A table of DNP students in a suture class, practicing.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Certification

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Population Focus Role Preparation Professional Certification Examination
Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist ANCC Adult-Gerontology CNS
Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ANCC Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP
Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ANCC Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner PNCB Primary Care Pediatric NP
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health NP

“Now that I have my DNP, not only do I still get to help families, but I also get to focus on improving the process at a higher level for our team. I’m able to perform literature reviews, data collection, and change our process using my clinical background.”

Adam Schneider, DNP ’17, Senior Organ Procurement Coordinator, UW Organ and Tissue Donation

3–4
Years to graduate

500
Practicum hours in clinical leadership

5
Specialty tracks

How to Get In

Post-BS applicants have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Applicants who have a non-APN Master’s degree (i.e., nurse education) are considered Post-BS applicants and are able to waive up to 18 credits based on previous graduate coursework, pending review of syllabi.

DNP Program Eligibility Requirements: Post-BS

  • Graduation from an accredited baccalaureate program
  • RN license
  • GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 credits for the baccalaureate degree
  • One year of professional nursing experience
  • Grade of B or better in a graduate level statistics course within the last 5 years. (Note: The course does not need to be taken before applying, but must be successfully completed prior to the start of the fall term.)

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • CGFNS Certification
  • Minimum English proficiency scores in one of the following:
    • TOEFL (600 PBT, 100 iBT)
    • IELTS (8)
    • MELAB (85)

Post-MS applicants have a Master’s degree in a specialty track and are certified (or eligible for certification) as advanced practice nurses.

DNP Program Eligibility Requirements: Post-MS

  • Graduation from an accredited baccalaureate program
  • RN license
  • Master’s degree in a specialty track from an accredited nursing program
  • GPA of 3.5 for the Master’s degree
  • Certification as an advanced practice nurse
  • One year of professional nursing experience
  • Grade of B or better in a graduate level statistics course within the last 5 years. (Note: The course does not need to be taken before applying, but must be successfully completed prior to the start of the fall term.)

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • CGFNS Certification
  • Minimum English proficiency scores in one of the following:
    • TOEFL (600 PBT, 100 iBT)
    • IELTS (8)
    • MELAB (85)

DNP students pay a differential tuition. Rates are subject to change by term. See Tuition Costs Per Credit  (select Doctor of Nursing Practice from the ‘Choose a program’ menu). The Graduate School Cost of Attendance may help in estimating costs—you will need to substitute the DNP tuition rate.

Financial Support

Graduate students in the School of Nursing have access to traineeships, fellowships, scholarships, loans, and research and teaching assistantship positions that may come with full tuition remission. The majority of funding decisions are made in the Spring for the following academic year. All students are encouraged to apply for funding.

Visit the Costs & Financial Aid page for full information about financial support.

The faculty admissions committee will review applications once each year for fall admission. All DNP program applicants must complete the Graduate School’s online application and submit the required supplementary materials.

  • Application opens: Early September
  • Deadline: December 1
  • In-person interview: January 23-24, 2020. Interview dates and times will be assigned by the School of Nursing.

For the purposes of application review, unofficial transcripts may be uploaded directly to the application. Official records will be requested by the Graduate School for all candidates who are recommended for admission.

Students must indicate their intended population focus and whether or not they intend to follow the three- or four-year program plan as part of the application. Requests to switch population focus areas after starting the program are only seldom possible and considered on a case by case basis.

After an initial application review, eligible applicants will be invited for an interview in mid-January through late-February. All applicants must participate in an interview in order to be considered for this program. Interview dates and times will be assigned by the School of Nursing.

Application Materials

Supplemental application materials:
  • Transcripts from all previously attended and currently attending institutions
  • Copy of nursing license
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  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • CGFNS Certification,  if you are an international applicant
  • Official TOEFL, ILETS, or MELAB scores,  if you are an international applicant
  • Reasons for Graduate Study/Statement of Purpose
    Prior to writing your Statement of Purpose, please review the Essentials of DNP Education. Share your experiences and motivation for pursing a DNP degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. Your statement must address ALL of the following in 1,400 words or less (4 pages maximum, double-spaced, PDF format):

    • DNP Education. Share your motivation for pursuing a practice doctorate in nursing. Include your understanding of the DNP degree and how the skills and knowledge you will gain will align with your goals.
    • Specialty Practice. Share specific experiences that have inspired and prepared you to pursue a DNP degree in your chosen specialty track.
    • Critical-Thinking Ability. A key role of the DNP-prepared nurse is to translate evidence into practice. Describe a significant clinical and/or system problem in healthcare that you have encountered firsthand. Address the following questions in your response.
      • What is the problem?
      • Who was most impacted?
      • What are the costs or consequences?
      • What research, best practice guidelines, or innovations have you seen that could provide potential solutions to the problem?
    • Diversity. Discuss 1-2 of your social identities (e.g., age, culture, dis/ability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, etc.) and how might your marginalized and/or privileged identities impact your advanced nursing practice?

Please note that DNP students must possess strong writing abilities. The Statement of Purpose is an important component of the application process and serves as evidence of your ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a logical and analytical manner. Your Statement of Purpose will be assessed in the following areas:

      • Ability to address the entire prompt
      • Ability to write in a logical, analytical and meaningful manner
      • Ability to be concise and utilize proper grammar and syntax
Optional statement

If you believe that your academic record or test scores do not accurately reflect your ability to be successful in graduate work, you may submit a statement that describes additional factors that you feel merit consideration. Examples might include: experiences that indicate unusual determination, motivation, or leadership characteristics; adverse conditions (e.g. illness); obligations (e.g. family responsibilities); or cultural, linguistic, or economic factors. This optional statement must be 250 words or less (1 page maximum, double-spaced, PDF format).

Connect with Us

The program meets the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice and the NTF Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of WisconsinMadison is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

If you have any questions, would like to discuss visit options, or want to be connected with faculty members, please contact us. We are happy to arrange connections with current students as well. They can often provide special insight into the program, academic services, and life at the University and in Madison.

Kate Beggs

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator

katherine.beggs@wisc.edu

608-263-5183

Mandi Moy

Director of Admissions & Recruitment

mandi.moy@wisc.edu

608-263-5261

Kristi Wickler

Graduate Academic Services Coordinator

kristi.hammond@wisc.edu

608-263-5258