2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Sep 19, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Requirements



Admission Requirements

Two applications are required for the SDSU Graduate Nursing Program:

1. SDSU Graduate School Application (online application)

The application file must be complete with the application form and application fee. Transcripts are not sent to the Graduate School.  Those documents will be accessed through the NursingCAS application.  A completed application must be filed with the Graduate School by March 15 for fall admission. Applications for domestic, international or non-degree seeking students are found online.

2. SDSU Graduate Nursing Program Application via NursingCAS - online application service

Application to the DNP program option is available at NursingCAS beginning early September. Please refer to the NursingCAS application directions to complete an application.

Applications will be accepted beginning early September for all DNP options. Application deadline will vary dependent upon chosen specialty. Refer to the Graduate Nursing Program website for specific deadlines.

Additional Admission Requirements for Bachelor’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Score of 81 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.5 total band
Duolingo: 110

In addition to meeting the Graduate School admission requirements, applicants for graduate study for the Bachelor’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice must have:

  • Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in the United States or its’ territories prior to enrollment in first graduate nursing course.
  • 1500 hours of documented nursing practice experience prior to the first clinical course.
  • Completed and verified application to the Graduate Nursing program via NursingCAS website.
  • Completed an approved statistical methods course within 5 years of enrollment in the designated research course within the DNP program coursework.
  • Interview assessment reviewed by graduate faculty.
  • Applicants who have begun but not completed a graduate nursing program at another college or university must submit a letter to the College of Nursing indicating their reason for leaving that said program.  A letter of recommendation must also be submitted to the College of Nursing from the dean/director of their former program that includes the applicant’s standing in that program upon exit.
  • Completed Compliance requirements: Clear Background check, clear FBI rolled fingerprint, clear drug screen, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, ACLS certification for FNP specialization, professional liability insurance, influenza vaccine, and TB test.

For applicants who completed their higher education within the United States:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.

For applicants who completed their higher education outside the United States:

  • A degree deemed equivalent (by the World Education Service) to a Bachelor’s degree in nursing (within the United States Education System) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.

Additional Admissions Requirements for Post Master’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice - NP, CRNA, CNS, and CNM

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Score of 81 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.5 total band
Duolingo: 110

In addition to meeting the Graduate School admission requirements, applicants for graduate study for the Post Master’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice (who possess current certification as a NP, CRNA, CNM or CNS) must have:

  • Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in the United States or its’ territories prior to enrollment in first graduate nursing course.
  • National certification as a NP, CRNA, CNM, or CNS.
  • Completed and verified application to the Graduate Nursing program via NursingCAS website.
  • Completed an approved statistical methods course within 5 years of enrollment in the designated research course within the DNP program coursework.
  • Interview assessment reviewed by graduate faculty.
  • Applicants who have begun but not completed a graduate nursing program at another college or university must submit a letter to the College of Nursing indicating their reason for leaving that said program.  A letter of recommendation must also be submitted to the College of Nursing from the dean/director of their former program that includes the applicant’s standing in that program upon exit.
  • Completed Compliance requirements: Clear Background check, clear FBI rolled fingerprint, clear drug screen, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, ACLS certification for FNP specialization, professional liability insurance, influenza vaccine, and TB test.

For applicants who completed their higher education within the United States:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.
  • Master’s degree in nursing (from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.

For applicants who completed their higher education outside the United States:

  • A degree deemed equivalent (by the World Education Service) to a Bachelor’s degree in nursing (within the United States Education System) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.
  • A degree deemed equivalent (by the World Education Service) to a Master’s degree in nursing (within the United States Education System) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system. 

Additional Admissions Requirements for Post Master’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specializations

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Score of 81 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.5 total band
Duolingo: 110

In addition to meeting the Graduate School admission requirements, applicants for graduate study for the Post Master’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Specialization and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialization  must have:

  • Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in the United States or its’ territories prior to enrollment in first graduate nursing course.
  • 1500 hours of documented nursing practice experience prior to the first clinical course.
  • Completed and verified application to the Graduate Nursing program via NursingCAS website.
  • Completed an approved statistical methods course within 5 years of enrollment in the designated research course within the DNP program coursework.
  • Interview assessment reviewed by graduate faculty.
  • Applicants who have begun but not completed a graduate nursing program at another college or university must submit a letter to the College of Nursing indicating their reason for leaving that said program.  A letter of recommendation must also be submitted to the College of Nursing from the dean/director of their former program that includes the applicant’s standing in that program upon exit.
  • Completed Compliance requirements: Clear Background check, clear FBI rolled fingerprint, clear drug screen, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, ACLS certification for FNP specialization, professional liability insurance, influenza vaccine, and TB test.

