you plan on taking your first courses at MSU, including prerequisites. The applicant should submit the following:

  1. Submit an application to NursingCAS with all required documentation, including transcripts and references.  Completed applications will be reviewed beginning December 1 for summer admission. 
  2. Submit the School of Nursing application fee via the link provided in NursingCAS application.
  3. Show graduation from a Master's in Nursing or higher degree program accredited by a recognized accrediting organization. Graduates from non-accredited programs will be considered on an individual basis for the Post-Master's DNP.
  4. Show graduation from a Bachelor of Science (BSN) program that is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization. Graduates from international nursing programs or non-accredited programs will be considered on an individual basis.
  5. Licensure as a registered nurse (RN) without disqualification and eligible for licensure in the state in which clinical practicums will be completed. Post-Master's Advanced Nursing Practice nurses must submit a copy of their certification in their area of Advanced Nursing Practice.
  6. Completion of a clinical practice experience that equates with one year minimum (two or more preferred) of full-time experience. Exceptions considered on individual basis.
  7. Post-Master's must have a cumulative GPA of all previous graduate-level education course work of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale) or above, BSN to DNP applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 for last 60 hours of course work attempted. Students who have less than a 3.25 GPA must submit verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE). (minimum Verbal: 150, Quantitative: 145, Analytical Writing: 3.5).
  8. Evidence of current health and professional liability insurance appropriate to their nursing role.
  9. Evidence of current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS). Online didactic course and written test are available for a fee for those students show need to recertify at: http://www.onlineAHA.org. No online skills testing will be accepted.
  10. Completion of all prerequisite courses. BSN to DNP requires: undergraduate human pathophysiology, graduate statistics, and healthcare informatics. Post-Master's requires: graduate human pathophysiology, graduate health assessment, graduate pharmacology, graduate epidemiology, graduate statistics, and healthcare informatics, with a grade of "B-" or higher before the program begins. Admission will be contingent on the student completing prerequisite courses prior to enrolling in DNP courses.
  11. meet the School of Nursing technical standards of the DNP program to successfully undertake the course of study (available by request from the program).
  12. submit evidence of current immunizations or immune status (MMR, Tetanus, Varicella, Hepatitis B series) and a PPD or -Spot (or documentation of appropriate follow up for PPD positive individuals).
  13. be prepared to meet the technical and technology proficiency requirements for online courses (available by request from the program). 

Admission process

For applicants with complete admission packet
  1. Post-Master's applicants who demonstrate a match between their project goals and the areas of expertise of the faculty will be given priority in the admission process. 
  2. Competitive BSN to DNP applicants will be invited to interview with the DNP Admission Committee. An interview is required to determine the fit between the candidate's goals, and the DNP program and faculty.
Selection factors

Admission into the Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program is highly selective and competitive, and a limited number of students will be admitted each year. Completion of all admission requirements and/or admission to the Graduate College does not ensure full admission to the DNP Program. The DNP Admission Committee will consider the following characteristics of competitive applicants:

  • Academic potential to successfully complete the program within the required time frame
  • BSN to DNP applicants should have a full understanding of the role of the advanced practice nurse
  • Professional integrity and maturity
  • Interpersonal communication skills, including written and verbal
  • Quality and quantity of health care experiences
  • Quality of leadership and service activities
  • BSN to DNP requires the ability to perform the technical functions and tasks required of the advanced practice nurse.

Students must complete the following program prerequisites before full admission into the DNP Program:

  • BSN to DNP:  healthcare informatics, undergraduate pathophysiology, graduate statistics
  • Post-Master's DNP:  graduate human pathophysiology, graduate health assessment, graduate pharmacology, graduate epidemiology, graduate statistics and healthcare infomatics.

The following are options offered at Missouri State University:

NUR 635 Healthcare Informatics
NUR 640 Advanced Human Pathophysiology 
PBH 720 Epidemiology
PSY 627 Advanced Psychological Statistical Methods
NUR 765 Applications of Advanced Pathophysiology
NUR 734 Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
NUR 761 Advanced Pharmacology
 
Students may take up to nine (9) credit hours of course work towards their degree before full admission to the DNP program. In addition to the prerequisite courses, the following courses are options:
 
NUR 703 Population Health: A Local to Global Perspective
NUR 711 Advanced Roles and Leadership in Nursing
NUR 840 Technology for Transforming Nursing and Health Systems

Additional requirements of the program

Students will be required to initiate and pay for any additional security checks and drug screenings required for placement into agencies for clinical experiences. Some agencies require annual screening and affidavits.

Full admission is contingent on completing the following immediately after acceptance to the program:

  1. Post-Master's applicants must submit completed Verification of Postbaccalaureate Clinical Practice Hours form.
  2. Payment of a clinical tracking fee. See the School of Nursing website for a full list of program costs.
  3. Applicants must apply and pay for the state/federal Background Check and receive a response that the applicant has not been convicted of any crime pursuant to Section 660.317 RSMO or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as a registered nurse or completion of clinical experiences.
  4. Pay for and complete a urine drug screen without disqualifying results.
  5. Applicants must submit proof of current professional liability insurance (limit $1,000,000/aggregate $6,000,000). For BSN to DNP students, the current professional liability insurance must be specifically for NP Student Liability.

