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Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares nurses with a blend of clinical, organizational, economic, health care improvement, and leadership skills to serve as clinical and/or administrative leaders in healthcare systems. DNP prepared nurses may also serve as educators in a variety of settings. As a practice-focused doctoral program, the DNP program focuses on practice that is innovative and evidence-based, reflecting the application of credible research findings.

Doctor of Nursing Practice courses are offered online to allow working nurses the opportunity to complete their degree with a flexible schedule.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a doctoral program must:

  • have earned a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline appropriate to the specific doctoral program
  • provide three letters of recommendation
  • provide official scores from the GRE general exam (use institution code 1319)
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must have:

  • Master of Science in Nursing from a CCNE or NLN-accredited program
  • minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the last 30 hours of graduate or 60 hours of undergraduate coursework; to include courses in which the student is currently enrolled
  • certified and licensed as an advanced practice nurse (certified nurse practitioner, certified clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist) or have completed a master's degree program in nursing administration. Other MSN specialties will be considered.
  • A graduate level epidemiology course
  • A graduate level statistics course is a co-requisite of the DNP courses. Applicants must either take and pass a placement examination, or complete this course during the first summer semester of the DNP program in conjunction with one required DNP course.
  • 640 post-BSN practice hours are required to enroll in the DNP scholarly project courses.
  • International applicants must submit to Mennonite College of Nursing a Credentials Evaluation Service Academic Report from CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) or WES (World Education Services). International applicants must comply with the International Applicant Requirements as directed by the Illinois State University Office of Admissions.

Applicants must submit:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three-page, double-spaced essay describing career goals and area of interest for the Scholarly Project
  • Copy of RN license in applicant's state of residence
  • Copy of Advance Practice Nurses (APN) certification (when applicable)
  • Copy of Advance Practice Nurses license (when applicable)
  • Three professional or academic references using the reference form as directed on the website from persons qualified to assess the applicant's potential to succeed in the DNP program, with one reference from a doctoral prepared individual (such as previous graduate faculty, nursing colleague, or collaborative physician).
  • Use form referenced on the website to submit practice hours showing completed practice hours from MSN program
  • Submit letter of verification of practice hours from MSN program director or appropriate program representative

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Summer  April 1 

Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.


To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,

  • be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
  • be in good-standing
  • be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).


Graduate assistants receive

  • monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment

Cost & Funding

See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Kim Astroth  Edwards 204  (309) 438-2367 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016