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DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Accepting Applications

DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE

The DNP degree is a terminal practice-doctoral degree designed to develop competencies for advanced clinical and leadership roles, equipping graduates with the skills and knowledge to be effective contributors to the translation of science and research into healthcare practice.

The Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing offers two DNP foci: the post-masters Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration.

DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE (DNP) POST-MASTER'S 
This program is designed for nurses who have a MS degree in nursing and are seeking a practice-focused doctoral nursing degree. The DNP is a 2-year commitment and will include coursework in leadership, research, education, policy, population health and translational science for evidence-based practice.

DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE - FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER
This program is designed for nurses who have a BS or MS in Nursing seeking a practice-focused doctoral nursing degree, and certification as a family nurse practitioner. The DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner is a 3-year commitment and will include coursework in leadership, research, policy, population health and translational science for evidence-based practice.  Also included in the DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner concentration is curriculum preparing graduates to practice primary care across the lifespan as family nurse practitioners.

Program Overview & Highlights »

DNP POST-MASTER'S PROGRAM OFFERS THE FOLLOWING: 

  • Interactive hybrid platform
    • Online program with on-campus sessions (2-3 consecutive days) once per quarter
    • Prologue, Intersession and Epilogue courses will be 3-5-days of on-campus sessions
  • Faculty who are leaders in clinical research, education, and clinical practice
  • Students will complete 53 units and 510 hours of clinical practice
  • Pursue your degree without leaving your current employment
  • DNP Scholarly Project may be conducted at your place of employment

Download the Complete Schedule of Classes (PDF)



DNP-FAMILY NURSE PRACTITONER OFFERS THE FOLLOWING:

  • Interactive hybrid platform
    • Online program with on-campus sessions (2-3 consecutive days) once per quarter
    • Prologue, Intersession and Epilogue courses will be 3-5-days of on-campus sessions
  • Faculty who are leaders in clinical research, education, and clinical practice
  • Students will complete 98 units and 1,020 hours of clinical practice
  • Opportunities to obtain clinical training in one of the top healthcare systems in the nation
  • FNP certification eligibility

Download the Complete Schedule of Classes (PDF)



ACCREDITATION

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice degree has received Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) approval.

As a new program, the School of Nursing will apply for approval by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

Who Should Apply? »

YOU SHOULD APPLY TO THE DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE POST-MASTER'S PROGRAM IF YOU ARE...

  • An RN with a MS in Nursing seeking a practice-focused doctoral degree
  • Passionate about advocating and providing leadership for change in healthcare for all communities

Application Criteria

  • Hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in nursing from a CCNE- or CNEA-accredited college or university
  • Have a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0
  • Have an active, unrestricted RN license for practice in the state where the DNP practicum work will occur
  • Have worked full time for one year (or a minimum of 1800 hours) as a registered nurse in the US by the start of the program
  • Have completed a course in descriptive and inferential statistics with a grade of B or higher within 5 years of admission to the program

YOU SHOULD APPLY TO THE DNP - FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAM IF YOU ARE...

  • An RN with a BS or MS in Nursing seeking a practice-focused doctoral degree, and certification as a family nurse practitioner
  • Passionate about advocating and providing leadership for change in healthcare for all communities
  • Passionate about improving the care of individuals, families, and populations

Application Criteria

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in nursing from a CCNE- or CNEA-accredited college or university
  • Have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Have an active and unrestricted California RN license
  • Have worked full time for one year (or a minimum of 1800 hours) as a registered nurse in the US by the start of the program
  • Have completed a course in descriptive and inferential statistics with a grade of B or higher within 5 years of admission to the program
Application Checklist »

Applications are accepted between September 4th and March 1st for the following fall quarter entry. The priority deadline for applicants who would like to be considered for School of Nursing scholarships is December 1st. Applications will be reviewed and admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis after the December 1st deadline. 

