School of Nursing

You are here

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program FAQ

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 doctoral degree in nursing practice at the University of Nevada?
Currently, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Nursing and the Orvis School of Nursing at The University of Nevada, Reno offer a collaborative Doctor of Nursing Practice (UNDNP) program.
What does "collaborative" program mean?
The Schools of Nursing in Las Vegas and Reno entered into a collaborative arrangement to offer the UNDNP through the University of Nevada System of Higher Education. Applicants may apply to either school, which becomes the student's "home" campus, and that institution will award the degree. You will take courses from both UNLV and UNR 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 before the first semester for 2 days for orientation and one day each for two different semesters for DNP Project purposes. You will go to the campus at your "home" university for the meetings.
Why start a doctoral program now? Aren’t nurse practitioners well trained already?
Many nurse practitioner programs already require more than 60 credits and three 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 UNDNP 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?
For full-time study, the program is five semesters long with one summer session after the first year. For part-time study, the program is eight semesters long with two summer sessions.
How often do you admit students into your program?
Students are admitted into the program annually and begin classes in the fall semester.
Do I need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) to apply for admissions into the UNDNP program?
No, the GRE is not required for admission to the UNDNP program.
What are the requirements for admissions into your UNDNP program?
You must have an earned MSN from a CCNE or NLN accredited school of nursing. You must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in your master's degree program. Additionally, you must be licensed as an RN and for advanced practice nurses, hold national certification in advanced practice, e,g,. NP, CRNA, Nurse Midwife, or Clinical Specialist. For the nurse executive track, you must hold certification or be eligible for certification in an area of leadership in which you practice.
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. Carolyn Sabo, DNP Coordinator, or Elizabeth Gardner, Program Officer at the UNLV School of Nursing for information to assist you in your choice. Online applications may be found at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Graduate College.
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 online.
How long will it take me to obtain my UNDNP degree?

Full-time students are admitted as a cohort and complete the program in two years. Students admitted as a cohort for part-time study complete the program in three years.

Special program planning with an advisor is available for students whose personal or professional circumstances change that prohibit completing the program on time. If a change in the program's plan of study becomes necessary, it will take longer to complete depending on the student’s revised Program of Study.

How long do I have to complete the program?
You must complete all course work and your DNP Project within six years.
Does the UNDNP require a dissertation?
No. The UNDNP is an applied practice degree; therefore, it is required that you complete a final DNP Project that applies to your advanced practice or role as a nurse leader. You will begin work on the DNP roject 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 DNP Project contact Dr. Carolyn Sabo, DNP Coordinator.
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.