The DNP is a practice doctorate in nursing which prepares graduates to function at the highest level of nursing practice. Entry into the program is available every fall. Graduates of the DNP program focus on providing care with an emphasis on improving quality and access to underserved and diverse populations. Graduates employ abilities and skills in these areas to advocate for reasonable, rational and data-driven health regulations, standards and practices; sustain collaborative and strategic relationships; promote innovative, effective health care programs; and form partnerships with diverse groups to address health disparities. Two pathways to the DNP degree are available, post-baccalaureate and post-masters. The post-baccalaureate pathway admits BSN prepared nurses to the DNP program for a dual nurse practitioner specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner and is currently available to Alabama and Mississippi residents only. The post-masters DNP pathway admits advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists) and nurse executives. Certification in one of the roles listed is required prior to completing 12 credit hours in the program.

The DNP curriculum includes the development of a practice improvement project. This scholarly project is designed to synthesize scholarship in an advanced practice specialty or an area of health care leadership, is derived from a practice immersion experience, and serves as the capstone project for the program.  All courses are offered in a distance accessible format, and students develop the scholarly project under the direction of a team, including program faculty, the student, the clinical adviser, the faculty adviser, and alumni mentors. Note: This program requires a clinical component (post-baccalaureate range from 1065-1590 clinical hours; post-masters - 540 clinical hours). It is the student’s responsibility to identify a site and an appropriate clinical adviser. No clinical practice will take place until the student has been notified by CCN of approval.

Admission Requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice

Admission requirements are consistent with those of the Graduate School. Applicants for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will be considered on a competitive basis.

The following are requirements for admission:

  1. For unconditional admission, a grade point average of at least 3.0 overall (based on a 4.0 grading scale) or 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work is required.
  2. For conditional admission, a grade point average of at least 2.5 overall (based on a 4.0 grading scale) for undergraduate work, and a score of at least 300 on the revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) OR at least in the 40th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required.
  3. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing.
  4. Current unencumbered RN licensure in Alabama or Mississippi.  

Note: Currently, only residents of Alabama and Mississippi are eligible for admission to the post-baccalaureate DNP pathway.   

Admission Requirements for the Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

Admission requirements are consistent with those of the Graduate School. Applicants for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will be considered on a competitive basis. The following are requirements for admission:

  1. Current unencumbered RN licensure in a state approved for admission. Click Here to view the states from which the College of Nursing accepts applications for admission.
  2. Master’s degree in nursing in an advanced nursing practice area (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist) from a regionally and CCNE or NLN accredited school of nursing. Students who have a master’s degree in nursing in an area other than advanced practice may request to have their application evaluated to determine if they meet requirements for admission to the DNP program.
  3. Advanced practice national certification or eligibility to sit for advanced practice national certification, and must pass certification exam prior to completing 12 credit hours of DNP coursework. Students who are not yet certified will only be considered for conditional admission.
  4. A 3.0 grade point average, based on a 4.0 system in a completed graduate degree.

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will be awarded to the student who has met the following requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • good standing at the time of graduation
  • successful completion of the scholarly project
  • successful completion of the required coursework and scholarly project hours/ practice immersion experience
  • attendance at one (1) DNP Intensive during program.

Transfer of Credit

Acceptable graduate credit, earned in a regionally and CCNE or NLN accredited institution in which the student was enrolled in the graduate school, may be transferred and applied to the requirements for a doctoral degree. Only credit that was earned during the six-year period (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) preceding admission to the DNP program may be considered for transfer. Evaluation of credit for transfer will not be made until the student has enrolled in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama. Credit will not be accepted from any institution at which the student failed to achieve a "B" average on all graduate work attempted. A student initiates at the Office of the Graduate School the request for evaluation of graduate credit obtained at another institution. The student must also ensure that the Office of the Graduate School has an official (not faxed or copied) transcript of the credit involved. With the approval of the student's department and the Dean of the Graduate School, a maximum of 3 hours of elective credit may be transferred from another institution. Consideration of credit does not guarantee its transfer.

Clinical Hours for Degree Completion

A minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate practice hours are required for completion of the DNP degree. Students who do not have sufficient clinical hours will be required to complete additional clinical hours as determined by the Assistant Dean of the Graduate Programs prior to the beginning of DNP courses. In such cases, 60 clinical hours are the equivalent of 1 semester credit hour.