APPLICATION CHECKLIST FOR DNP POST-MASTER'S AND DNP-FNP

The following items are required to apply:

  1. Online UC Irvine Graduate Application and NursingCAS Application
  2. Statement of Purpose & Personal History (Submitted in UC Irvine graduate application)
  3. Resume (Submitted in UC Irvine graduate application)
  4. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (Submitted in UC Irvine graduate application)
  5. 3 Letters of Recommendation (Submitted in UC Irvine graduate application)

UC Irvine Graduate Application and NursingCAS Application:

  • Both applications must be completed and paid in full in order for your application to be considered for review
  • Application fees: NursingCAS - $70 for the initial application; UC Irvine- $105 domestic and $125 international

International Applicants

In addition to the above mentioned items, international applicants must also submit:TOEFL or IELTS scores

  • Please see the test score section below for instructions on how to submit official test scores. Test scores that are two years or older are not acceptable. 
  • For more helpful information on applying to UCI as an international student, see the UCI Graduate Division International Admissions page

Note: An interview will be required for final selection of candidates.
  
Tuition & Funding Opportunities »

TUITION & OTHER EXPENSES

2018-2019 Academic Year

Billed Student Fees Other Estimated Expenses
Tuition (per academic year): $36,000* Books/Supplies: $1563
Estimated per-quarter cost: $9,000 Laptop Computer: $1500
Uniform & Clinical Supplies: $100

*  Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change, both before and during enrollment.
† UC Irvine bills for fees each quarter. Eligibility for any tuition reduction is therefore evaluated quarterly.
‡ Amounts for estimated expenses may vary.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Financial assistance for graduate students differs substantially from that available to undergraduates.

To be eligible for financial assistance, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note that international students are not eligible for need-based financial aid and should not complete the FAFSA. All graduate students, either international or domestic, are eligible to receive university fellowship funding as long as you are documented.

Other scholarships

We encourage you to also look for and apply for any scholarships you can find outside of UCI. In addition to offsetting the cost of tuition, outside nursing-specific scholarships introduce you to organizations that can broaden your idea of what a nurse can accomplish and how nurses are needed in today’s society. The external scholarship database has a listing for scholarships available to both Nursing Science graduate and undergraduate students. View external nursing scholarships › 

Frequently Asked Questions »

PROGRAMS

What are the key differences between DNP and Ph.D./DNS Programs?
Download DNP & Ph.D. key difference PDF

Both DNP and PhD are terminal degrees; however the DNP is a practice-focused doctorate and the PhD is a research-focused doctorate. The DNP prepares the graduate to translate evidence-based practice at the bedside as compared to the PhD that prepares the graduate to develop nursing theory. The DNP requires the student to carry out a Scholarly Project in a clinical setting where as the PhD requires scientific research and a dissertation.

Why should I get a DNP degree if the requirement for FNP practice is to be educated at the master’s level?

All major national nursing accreditation and educational organizations have agreed that entry level education for NPs should be at the doctoral level. NONPF (National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties), the preeminent leader in NP education, has set a date of 2025 for programs to convert their Masters NP programs to DNP programs. See link:  https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.nonpf.org/resource/resmgr/dnp/v3_05.2018_NONPF_DNP_Stateme.pdf

Because US healthcare systems and patient care management has become more and more complex over the past several decades, NPs have needed more and more education to function competently as entry level NPs. The DNP degree reflects the effort and requirements needed to practice competitively in today’s healthcare environment.   

What can I do with a DNP?
A DNP can help advance your career in the direction of leadership in clinical practice.

Are there research opportunities in this program?
The DNP Scholarly Project will offer you opportunities to research, implement and evaluate a clinical practice or health policy issue.

Can you work full-time while in the DNP program?
Full-time work is possible. However, please keep in mind that the DNP is a full-time program, and the pace and intensity are demanding, especially in year 2 when clinical rotations begin.

How often will I need to come to campus?
On-campus sessions are required each quarter for 2-3 consecutive days.  These will occur in week 9 each quarter and will be held on Thursday-Saturday.

