Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-Master's)
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.
Discover what life as a Illinois State graduate student is like with an Online Graduate Student Information Session.
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
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
To be considered for this program, you must meet the following requirements.
You must have a Master of Science in Nursing from a CCNE or NLN-accredited program.
You must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the last 30 hours of graduate or 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. This includes courses in which you are currently enrolled.
Certification and Licensure
You must be certified and licensed as an advanced practice nurse:
- Certified Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
It is also acceptable to have completed a master’s degree program in nursing administration.
Other MSN specialties will be considered.
Your graduate coursework must include 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.
Credentials Evaluation Service Academic Report (International Students Only)
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.
English Proficiency Scores (International Students Only)
International students applying to this program must have a TOEFL score of at least 79 iBT or IELTS score of 6.5 band. Due to limited on-campus courses, immigration documentation cannot be issued for students seeking F-1 or J-1 status.
To apply to this program, you must submit the following materials.
Submit your current curriculum vitae.
Write a three-page, double spaced essay that describes your career goals and area of interest for the Scholarly Project.
Copies of Certification and licensures
Submit copies of the following:
- RN license in your state of residence
- Advance Practice Nurses (APN) certification (when applicable)
- Advance Practice Nurses license (when applicable)
Include three professional or academic references from persons qualified to assess your potential to succeed in the DNP program.
One reference must be from a doctoral prepared individual (such as a previous graduate faculty, nursing colleague, or collaborative physician).
Use the practice hours form to submit practice hours completed from your MSN program.
Also submit a letter of verification of practice hours from your MSN program director or appropriate program representative.
- Summer Term — April 1
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
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 contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.