Doctor of Nursing Practice
The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice is to prepare advanced practice nurses at the highest professional level of nursing practice. Doctoral level advanced practice nurses synthesize and apply critical knowledge for improving health care to diverse populations. This is a practice doctorate with a focus on the translation of research into practice as opposed to the generation of new research knowledge as is characteristic of the Ph.D. Graduates of the D.N.P. program will be prepared to meet state, regional, and national needs for doctorally prepared advanced practice nurses in leadership positions in health-related organizations.
Admission to the DNP program depends upon sufficient enrollment, university resources, and qualifications of applicants. A select number of students will be admitted to the program based on the following criteria:
1. Completed application to The University of Southern Mississippi Graduate School.
2. Graduate from a baccalaureate or master's program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
3. Minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent nursing degree.
4. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections and an analytical writing score of 3.0).
5. An unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license to practice in the state in which the student will perform clinical activities.
6. Curriculum vitae or professional resumé.
7. Submission of three (3) letters of reference from individuals (doctoral-level nursing individuals preferred ) familiar with the applicant's academic/professional background and experience in nursing practice, specifying in detail the applicant's capability for doctoral study.
8. Cover letter of introduction and a personal statement of research or clinical research interests submitted with application.
9. Interview (face-to-face or via telephone).
10. Proof of current CPR certification, criminal background check, hepatitis, Tdap, and MMR immunizations, and TB test or titer.
11. TOEFL or IELTS if International applicant.
12. Completion of an approved advanced graduate statistics course achieving a grade of B or higher within the past 5 years
A sequence of courses, practicum experiences, exams and a DNP project mark the students' progression in the DNP program.
- Faculty mentor guides student through DNP project identification, project planning, implementation and evaluation
- Selection of DNP project committee in spring of Year One.
- Selection of DNP project topic in spring of Year One.
- Written proposal of DNP project submitted to the committee for proposal defense by fall of Year Two.
- Fall of Year Two, completion of relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements and commencement of DNP Project.
- Completion and successful presentation and defense of the DNP Project and comprehensive exam.
- Fulfillment of residency requirements that may be met by continuous enrollment of:
- 6 semester hours for each of 4 consecutive semesters, or
- 9 semester hours for each of 3 consecutive semesters, or
- 12 semester hours for each of 2 consecutive semesters
- A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The Department will require subsequent CITI training in other areas such as Human Subjects at a time closer to their capstone project. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
A total of 34 semester hours are required for graduation including 12 DNP project semester hours.