Time limit for doctoral study

Doctoral programs of study may include appropriate coursework that has been earned no more than six years (18 consecutive fall, spring, and summer semesters) prior to the date of the student's admission to the doctoral program. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years (21 consecutive fall, spring, and summer semesters) of the date of the student's admission to the doctoral program.

Residency/Immersion

The DNP program has a practice-based residency/practice immersion experience. The student fulfills the experience requirement while satisfactorily completing the practice-focused, comprehensive, scholarly project in the final semester of the program. NUR 739 Scholarly Practice Project is a 7 credit hour course (420 clinical hours)

Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section below.

Curriculum

The post-masters DNP program can be completed in a minium of five semesters of full-time study and a miniumum eight semesters of part-time study.

Post-Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Full-time Post-masters Program of Study
 

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7003NUR 7313NUR 7353
NUR 7013NUR 7293NUR 7433
NUR 7373NUR 7403NUR 739 (1 clinical (60))1
 9 9 7
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
NUR 7333NUR 739 (5 clinical (300))5 
NUR 7423  
NUR 738 (1 didactic; 2 clinical (120))3  
NUR 739 (1 clinical (60))1  
 10 5
Total Hours: 40

Part-time Post-masters Program of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7003NUR 7313NUR 7353
NUR 7013NUR 7293NUR 7433
 6 6 6
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7333NUR 7403NUR 738 (1 didactic; 2 clinical (120))3
NUR 7373NUR 7423NUR 739 (1 clinical (60))1
 NUR 739 (1 clinical (60))1 
 6 7 4
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
NUR 739 (3 clinical (180))3NUR 739 (2 clinical (120))2 
 3 2
Total Hours: 40

A minimum of 7 credit hours in NUR 739 Scholarly Practice Project is required to complete the Scholarly Project. If NUR 739 requirements are not satisfied by completion of 7 credit hours, then the student must enroll in subsequent semesters for at least 1 credit hour of NUR 739 until project completion/graduation. At least 1 hour of NUR 739 is required the semester the student will graduate.

Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Sample Post-Baccalaureate Program of Study - Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7013NUR 7313NUR 7293
NUR 7333NUR 7353NUR 7373
 6 6 6
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 5053NUR 5213NUR 526 (3 didactic; 1 clinical (60))4
NUR 5293NUR 7403NUR 586 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4
 6 6 8
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 588 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4NUR 590 (3 clinical (225))3NUR 5822
NUR 7433NUR 7423NUR 585 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4
 7 6 6
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 587 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4NUR 589 (3 clinical (225))3NUR 739 (2-3 clinical (120-180))2-3
NUR 7003NUR 738 (1 didactic; 2 clinical (120))3 
NUR 739 (1-2 clinical (60-120))1-2NUR 739 (1-2 clinical (60-120))1-2 
 8-9 7-8 2-3
Fifth Year
FallHours  
NUR 739 (2-3 clinical (120-180))2-3  
 2-3
Total Hours: 76-80

Sample Post-Baccalaureate Program of Study - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7013NUR 7313NUR 526 (3 didactic; 1 clinical (60 indirect patient care))4
NUR 7333NUR 7353NUR 7293
 6 6 7
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 5053NUR 5213NUR 5822
NUR 5293NUR 7403NUR 585 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4
 6 6 6
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 587 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4NUR 589 (3 clinical (225))3NUR 7373
NUR 7433NUR 7423NUR 739 (1 clinical (60))1
 7 6 4
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7003NUR 739 (3 clinical (120))3NUR 739 (2 Clinical (120))2
NUR 738 (1 didactic; 2 clinical (120))3  
NUR 739 (1 clinical (60))1  
 7 3 2
Total Hours: 66

Sample Post-Baccalaureate Program of Study - Family Nurse Practitioner

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7013NUR 7313NUR 7293
NUR 7333NUR 7353NUR 7373
 6 6 6
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 5053NUR 5213NUR 526 (3 didactic; 1 clinical (60))4
NUR 5293NUR 7403NUR 586 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4
 6 6 8
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 588 (2 didactic; 2 clinical (150))4NUR 590 (3 clinical (225))3NUR 739 (2 clinical (120))2
NUR 7433NUR 7423 
 7 6 2
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
NUR 7003NUR 739 (Clincial (180))3NUR 739 (Clinical (60))1
NUR 738 (1 didactic; 2 clinical (120))3  
NUR 739 (Clinical (60))1  
 7 3 1
Total Hours: 64