In addition, the Prologue, Intersession and Epilogue courses are 3-5 day on-campus intensive sessions.

Is there campus housing or transportation for me during these on-campus sessions?
Our Visitor Center webpage has information on local hotels, and many provide shuttle service to UCI.  http://www.studentcenter.uci.edu/visitor-center/

What is the course transfer policy for the DNP?
UCI does not accept transfer credit for doctoral programs.  If equivalent courses were taken in another graduate nursing program, up to 3 courses can be waived, however, the units would need to be made up by taking elective courses.

Is the GRE required?
No, the GRE is NOT required for the DNP program.

Is the student health insurance included in the fees?
No, it is not included.

Is this program eligible for fee waivers?
The DNP program is a self-supporting graduate professional degree program; thus, certain fee waivers traditionally accepted by the University of California may not be accepted (for example, we do not accept CalVet waivers).


ADMISSIONS

What if I can’t find a college professor or instructor to write a letter of recommendation for me?
One letter should be from a college professor or instructor who can assess your readiness for doctoral studies.  If this cannot be obtained, a letter from an individual who can assess your academic performance will be accepted. 

What if my statistics course is over 5 years old?
If admitted, you will need to take another statistics course prior to fall entry. Your statistics course must have been completed within 5 years of beginning the DNP program.

(ex. for students entering the DNP program in Fall 2019, their statistics course would be valid if it was completed between September 2014 and September 2019). 


CLINICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE POST-MASTER'S

How many clinical hours do I need for my DNP Practicum?
AACN requires a minimum of 1,000 post-Baccalaureate hours of mentored clinical and/or organizational leadership experience for the awarding of a DNP degree.

You may provide documentation of 500 precepted hours from an MS in nursing degree program, a post-Master’s certification program, or national board certification in an APRN role and population foci.

The remaining hours will be obtained from the required curriculum in the DNP Practicum course series.

An individualized plan for site and learner evaluation during these DNP Practicum experiences will be determined by the clinical mentor; in agreement with DNP Program faculty.

Where can I complete my DNP scholarly project and DNP Practicum?
You may complete the clinical hours which are part of the scholarly project in your place of employment or other clinical agency suitable to your project.

All clinical mentors and sites must be vetted by the UCI DNP program prior to the start of the DNP Practicum.

Do I need to live or relocate to California?
No, you may complete your scholarly projects in your home state.

When will clinical hours begin?
The first clinical practicum course begins in Fall of Year 2.

Am I required to go through a background check?
The School of Nursing will coordinate this with an external agency.

CLINICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DNP - FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAM

For the DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program, do I need to find my own clinical preceptors?
The UCI School of Nursing has experienced preceptors in a variety of clinical sites and specialty areas in the Orange County and surrounding areas.  These NP, MD, DO and CNM preceptors are available to DNP/FNP students.  The School of Nursing coordinates the clinical placements. 

You may identify and recommend preceptors with whom you have networked for the purpose of clinical placements.

All preceptors must be vetted by the UCI DNP program, and a formal affiliation must be established between the precepting entity and UCI prior to attending these clinical sites.

Where can I complete my DNP scholarly project?
You may complete the clinical hours which are part of the scholarly project in your place of employment or other clinical agency suitable to your project.

Do I need to live or relocate to California?
You must live in California prior to the start of your clinical practicum courses in January of year 2 and are required to complete your DNP APRN Practicum courses in California. You must hold an active, unrestricted California RN license during your tenure in the program. 

When will clinical hours begin?
The first clinical practicum course begins in January of Year 2.

Am I required to go through a background check?
The School of Nursing will coordinate this with an external agency.

Information Sessions »

INFORMATION SESSIONS

Please click on the link to RSVP.

Here are the following Online Information Session Dates.

Thursday, Oct 4 @ 12pm PST - click here to view our recorded session

Tuesday, Oct 23 @ 2pm PST

Friday, Nov 2 @ 10am PST

DNP Online Information Sessions Flyer