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 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 college 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:
1. Completed application to The University of Southern Mississippi Graduate School and College of Nursing.
2. A graduate GPA of 3.5 on all previous graduate work and cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better.
3. Competitive score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the last five years. Submission of official GRE scores on all sections of the test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections) TOEFL or IELTS if International applicant.
4. Completion of an approved graduate statistics course achieving a grade of B or better. The course must have been completed within the past 5 years.
5. Hold a bachelor's degree or higher in nursing from an accredited program, National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, if applying to the BSN to DNP program.
6. Hold a bachelor's degree or higher in nursing, in addition to a master's degree in nursing or related field with a practice focus from an accredited program, National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, if applying to the post-graduate DNP program.
7. Evidence of current unrestricted/unencumbered nursing licenseas a registered nurse in the United States or one of its territories and eligible for licensure in the state of Mississippi.
8. One year of professional nursing experience preferred but not required.
9. Submission of a personal curriculum vita or professional resume.
10. A personal interview with one or more doctoral prepared College of Nursing faculty members, if requested.
11. Informal personal statement submitted with application addressing the following:
- Why you are seeking admission to the DNP program.
- Your practice inquiry area of interest.
- Your needs in terms of faculty expertise to provide you with mentorship in the DNP program.
- Your goals in the program.
- Congruency between your goals and interests and faculty/program emphasis areas.
- Your long-range career goals.
- Your qualification and readiness for the program.
- The reason that you selected The University and Southern Mississippi College of Nursing DNP program.
12. Letters of reference from three (3) professionals, 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. Letters must be sent directly to the Graduate School. Letters should specifically address the following:
- The length and type of relationship with the applicant.
- The applicant's potential to develop, implement, and evaluate a program project.
- The leadership potential of the applicant at a regional, state or national level.
- The ability of the applicant to communicate ina scholarly manner, both orally and in writing.
- The ability of the applicant to be self-directed in learning.
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 spring of Year One.
- Selection of capstone project topic in spring of Year One.
- Written proposal of capstone project submitted to the committee by fall 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/graduate-school/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plan of Study" link.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. 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 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 48 semester hours are required for graduation including 12 capstone hours.