Doctor of Nursing Practice Admission Requirements

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website and should be submitted by February 1 for preferred admission for fall semester consideration. The program offers BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP plans.

BSN to DNP Plan Admission Requirements

Prospective students for the BSN to DNP plan must complete the following:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) in the baccalaureate in nursing degree.
  • Hold an unencumbered license as a registered nurse.
  • Have practiced as a baccalaureate prepared registered nurse for a minimum of one calendar year prior to beginning coursework in the BSN to DNP program.
  • Interviews may be required.

BSN to DNP Plan Family Nurse Practitioner Course Requirements

  • Complete 68 credits within the plan of study and earn a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  • A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College
  • If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  • Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee, if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, the DNP Coordinator, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate dean.
  • The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the DNP Coordinator will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at Graduate Faculty Status page.
  • Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester of the second year of full-time study and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the DNP Coordinator when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  • In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  • Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • Once admitted, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  • The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over three semesters in the program.
  • Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies of the UNLV School of Nursing and are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College and University.

BSN to DNP Plan Academic Leadership Course Requirements

  • Complete 60 credits within the plan of study and earn a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  • A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the graduate College.
  • If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  • Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee, if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, the DNP Coordinator, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate dean.
  • The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the DNP Coordinator will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at Graduate Faculty Status page.
  • Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester of the second year of full-time study and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the DNP Coordinator when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  • In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  • Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • Once admitted, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  • The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over three semesters in the program.
  • Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies for UNLV School of Nursing and are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College and University.

MSN to DNP Plan Admission Criteria Advanced Practice Track

Prospective students for the MSN to DNP plan must complete the following:

  • Hold a baccalaureate in nursing from an accredited NLNAC or CCNE nursing program.
  • Hold a master’s degree in nursing (MSN or MN). Exceptions to this will be made on a case-by-case basis and only for those students who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a master’s degree in another health-related field (e.g., MPH, MHA, etc.). Coursework from a non-nursing master’s degree must have significant content from nursing or a nursing focus. At a minimum, graduate level coursework must demonstrate a substantial study of Nursing Theory, Research, and Health Policy.
  • Have completed graduate-level course work with a grade of B or better in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, physical assessment, nursing theory, research, and healthcare policy.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher at the graduate level.
  • Have completed graduate-level course work with a grade of B or better in nursing theory, research, and healthcare policy.
  • Hold an unencumbered license as a registered nurse and as an advanced practice nurse commensurate with state licensure.
  • Hold national certification in an advanced practice role from a nationally recognized certification/credentialing organization.

MSN to DNP Advanced Practice Course Requirements

  • Complete 31 credits within the plan of study and earn a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  • A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  • If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  • Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, and the DNP Coordinator, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  • The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the DNP Coordinator will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at Graduate Faculty Status page.
  • Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester of full-time study and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the DNP coordinator when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  • In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  • Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • Once admitted to the DNP program, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  • The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over three semesters in the program. Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies of the UNLV School of Nursing. Students in the DNP program are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College.

MSN to DNP Plan Admission Criteria – Academic Leadership Track

Prospective students for the Academic Leadership Track must complete the following:

  • Hold a baccalaureate in nursing from an accredited NLNAC or CCNE nursing program.
  • Students must hold a master’s degree in nursing (MSN or MN). Exceptions to this will be made on a case-by-case basis and only for those students who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a master’s degree in another health-related field (i.e. MBA, MHA, MPH etc.). Coursework from non-nursing master’s degree must have significant content from nursing or a nursing focus. At a minimum, graduate level coursework must demonstrate a substantial study of Nursing Theory, Research, and Health Policy.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher at the graduate level.
  • Have completed graduate-level course work with a grade of B or better in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced physical assessment, nursing theory, research and healthcare policy.
  • Hold an unencumbered license as a registered nurse.
  • Hold national certification (or be eligible for certification) in an advanced practice role or an area of specialization or expertise.
  • Provide documentation of at least 500 hours of practice in a leadership role from educational experience, practice experience or equivalent course work in the area of administration (e.g., MBA, MHA, MPH etc. or education).
  • Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

MSN to DNP Academic Leadership Track Course Requirements

  • Complete 33 credits within the plan of study and earn a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  • A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  • If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  • Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee, if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, and the DNP Coordinator, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  • The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the DNP Coordinator will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at Graduate Faculty Status page.
  • Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester of full-time study and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the DNP coordinator when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  • In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  • Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • Once admitted, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  • The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over three semesters in the program.

Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies of the UNLV School of Nursing and are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College and University.

Plan Graduation Requirements

  • Submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  • The student must submit and successfully defend his/her DNP Project by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  • Student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy project to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.