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DNP Frequently Asked Questions

What is the DNP degree?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal practice degree. The DNP program prepares nurses to assume leadership roles in clinical practice. With additional education courses, DNP prepared nurses can serve as nurse educators. The DNP emphasizes advanced clinical practice, implementation of best practices, and evaluation of practice and care delivery models.

Do you offer a doctorate degree in nursing practice at the University of Nevada?

Currently, the University of Nevada in Reno, Orvis School of Nursing and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Nursing offer a collaborative Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

What does “collaborative” program mean?

The Schools of Nursing in Reno and Las Vegas entered into a collaborative arrangement to offer the DNP through the University of Nevada System of Higher Education. Applicants may apply to either school, which becomes the student's "home" campus and the institution that will award the degree. You will take courses from both UNR and UNLV online each semester of the program.

Is the program offered online?

Yes, all courses are online. However, students are required to come to their "home" campus one time each year for several days for orientation and DNP project purposes. You will go to the campus at your "home" university for the meetings.

Why start a doctorate program now? Aren’t nurse practitioners well trained already?

Many nurse practitioner programs already require more than 60 credits and 3 years for completion. Despite this there is a need for additional training and education. Essentially, current NP education is more demanding than most terminal master's degrees. In response, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommended the development of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree "for the highest level of nursing practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline." Nursing as a profession competes with other health sciences specialties, including pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and audiology. These specialties have moved to the professional or practice doctorate.

Do you have different options for the DNP degree?

Yes. There are two tracks, one for advanced practice and one for nurse executives/administrators.

How many credits do I need to take to complete my degree program?

The UNDNP is a post- master's degree and requires 39 credits to complete.

How long is the program?

The program is five semesters long with one summer session the first year.

How often do you admit students into your program?

Students are admitted into the program annually and begin classes in the fall semester.

What are the requirements for admissions into your DNP program?

  1. Hold an MS degree with a concentration in Nursing (related degrees may be eligible)
  2. Hold an RN license
  3. Submit a 500-word essay describing career goals
  4. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 at the graduate level
  5. Have a national certification or eligibility for certification in an area of nursing specialty

How do I apply for admission to the program?

First, decide on which campus most closely meets your needs and area of interest. You may contact Dr. Christine Aramburu at the Orvis School of Nursing for information to assist you in your choice. Online applications may be found at the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School.

Are scholarships or financial aid available to students?

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid at the university to which they apply; i.e. their "home" university. Check the link at your respective university to complete a FAFSA form.

How long will it take me to obtain my DNP degree?

Students are admitted as a cohort and complete the program in 2 years (5 semesters, including one summer semester).

How long do I have to complete the program?

You must complete all course work and your culminating project within six years.

Does the DNP require a dissertation?

No. The DNP is an applied practice degree; therefore, it is required that you complete a capstone project that applies to your advanced practice or role as an administrator. You will begin work on the project in the second semester of the program culminating with a project defense at the end of the last semester of the program. For additional information on the project contact Dr. Christine Aramburu Alegria:

What is the tuition cost?

The UNDNP is $800 per credit hour. Tuition is not based on resident status. Therefore, all students will pay $800 per credit hour.

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