Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

DNP Admission Requirements

Admissions Criteria for entry with:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice Track: At least a masters in nursing with an advanced practice certification
  • Advanced Systems Practice Track: At least a masters in health care leadership, nursing informatics
    • Or, BSN and a master's in a non-nursing, health-related field (MBA, MPH, MHA, MMHC, et cetera.)
    • Or, MSN or MN in Nursing Education with a systems practice experience
  • Nurse Executive Track: At least a masters in health care leadership, nursing informatics or APRN.
    • Or, BSN and a master's in a non-nursing, health-related field (MBA, MPH, MHA, MMHC, et cetera.)
    • Or, MSN or MN in Nursing Education with a systems/executive leadership practice experience

 

Admission Criteria for DNP Advanced Clinical Practice and Advanced Systems Practice Tracks

Applicants must submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants must have completed a master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited institution. A minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA for graduate work is preferred.

Transcripts should be mailed to:
Center for Data Management
Vanderbilt University
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

If your school uses an electronic transcript service such as Parchment, Naviance, Docufide or Scrip Safe, have your University Registrar send the transcript to Vanderbilt.

An unencumbered Registered Nurse license must be presented.
Applicants must have the APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) national board certification as a CNS, NP, CNM or CRNA in their areas of specialty as appropriate. Applicants without national certification will be individually evaluated and may be required to pursue a post-master's certificate in any advanced practice specialty.
Applicants must have the APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) licensure in their home states, if required.
Strong professional references from three persons who hold a doctoral degree addressing academic skills including oral and written communication as well as clinical competence. Applicants are strongly encouraged to select a doctorally prepared nurse as one of the three recommenders.  Applicants to the  DNP  plus neonatal nurse practitioner post-master's certificate program must provide recommendations from an NNP and a neonatologist that have worked with the applicant in a clinical setting.
Curriculum vitae or resume .
The statement of purpose must include written essays responding to select questions and identification of a potential practice inquiry within selected populations to frame the program of study. See page 4 of the application.
After initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing considers the Internet communication link an essential learning resource for doctoral students. DNP students will be required to have a home computer, printer and Internet service provider that has high speed broadband Internet access.

Admission Criteria for the DNP for Executive Leadership Track

Applicants must submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants must have completed a master's degree in business, informatics or other health related field from a nationally accredited institution. A minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA for graduate work is preferred.

Transcripts should be mailed to:
Center for Data Management
Vanderbilt University
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

If your school uses an electronic transcript service such as Parchment, Naviance, Docufide or Scrip Safe, have your University Registrar send the transcript to Vanderbilt. 

An unencumbered Registered Nurse license must be presented.
National certification in nursing leadership or nursing informatics is desirable but not required.
Strong professional references from three persons who hold a doctoral degree addressing academic skills including oral and written communication as well as clinical competence. Applicants are strongly encouraged to select a doctorally prepared nurse as one of the three recommenders.
Preference given to applicants with five years of post-master’s leadership.
The statement of purpose must include written essays responding to select questions and identification of a potential practice inquiry within selected populations to frame the program of study. See page 4 of the application.
After initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing considers the Internet communication link an essential learning resource for doctoral students. DNP students will be required to have a home computer, printer and Internet service provider that has high speed broadband Internet access.

 

Admission Criteria for BSN entry to DNP 

Applicants must submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited institution. A minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA for graduate work is preferred.

Transcripts should be mailed to:
Center for Data Management
Vanderbilt University
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

If your school uses an electronic transcript service such as Parchment, Naviance, Docufide or Scrip Safe, have your University Registrar send the transcript to Vanderbilt.

Transfer Credit
Transfer credit is considered for courses taken elsewhere within five years of admission. Work presented for transfer credit must be from an accredited college and is subject to evaluation in light of the degree requirements of the university.

To have a course considered for transfer credit, applicants must make the request at least six (6) weeks before the course begins and submit this petition to Sara Donahoe with the course syllabus enclosed. A maximum of six (6) credits can be transferred. The program director approves transfer credit for all DNP courses.

No credit is awarded toward the degree for courses designated as prerequisite for admission. If transfer credit is approved, it will appear on the student's official transcript and the hours earned will count toward the DNP.

An unencumbered Registered Nurse license must be presented.
Curriculum vitae or resume.
The statement of purpose must include written essays responding to select questions and identification of a potential practice inquiry within selected populations to frame the program of study. See page 4 of the application.
Applicants must have completed a 3-semester hour or 4-quarter hour Statistics course  from an accredited college or university with a grade of C or better. 

Applicants will be asked to indicate whether they are requesting placement in a middle Tennessee area (MTA) or outside middle Tennessee area (OMTA). Carefully review the MTA and OMTA definitions and clinical placement information at the Clinical Placement page. If admitted for OMTA placement, it will not be possible to subsequently change to an MTA placement.

Note: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is required to meet state higher education requirements and state board of nursing requirements for students who reside outside of Tennessee. States with specific requirements are listed found on the Professional Licensure and Out of State Requirements page..

After initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing considers the Internet communication link an essential learning resource for doctoral students. DNP students will be required to have a home computer, printer and Internet service provider that has high speed broadband Internet access.. 

