Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has proposed that the DNP degree will be the level of entry for all advanced practice nurses by 2020. Practice-focused doctoral nursing programs prepare leaders for the highest level of practice and is the terminal practice degree. Although the coursework for these programs is web-based, the clinical component consists of over 1000 contact hours. Anyone interested in pursuing a nurse practitioner doctorate must make certain that they can accommodate the intensive time commitment that these programs require.

The changing demands of today’s complex health care environment, outlined in recent reports from the Institute of Medicine, require that nurses serving in specialty positions have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. Nurses are constantly working with individuals who have high levels of preparation in their respective fields – physicians, pharmacists, and other health providers. The effectiveness of nurses is directly related to the amount and type of education they receive, and recent research has established a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes. What distinguishes this definition of practice from others is that it includes both direct care provided to patients by individual clinicians as well as direct care policies, programs and protocols that are organized, monitored, and continuously improved upon by expert nurse clinicians.

In order to complete the DNP program, each student is required to generate a project that reflects their advanced coursework in leadership, research translation, and clinical knowledge and skills.

The School of Nursing offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice in two specialty tracks:

Please take a moment to complete the Request More Information form so we may contact you and answer any questions you may have.

New Mexico State University is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Members of SARA agree to honor the regulatory requirements of each member state. If you live in a state where access to out-of-state nursing education programs are either limited or prohibited, we will have to regretfully decline your application. Please check the SARA authorization map if you are planning to apply to the NMSU School of Nursing.

There are two avenues to pursue the Doctorate of Nursing Practice:

  1. Post-Masters to DNP (MSN-DNP) option for advanced practice registered nurses
  2. The BSN to DNP option in the following specialty tracks:
    • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner

In order to accommodate students for a timely progression, only FULL-TIME applicants are accepted for the BSN to DNP tracks while a full-time and part-time option is available for the Post -MSN to DNP. To be eligible for the Post-MSN to DNP program, an applicant must possess an active and current certification as an advanced practice NP or CNS. There are no exceptions for this requirement.

Please note that changing from one specialty track to another after admission is not possible due to course/curriculum differences and to limited number of spots available in each cohort.

The Application deadline for the 2020 Cohort is February 1, 2020.

  • All applicants are required to attend a face-to face interview with faculty on the NMSU campus (no web conferencing or phone interviews are conducted).
  • New DNP students are required to attend a 2-day on-campus orientation during the first week of classes in Fall semester.
  • 2nd and 3rd year DNP students are required to attend the annual week-long, on-campus Doctoral Summer Seminar (usually the 3rd week in May)

ATTENTION: You must use the application process for admission to the DNP program. Create a log in and follow the steps in the process to ensure that your application is received at both the School of Nursing and NMSU Graduate School.

NOTE: ALL program prerequisites (ie: Statistical coursework, clinical clearances, receipt of TRANSCRIPTS, etc.). MUST be complete by the application deadline in order to be considered for the DNP program. INCOMPLETE files will not be reviewed.

Interested applicants or for questions, contact:

International Students (int’l students contact IBP for eligibility)