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Admissions Criteria for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice

1. Submission of a completed Walsh application for admission.

2. A current unencumbered Registered Nurse license(s). Two years experience as an RN is preferred.

3. Official transcripts documenting baccalaureate and master's degrees in Nursing from a program accredited by a national organization responsible for nursing accreditation (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or their equivalent). Transcripts should document a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate and graduate coursework. Transcripts must be in English and credentials evaluated when appropriate.

4. Completion of a graduate level statistics and research course.

5. Applicants must have an earned master's degree. If the applicant is an advanced practice nurse, they must hold or be eligible for national certification in a specialty and supply current advanced practice nursing certification documents. Those with the earned MSN or master's degree in a relevant health care specialty should include all official transcripts from previously attended college(s)/university(ies).

6. Two professional letters of recommendation supporting the applicant's potential success in the DNP program from graduate prepared nurses or faculty members who can address the applicant's potential or ability for functioning in the advanced practice or research role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership). Applicants currently enrolled in a nursing program must submit at least one (1) recommendation from a faculty member in that program.

7. Resume or CV with your application that includes work experience, educational, leadership and professional organization activities, and scholarly activities including publications, presentations, research, honors and awards.

8. A 3-5 page essay that will serve as the basis for the admission interview with faculty. It should address the following areas:

  • Reasons for seeking advanced education in the DNP program at this time in your career
  • Academic and career goals and how the DNP education will help you to realize those goals.
  • Personal and professional attributes that will contribute to your success in the program
  • Specific ways your current role would be enhanced through DNP education
  • An evidence-based issue of interest that could result in a system or policy change and improvement. For example, this may be a practice improvement issue, a clinical management change, or an area of clinical research. Include the significance of the problem, a brief review of literature, and identify stakeholders and/or institutions that could be impacted by the change.

The essay should be typed in APA format. Consideration will be given to both the quality of writing and the congruence between stated goals and those of the program.

9. Documentation of clinical hours completed in the Master's program.

10. An Interview with the Graduate Program Admissions Committee is required. The interview will be arranged after preliminary review of academic credentials and application materials. The purpose of the interview is to evaluate communication and decision-making skills; educational goals; and current leadership, scholarship, practice roles and activities.


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