 

For International Students Only

Applicants who have completed coursework or academic degrees outside the USA

Transcript Evaluation Required: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing requires that applicants list all colleges and universities they have attended. Applicants who have completed college or university coursework or a degree at an institution in a country other than the United States must obtain a complete course-by-course evaluation of the native transcripts, degrees, and other relevant documents. In all instances, the evaluating agency will require original, official documentation. Please note, the evaluating agency must send both the course-by-course report and copies of the native documents. If the agency does not provide copies of the documentation used to do the course-by-course evaluation, the student must submit their official documentation to Vanderbilt.

Evaluating agencies include:

World Education Services
Post Office Box 745
Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0745
Phone: 212-966-6311
Website: www.wes.org

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
Post Office Box 514070
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203-3470
Phone: 414-289-3400
Website: www.ece.org

Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
701 SW 102 Ave, Miami, FL, 33173
Phone: 305-273-1616
Website: www.jsilny.org

Official transcripts and course-by-course evaluation reports should be sent to the following address:

Office of the University Registrar
Vanderbilt University
ATTN: International Curriculum and Credentials Analyst
PMB 407701
Nashville, Tennessee 37240-7701

For further questions regarding prior degrees, please visit: https://registrar.vanderbilt.edu/academic-records/international-degrees.php

International Applicants who need an I-20 or DS-2019 Issued to Study in the United States

Due to federal guidelines, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), postmaster’s certificate (PMC) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs do not satisfy the requirements for  F-1 or J-1 study. The federal regulations restrict the amount of courses that can be delivered via an online format within a program of study for F-1 and J-1 students. As these programs have a significant online component, the educational format is not compatible with the structure required by the federal government for F-1 and J-1 students. 

For International Students who do not need an F-1 or J-1 Visa to study in the United States

  1. Submit online application at https://apply.vanderbilt.edu/apply/
  2. English Language Proficiency. The ability to speak and write with accuracy, clarity and efficiency in English and in computer-assisted formats is a core performance standard in nursing. Applicants whose native language is not English must present the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the application, unless they have demonstrated competence while obtaining a degree (bachelor's degree or higher) from an accredited American institution. International students transferring from unfinished degree programs at other universities in the United States must present TOEFL or IELTS scores. Scores must be less than 2 years old.

The International TOEFL is administered at test centers throughout the world at different times during the year. Applicants may access information regarding the TOEFL exam including registration and sample tests, at www.ets.org/toefl. Inquiries and requests for application forms should be addressed to TOEFL, Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151 U.S.A. The minimum acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language is 100 on the Internet-based test or 230 on the computer-based test. The minimum acceptable score on the IELTS is 6.5. For more information on the IELTS test, go to ielts.org . The Vanderbilt ETS code is 1871.

  1. International student applicants whose native language is not English are required to have a phone interview with the Program Director and a member of the Admissions Committee.
  2. International student applicants who wish to enter the program as a registered nurse must successfully complete the CGFNS (Commission on Graduate Foreign Nursing Schools) and the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Exam) examinations and earn licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state where they will be completing their clinical practica and/or preceptorship. Information about CGFNS may be obtained by writing CGFNS; 3600 Market Street, Suite 400; Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651, USA or call: 215-222 8454 or e-mail. Visit ncsbn.org for more information about NCLEX.

    Information about Tennessee licensure may be obtained by visiting the Tennessee Department of Health website at www.tn.gov/health; writing to Tennessee Board of Nursing; Suite 300 Heritage Place, 227 French Landing, Nashville, TN 37243, USA. or call 615-532-5166.
  1. Transcript Evaluation Required: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing requires that applicants list all colleges and universities they have attended. International student applicants who have completed college or university coursework or a degree at an institution in a country other than the United States must obtain a complete course-by-course evaluation of the native transcripts, degrees, and other relevant documents. In all instances, the evaluating agency will require original, official documentation. Please note, the evaluating agency must send both the course-by-course report and copies of the native documents. If the agency does not provide copies of the documentation used to do the course-by-course evaluation, the student must submit their official documentation to Vanderbilt.

    Evaluating agencies include:

    World Education Services
    Post Office Box 745
    Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0745
    Phone: 212-966-6311
    Website: wes.org

    Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
    Post Office Box 514070
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203-3470
    Phone: 414-289-3400
    Website: www.ece.org

    Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
    International Education Consultants
    701 SW 102 Ave, Miami, FL, 33173
    Phone: 305-273-1616
    Website: www.jsilny.com

    Official transcripts and course-by-course evaluation reports should be sent to the following address:

    Office of the University Registrar
    Vanderbilt University
    ATTN: International Curriculum and Credentials Analyst
    PMB 407701
    Nashville, Tennessee 37240-7701

    For further questions regarding prior degrees, please visit: https://registrar.vanderbilt.edu/academic-records/international-degrees.php
  2. International students who are accepted into the program may also be required to complete an intensive English language program at Vanderbilt University prior to beginning classes at the School of Nursing. Information about Vanderbilt's English language program may be obtained at vanderbilt.edu/international.
  3. Financial Resources. To meet requirements for entry into the United States for study, applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to meet expected costs of their entire educational program. Applicants must provide documentary evidence of their financial resources before visa documents can be issued. United States laws and regulations restrict the opportunity for international students to be employed. Students may be allowed to work off campus only under special circumstances. Many spouses and dependents of international students generally are not allowed to be employed while in the United States.
  4. Health and Accident Insurance. International students, whether attending the university full time or part time, and their dependents residing in the United States are required to purchase the university’s international student health and accident insurance unless, in the judgment of the university, adequate coverage is provided from some other source. Information concerning the limits, exclusions, and benefits of this insurance coverage can be obtained from the Student Health Center.