Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Admission Checklist

Early Action Deadline: October 15th . Applications received after October 15th  will be considered on a rolling basis until all spaces are full. Application available at https://apply.vanderbilt.edu/apply/ . Select nursing practice (DNP degree) as your program.

Our program has multiple entry options and we encourage you to apply if you have one of these credentials:

  • MSN degree with current APRN certification as an NP, CNM, CNS or CRNA.
  • MSN in nursing administration or informatics. National certification is preferred but not required.
  • MSN in nursing education with systems-focused practice experience eligible for Advanced Systems Practice or Executive Leadership Track
  • While the application system will allow you to submit more than one application, the School of Nursing can only consider oneDNP application per student per term. Therefore, please do not submit multiple applications because review of your application will be delayed.
  • Completed online application including statement of purpose, responses to application questions and $50 application fee.
  • A great deal of weight is placed on your statement of purpose and responses to the application questions. Scholarly writing will be assessed and content will be used in the overall evaluation of your responses. If you are applying for a post-master’s certificate, you must address your career goals in the new specialty.
  • Grade Point Average
    • Post-master’s entry: You must have completed your master’s degree at a nationally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Strong applicants with a GPA lower than 3.5 are considered on an individual basis.
    • Post-BSN entry: You must have completed your bachelor’s degree at a nationally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Strong applicants with a GPA lower than 3.5 are considered on an individual basis. 
  • Three letters of academic or professional reference from doctorally prepared individuals(PhD, DNP, MD, PharmD and the like). One reference should be from a faculty member familiar with your academic work. Recommendations from family, friends or co-workers are not acceptable. If you are unable to provide doctoral references, upload a statement of explanation to your application.
  • Please note that only three references are required but the application system will allow you to put in up to five names. If you choose to provide five names, the application system will consider the reference requirement satisfied after just three references have been received. Please verify the e-mail addresses of your recommenders. If you inadvertently list the same person twice, the system will think that they are different people so delete duplicates.
  • Provide your complete academic history of all colleges/universities attended whether or not a degree was earned. Send official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended to the Vanderbilt Center for Data Management, PMB 407833, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN, 37240-7833. If your school uses an electronic transcript service such as Parchment, Naviance, Docufide or Script Safe, have your school Registrar send the electronic transcript to cdm@vanderbilt.edu. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to your online application; however, your application cannot be sent for faculty review until all of your official transcripts have been received by the Center for Data Management.
  • A Curriculum Vitae or resume is required.

Other Information 

  • After you submit your application, check your application status page frequently to see which application items have been received and what is still missing. It is your responsibility to follow-up with your recommenders. If a recommender indicates they did not receive e-mail notification from Vanderbilt, ask them to check their spam filter.
  • Chrome is the preferred web browser.
  • After the initial review of your application, you may be contacted for a telephone interview.
  • DNP students are only admitted for initial enrollment in the Fall  (August)  The coursework follows a defined sequence.
  • Courses are offered in an online/distance format and designed to prepare nursing practice scholars with a strong scientific foundation for practice. Graduates have the ability to translate knowledge quickly and effectively to benefit patient populations within the practice environment. The program of study encompasses didactic courses, practices experiences and a evidence-based application project that synthesizes the DNP student’s learning.
  • DNP students attend an intensive on-campus experience in Nashville for approximately three to four days each semester. During this on campus time, students attend course orientation sessions, meet with faculty mentors and invited lecturers and attend various networking and social events with other doctoral students and faculty. Attendance at the on campus sessions is required.  Other coursework, scholarly interaction and practice application takes place online and in students’ home locations, so that relocation or change of employment is not necessary. A variety of state-of-the-art online and distance learning technologies and techniques to facilitate the program and enrich students’ learning experience is utilized. The majority of coursework will be asynchronous. Synchronous activities will be scheduled by the faculty in advance.
  • A hallmark of Vanderbilt’s practice doctorate is the successful completion of a DNP project that demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s experiences and is designed to . The project will embrace learning from both coursework and clinical practice application. Prior to graduation with the DNP degree, each student will prepare a manuscript describing the scholarly project and publicly present the projects findings. Sample DNP projects are listed on our web page.

Contact/Visit Vanderbilt 

International Applicants

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), post-master’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. See details