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-master's. The post-baccalaureate pathway admits BSN-prepared nurses to the DNP program with three areas of focus: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), or dual nurse practitioner specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner and is currently available to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi residents only. The post-master's 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 advisor, the faculty advisor, and alumni mentors. Note: This program requires a clinical component (post-baccalaureate range from 1080-1620 clinical hours; post-master's - 540 clinical hours). It is the student’s responsibility to identify a site and an appropriate clinical advisor. No clinical practice will take place until the student has been notified by CCN of approval.

Admission Requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate to Doctor of Nursing Practice Pathway

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

The following are requirements for admission:

  1. For regular admission, a grade point average of at least 3.0 overall (based on a 4.0 grading scale) and 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work is required.
  2. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a school of nursing that is both regionally and CCNE or CNEA accredited.
  3. Current unencumbered RN licensure in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or Mississippi.  
  4. Final admission is contingent upon drug and background screen results that are deemed acceptable by appropriate University officials.

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

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

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

  1. A 3.0 grade point average, based on a 4.0 system in a completed graduate degree.
  2. Master’s degree in nursing in an advanced nursing practice area from a regionally and CCNE or CNEA accredited school of nursing.
  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. 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.
  5. Final admission is contingent upon drug and background screen results that are deemed acceptable by appropriate University officials.

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 CNEA 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. 

Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section below.

Curriculum

Post-Baccalaureate to Doctor of Nursing Practice Pathway (BSN to DNP)

BSN to DNP Program of Study - Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner Focused Areas of Study

Code and Title Hours
Fall - Year 1
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 1
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation 13
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 1
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing 13
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Fall - Year 2
NUR 505Advanced Health Assessment3
NUR 529Advanced Pathophysiology3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 2
NUR 521Advanced Pharmacology3
NUR 567FNP Role & Issues3
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Summer - Year 2
Credit Hours Subtotal: 0
NUR 569Family Nurse Practitioner I3
NUR 570FNP Clinical I2
Credit Hours Subtotal: 5
Fall - Year 3
NUR 571Family Nurse Practitioner II3
NUR 572FNP Clinical II3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Spring - Year 3
NUR 573Family Nurse Practitioner III3
NUR 574FNP Clinical III4
NUR 591PMHNP Roles and Issues3
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 13
Summer - Year 3
NUR 593PMHNP I3
NUR 594PMHNP Clinical I2
Fall - Year 4
NUR 595PMHNP II3
NUR 596PMHNP II Clinical3
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 17
Spring - Year 4
NUR 597PMHNP III3
NUR 598PMHNP Clinical III4
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
Credit Hours Subtotal: 11
Summer - Year 4
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours91

BSN to DNP Program of Study - Family Nurse Practitioner Focused Areas of Study

Code and Title Hours
Fall - Year 1
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 1
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation 13
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 1
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing 13
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Fall - Year 2
NUR 505Advanced Health Assessment3
NUR 529Advanced Pathophysiology3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 2
NUR 521Advanced Pharmacology3
NUR 567FNP Role & Issues3
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Summer - Year 2
NUR 569Family Nurse Practitioner I3
NUR 570FNP Clinical I2
Credit Hours Subtotal: 5
Fall - Year 3
NUR 571Family Nurse Practitioner II3
NUR 572FNP Clinical II3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Spring - Year 3
NUR 573Family Nurse Practitioner III3
NUR 574FNP Clinical III4
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 10
Summer - Year 3
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Fall - Year 4
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
Credit Hours Subtotal: 7
Spring - Year 4
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours70

BSN to DNP Program of Study - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Focused Areas of Study

Code and Title Hours
Fall - Year 1
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 1
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation 13
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 1
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing 13
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Fall - Year 2
NUR 505Advanced Health Assessment3
NUR 529Advanced Pathophysiology3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 2
NUR 521Advanced Pharmacology3
NUR 591PMHNP Roles and Issues3
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Summer - Year 2
NUR 593PMHNP I3
NUR 594PMHNP Clinical I2
Credit Hours Subtotal: 5
Fall - Year 3
NUR 595PMHNP II3
NUR 596PMHNP II Clinical3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Spring - Year 3
NUR 597PMHNP III3
NUR 598PMHNP Clinical III4
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 10
Summer - Year 3
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Fall - Year 4
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
Credit Hours Subtotal: 7
Spring - Year 4
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours70

Post-Master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice Pathway (MSN to DNP)

Fall Admit - Full-time Post-master's to DNP Program of Study
 

Code and Title Hours
Fall - Year 1
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Spring - Year 1
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation3
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Summer - Year 1
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Fall - Year 2
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 10
Spring - Year 2
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours40

Fall Admit - Part-time Post-master's to DNP Program of Study

Code and Title Hours
Fall - Year 1
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 1
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation3
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 1
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Fall - Year 2
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 2
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care3
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Summer - Year 2
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
Credit Hours Subtotal: 4
Fall - Year 3
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours40

Spring Admit - Part-time Post-master's to DNP Program of Study

Code and Title Hours
Spring - Year 1
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 1
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Fall - Year 2
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 2
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care3
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 2
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Fall - Year 3
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 3
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Summer - Year 3
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
Credit Hours Subtotal: 4
Fall - Year 4
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours40

Summer Admit - Part-time Post-master's to DNP Program of Study

Code and Title Hours
Summer - Year 1
NUR 735Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Fall - Year 2
NUR 700Clinical Data Mgt & Analysis3
NUR 701Writing for Publication3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 2
NUR 729EBP Design and Translation3
NUR 731Philosophical, Theoretical, and Conceptual Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Summer - Year 2
NUR 743EBP Strategies3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Fall - Year 3
NUR 733Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing3
NUR 737Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Spring - Year 3
NUR 703DNP Immersion 13
NUR 740Health Policy & Politics: Implications in Health Care3
NUR 742Program Evaluation and Methods3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Summer - Year 3
NUR 702DNP Seminar1
NUR 704DNP Immersion 23
Credit Hours Subtotal: 4
Fall - Year 4
NUR 705DNP Immersion 33
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Hours40