School of Nursing

DNP in Nursing

The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) prepares graduates to provide the most advanced level of nursing care for individuals and communities. This includes the direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, administration of nursing systems, and the development and implementation of health policy. The DNP program places emphasis on practice related consideration beyond what a student typically acquires during their master's level education. The DNP is designed to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice and focuses heavily on practice that is innovative and evidenced-based, reflecting the application of credible research findings. The practice-focused DNP generally includes integrated practice experiences and an intense practice immersion experience. Students in the DNP program generally carry out a practice application-oriented "final capstone project" which is an integral part of the integrated practice experience.

The DNP course of study is targeted to individuals with a master's degree in nursing. (e.g., advanced practice nurses [nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist], nursing management/administration, clinical nurse leader, etc.). In the future students will enter the DNP through additional entry options including BS in Nursing to DNP and Option (second degree) to DNP.

For current program information and admission procedures, please contact the DNP Coordinator.


Please note! This is the most current information about the DNP program. 

The DNP program is six academic semesters and one summer session in length. A total of 36 credit hours are required for completion of the program; the total credit hours may increase if additional credit hours are needed to complete the DNP project. The number of required residency hours (contact hours) in the doctoral program is a minimum of 500 hours. When added to the clinical hours obtained in the applicant's master's program the total should be a minimum of 1,000 contact hours.

May 15, 2016 is the application deadline for the revised Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The new program is online with an on-campus residency component.


Admission Information and Links:

See the Application Checklist for details regarding the expedited application process which is available to those who meet the following conditions:

  • Graduated with a masters in advanced practice nursing from either USM or UM
  • Graduated with a GPA of 3.5 or better
  • Graduated within two years of applying to this program.

Information Sessions about this program are held on a regular basis.

USM Office of Admissions 

For more information please e-mail Cheri Sarton or call 207-780-4114.