Doctor of Nursing Practice
The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing is to prepare advanced practice nurses at the highest professional level of nursing practice and to advance the application of nursing knowledge in improving health care for diverse populations. This is a practice doctorate with a focus on the translation of research as opposed to the generation of new research knowledge as is characteristic of the Ph.D. Graduates of the program will be prepared to meet state, regional, and national needs for doctorally prepared advanced practice nurses in leadership positions in health-related organizations.
The school is part of a collaborative, DNP consortium with Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The collaborative will share state resources, such as faculty, and utilize classes taught via distance learning technology to each university in the consortium. Two schools in the consortium, The University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center, will award the DNP degree.
Admission to the DNP program depends upon sufficient enrollment, university resources, and qualifications of applicants. A select number of applicants will be admitted to the program based on the following criteria:
- graduation from a master’s program in nursing with a practice focus accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
- evidence of current, unencumbered Mississippi licensure to practice professional nursing.
- three letters of reference, including two from doctorally prepared nurses and one from a current or recent employer, that speak to the applicant's intellectual ability, academic potential, and professional achievement. The letters should be sent to the School of Nursing.
- a 3.50 grade point average on all previous graduate work
- an interview with one or more doctoral faculty members.
- submission of official GRE scores on all sections of the test. TOEFL or IELTS if International applicant
- congruency between student goals and interests and faculty/program emphasis areas.
A sequence of courses, practicum experiences and a capstone project mark the students’ progression in the DNP program.
- Faculty mentor guides student through capstone project identification, project planning, implementation and evaluation.
- Selection of capstone project committee in summer of Year One
- Selection of capstone project topic in summer of Year One
- Written proposal of capstone project submitted to the committee by spring of Year Two
- Fall of Year Two, completion of relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements and commence of Capstone Project
- Completion and successful presentation and defense of the Capstone 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
- 9 semester hours for each of 3 consecutive semesters
- 12 semester hours for each of 2 consecutive semesters
- a 3.0 GPA is required for graduation
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plan of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester there are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Curriculum (48 hours)
A total of 48 semester hours are required for graduation including 12 capstone hours.