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Doctor Of Nursing Practice (BSN-DNP)

An alternative to research-focused doctoral programs, the DNP advances professional nursing roles in clinical practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) -or a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).  The program is designed to produce leaders who embrace healthcare reform and are advocates for vulnerable populations. Graduates will integrate theory and practice in areas of health policy and law, administration, business, evaluation, systems, population health, and evidence-based practices.

The program ranges 84 credits.  Students will complete clinical requirements to meet the mandated minimum 1,080 hours of specialty training that is one of the hallmarks of the DNP degree.  Students will complete a scholarly DNP project aimed at translating advanced practice skills into evidence-based practice changes focused on the rapid translation of research to practice, minimizing the research to practice gap.  Full-time BSN-DNP students would complete the program in three years.

Watch an Informational Session about the program and and get to know our faculty:

Multiple Entry Points

The program has multiple entry points for admission:

These different entry points allow the curriculum to be individualized for candidates based on prior education, experience, and choice of specialization.  Post-masters students entering the DNP desiring to change their area of professional practice will be evaluated on an individual basis and may require additional coursework from the professional core or concentration. Students in the program utilize a combination of learning strategies, relying on web-based coursework delivered in hybrid format with both in-seat and online sessions.

Curriculum To Meet Personal And Professional Goals

Students are provided with the opportunity to develop clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills to design and implement programs of care delivery, significantly impacting healthcare outcomes for vulnerable populations and having the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare.

DNP Study Plan:  Your Pathway To Completion!

You can plan your path for completing the DNP, with the DNP Plan of Study & Curriculum.

Current students can utilize the DNP Handbook to stay current with policies and other program requirements.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

All applicants to the D.N.P. program will be evaluated individually based on prior educational work and current employment experience. Programs of study will be designed to include additional coursework, if necessary, to meet the educational objectives of the program.

Students applying to the post-baccalaureate option must have a B.S.N. from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC) accredited program.

Admissions Criteria:

Submission of Materials

Students will submit their materials through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (CAS).  Nursing CAS is a partner with AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) and is a centralized application service for students applying to CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) accredited programs.  Go to the Nursing CAS website ( and click in the upper right-hand corner for a list of programs and click on Shepherd University.  This link also provides a direct link to the application page:

Accreditation Disclosure Statement

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Shepherd University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.