MSN Direct Entry
Program AdvisorTaylor Rose Pamperin
A D.N.P. is a terminal professional degree for nurses in advanced practice and leadership, and it represents attainment of the highest level of clinical nursing competence and educational parity with other health team members holding clinical doctorates. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the professional organization for baccalaureate and higher degree programs, has recommended that all advanced-practice preparation should be at the doctor of nursing practice level.
Graduates of the D.N.P. program bring the best practices to the point of service, having competence in evidence-based care and translational research methods for quality improvement. Marquette University College of Nursing began the first Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the state of Wisconsin in fall 2008. In 2016, the program was ranked at number 35 in the Top 50 Best Value D.N.P. Programs by Value Colleges.
There are two routes to the D.N.P. degree: B.S.N. to D.N.P. or post-master’s to D.N.P.
Students entering the post-B.S.N. to D.N.P. become either a nurse leader or an advanced practice nurse. The advanced practice nurse specialties include: nurse anesthesia, pediatrics-primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner, adult-older adult primary care nurse practitioner, adult-older adult acute care nurse practitioner, and adult-older adult clinical nurse specialist.
Students who have attained their master’s degree in advanced practice or leadership enter the post-master’s D.N.P. program.
At the completion of the program, students will be able to:
Our CCNE-accredited D.N.P. program is offered via a combination of in-person, hybrid and/or online courses. The D.N.P. clinical and residency requirements vary. These clinical courses help the students attain the required amount of clinical hours for their specialty. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s recommends a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice for the D.N.P.
The Nurse Anesthesia specialty can only be attained through the D.N.P. program, which is 91 credits of full-time study.
The other postbaccalaureate D.N.P. programs require 63–69 credits: post-baccalaureate D.N.P. program and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. These programs include all existing master’s courses plus additional courses to help students meet the D.N.P. competencies. The D.N.P. program was deliberately planned so students will earn a master’s degree en route to the D.N.P. and be eligible to write for the certification exam in their area of specialization upon completion of required courses.
The 30-credit post-master’s D.N.P. program builds on the existing master’s program and is completed generally on a part-time basis. Transcripts of students whose master’s degrees are from nursing master’s programs other than Marquette are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assure attainment of prerequisite knowledge and clinical experience. Additional course work beyond the 33 credit requirement may be necessary to meet all of the essentials of doctoral education for advanced practice.
Graduate School tuition rates for the current year may be found on the Graduate School's website. Several sources of financial assistance, including scholarships, are available.
To apply to the D.N.P. program, you must have graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program, normally with a graduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (4.0 = A). A statistics course that included inferential analysis must have been taken within five years of the program's start date. Undergraduate courses in nursing research and in health assessment are required prerequisites, as is a copy of your current Wisconsin nursing license.
Students must file all components of the application process with Nursing CAS by February 15 for a fall semester start, or November 15 for a spring semester start. Note: The D.N.P. NA program only allows for a fall semester start. D.N.P. applicants who apply after the stated deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis only.
Other criteria include:
Susan Breakwell, APHN-BC, D.N.P.
D.N.P. Program Director
Taylor Rose Pamperin
Graduate Program Advisor
For information regarding specific specialties within the D.N.P. program, please contact the option coordinator:
Adult-Older Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Older Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Dual Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Systems Leadership and Health Care Quality