Retention policies

To remain in the DNP program, the student must:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 3.25 with no more than one course with a grade of "C", and no course with a grade of "D" or lower. Receive a "pass" in all clinical evaluations.
  2. Complete all requirements for the program within five academic years after full admission to the DNP program. Continuous enrollment in the BSN-DNP program is required once FNP clinical courses are initiated.
  3. Demonstrate acceptable levels of maturity and integrity, as well as behaviors and attitudes normally expected of professional nurses in advanced nursing roles.
  4. Demonstrate acceptable professional progression in application of skills and knowledge throughout the program.
  5. Maintain current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life (BLS) certification, RN licensure, health and professional liability insurance, and all immunizations required by clinical agencies throughout the program.
  6. The student must notify the School of Nursing within five (5) days in the event of any legal infractions or any actions taken against their nursing license, or any investigation of such incidences.
  7. While the student's grades are important, retention in the DNP program considers the composite picture of the student's ability to perform at a satisfactory level in the academic and clinical component of the educational program.

The School of Nursing reserves the right to refuse enrollment or program continuation to any student. This refusal will be determined by the judgment of the DNP Program Director, the Graduate Admission, Progression, and Graduation (APG) Committee and the Director of the School of Nursing and based on the student's ability to successfully complete academic or clinical assignments or function effectively in the roles required in the DNP program. This includes the demonstration of characteristics associated with a professional nurse, including behaviors involving professionalism, ethics and integrity.

Technological requirements

The Missouri State University BSN to DNP Program uses a combination of online and on-campus modalities. Didactic online content may be delivered using asynchronous and synchronous formats. Applicants to the DNP program must be proficient using Blackboard (or other course platform systems), word processing, spreadsheet management, and presentation graphics software. Students are expected to be able to manage files, navigate the internet, access resources, locate scholarly references from the library, use a headset/microphone, computer camera, scanner and fax machine. Students who have deficiencies in these areas must seek training before the start of the program.

The School of Nursing uses a Blackboard course management system for all courses. Additionally, web conferencing software is used for synchronous course offerings and other experiences. Specific information on web conferencing software used in class will be provided in the course syllabus. Access to a personal computer/laptop with broadband/high speed internet connections, a web camera, and a headset with microphone is required.

Clinical experiences

Clinical FNP experiences for BSN to DNP students are individually arranged with preceptors, who have the appropriate educational and experiential qualifications. Students can complete their clinical experiences in their local community if sites and preceptors are approved by the School of Nursing. However, students should plan to travel outside of the local community for clinical experiences. All clinical sites and preceptors must be approved in advance by the FNP Program Coordinator and a contract must be established with the clinical site before any clinical experiences occur.

Requirements on campus

BSN to DNP students are required to be on campus for seated classes a minimum of one day a week, with potential for additional days depending on requirements of the course.

Post-Master's DNP students are required to be on campus a minimum of two times during the program. The date and times for these on-campus visits will be published annually, prior to the start of the academic year.

DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner: BSN to DNP

Course requirements: (80 hrs)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
NUR 701 Nursing Science 3 hrs
NUR 703 Population Health: A Local to Global Perspective 3 hrs
NUR 704 Population Health Practicum 1 hr
NUR 711 Advanced Roles and Leadership in Nursing 2 hrs
NUR 730 Family Practice I 6 hrs
NUR 734 Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning 5 hrs
NUR 750 Family Practice II 6 hrs
NUR 761 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics 3 hrs
NUR 765 Applications of Advanced Pathophysiology 3 hrs
NUR 770 Family Practice III 6 hrs
NUR 772 Advanced Research Methods in Nursing 3 hrs
NUR 790 Family Nurse Practitioner Advanced Practice Practicum 5 hrs
NUR 800 DNP Leadership I: Concepts for Evidence-Based Practice 2 hrs
NUR 802 Emerging Science of Methods of Advanced Practice 3 hrs
NUR 810 Finance Management and Entrepreneurship for Advanced Nursing Roles 2 hrs
NUR 820 Social Justice and Disparities in Health and Healthcare 2 hrs
NUR 824 Health Policy to Improve Health Disparities 3 hrs
NUR 830 DNP Leadership II: Impacting Disparities in Health and Healthcare 3 hrs
NUR 840 Technology for Transforming Nursing and Health Systems 2 hrs
NUR 860 DNP Leadership III: Transforming Systems 3 hrs
NUR 990 Introduction to Transforming Practice 1 hr
NUR 991 Transforming Practice I 3 hrs
NUR 992 Transforming Practice II 3 hrs
NUR 993 Transforming Practice III 4 hrs
PBH 720 Epidemiology 3 hrs

Post-Master's DNP

Course requirements: (31 hrs)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
NUR 800 DNP Leadership I: Concepts for EBP 2 hrs
NUR 802 Emerging Science and Methods of Advanced Practice 3 hrs
NUR 810 Finance Management and Entrepreneurship for Advanced Nursing Roles 2 hrs
NUR 820 Social Justice and Disparities in Health and Healthcare 2 hrs
NUR 824 Health Policy to Improve Disparities 3 hrs
NUR 830 DNP Leadership II: Impacting Disparities in Health and Healthcare 3 hrs
NUR 840 Technology for Transforming Nursing and Health Systems 2 hrs
NUR 860 DNP Leadership III: Transforming Systems 3 hrs
NUR 990 Introduction to Transforming Practice 1 hr
NUR 991 Transforming Practice I 3 hrs
NUR 992 Transforming Practice II 3 hrs
NUR 993 Transforming Practice III 4 hrs