FAQ

What is the Doctor of Nursing Practice?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program is a doctoral degree that prepares graduates at the highest level of advanced nursing practice.  The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) developed the model of doctoral nursing practice education based upon the DNP Essentials.

How does the DNP differ from the PhD?

The DNP is a clinical practice doctorate as compared to the PhD research 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.

What changes in advanced practice ensue with a DNP degree?

The advanced practice nurse with a DNP degree is prepared to apply translational science to clinical practice, assume leadership roles in a variety of clinical settings, and at the most advanced clinical and organizational levels, provide the highest standard of care.

What is the program of study?

Courses will prepare the advanced practice nurse to practice in complex healthcare systems through the application of skills in leadership, education, informatics, health policy, research, and the translational sciences.

What is the Scholarly Project?

The student will identify a clinical problem or professional practice issue in a patient population and/or system.  This can be identified in the student's place of employment or another approved clinical site.  An innovative, culturally competent, sustainable, and evidence-based project will be developed, implemented, and evaluated with support of faculty and a clinical preceptor.

Does the program prepare advance practice nurses in specialty practice?

No. The program is for graduates of a prior Master's or post-Master's program who have completed 500 clinical practice hours to prepare for an advanced practice role (clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, or nurse executive).

Is advanced practice experience required for admission?

One year of advanced practice experience is preferred.  

What is the structure of the program?

The program is full-time over seven academic quarters.  Students are required to progress sequentially through core courses in year one. Clinical courses in year two prepare and support the student in formulating, writing, carrying out, and evaluating their identified clinical problem for their Scholarly Project.  The program is 61-units in length.

How often must I come to campus and can I continue to work during the program?

The program is geared towards working professionals.  Students will be required to be on campus for coursework five days a quarter supplemented with online requirements.  In addition, second year, students will carry out clinical hours at their place of employment to complete their Scholarly Project.

What might I expect the workload to be each year?

Core coursework year one will demand approximately 15-20 hours per week for reading, research and writing, in addition to on-line work and web-conferences.  Year two will focus upon clinical practice hours for the Scholarly Project at a practice site that may be your place of employment. In addition, year two will consist of seminar hours on campus and meeting time with your Scholarly Project Committee.

Is there an orientation program provided to prepare the student for the DNP program?

Yes, a two-day immersion will be provided prior to the beginning of the first quarter. Immersion will provide the student with information related to necessary program requirements and a review of available campus resources that can support the student's success.

What are the costs of the program and are there scholarships or financial aid available?

You can contact the Student Affairs Officer, Soo Kwon, to discuss program cost and financial aid options: skwon@sonnet.ucla.edu.

If I am interested in applying, what should I do?

Applications for Fall 2019 is now open. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2019.  Visit Apply Now and get started on your path to a new degree today.