For applicants who completed their higher education within the United States:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.
  • Master’s degree in nursing (from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.

For applicants who completed their higher education outside the United States:

  • A degree deemed equivalent (by the World Education Service) to a Bachelor’s degree in nursing (within the United States Education System) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system.
  • A degree deemed equivalent (by the World Education Service) to a Master’s degree in nursing (within the United States Education System) with a minimum cumulative preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point grading system. 

Advisory Committee

All graduate students are required to have a major faculty advisor. As soon as possible, but no later than the completion of fifty (50) percent of the credits toward graduation, the major advisor will recommend to the Director of the Graduate School (by submission of the committee approval request form) members of an advisory committee. The advisory committee must be composed of a minimum of four (4) members. The committee must include:

  • Committee Chair – must hold full Graduate Faculty status at SDSU. This member assists the student in developing a suitable graduate program, provides continuing guidance and counsel, evaluates student progress, informs the student as to who will provide primary project supervision, serves as a contact for the committee and ensures the completion of the degree requirements to the Graduate School.
  • Two (2) additional members with expertise within the discipline – must hold either full Graduate Faculty or Associate Graduate Faculty status at SDSU. Additional members assist the student in developing a suitable graduate program, provide continuing guidance and counsel, evaluate student progress, and assist with the completion of the degree requirements. Additional members may serve as co-chairs.
  • Graduate Faculty Representative – graduate faculty member from within a distant, broadly-defined discipline. This member represents the Graduate Council to ensure the supervision of the student is carried out with sufficient integrity. This member ensures that minimal academic standards are maintained and acts as an advocate and counselor for the student. For votes regarding the final oral defense, the Graduate Faculty representative must vote in the affirmative for the vote to carry.

Professional doctorate degree holders with full Graduate Faculty status may only serve as chair for a committee for the degree which they hold.

Adjunct faculty members or University employees holding a master’s degree who fail to qualify as Associate Graduate Faculty member may serve on graduate student committees. Such committees must contain the minimum number of Full/Associate Graduate Faculty in addition to the master’s degree holder. A committee may only include one master’s degree holder. Addition of the master’s degree holder does not alter the maximum number of committee members allowed. The master’s degree holder is not considered as having Associate Graduate Faculty status and cannot serve as co-chair.

The advisory committee is responsible for approving the content and scope of final examinations. The committee must evaluate the student’s performance for the comprehensive exams and final defense and all other degree requirements.

All committee members must be available for regular meetings with the student and/or committee. Each committee member has voting privileges. Only committee members may vote on business before the committee. For activities requiring committee votes, the chair must ensure due diligence for accommodating all members of the committee. The Graduate Faculty representative and all but one (1) of the graduate committee must vote in the affirmative to pass the student.

The Department Head is responsible for informing the Graduate School if and when a committee member can no longer discharge her/his duties consistent with the policies of the University.

Plan of Study/Credit Requirements

After the advisory committee is formed, the major advisor will schedule a meeting with the student to develop a plan of study. The plan of study must be submitted using the doctoral plan of study form and approved by the advisory committee and the Graduate School prior to completion of 50 percent of the credits toward graduation. Delay in submitting a plan of study may result in disapproval of courses taken prior to approval and/or registration restrictions. Changes in the approved plan of study must be requested using the change in plan of study form. While devising the plan of study, please refer to specific academic program requirements in the Academic Programs  section of the catalog in addition to the following information.

Total Credits Required

Options Credit Hours
Bachelor’s to D.N.P.  
    Family Nurse Practitioner 78
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 75
Post Master’s to D.N.P. 31-36
    Family Nurse Practitioner 69
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 49

Graduate Credit Requirement - Credit applied toward graduate credentials should be at the 500-level and above. At least fifty (50) percent of the credits on a plan of study must be in courses 600-series or above. Please refer to the Graduate Credit Requirements Policy for more information.

Examinations

Project Proposal Defense

The student arranges with his/her advisory committee the time and location for the DNP Project Proposal Defense. At this time, the student will defend the project topic, evidence-based research and guidelines to support the intervention, and methodology to monitor effectiveness of the health policy change or intervention. The student will discuss the proposed statistical tests to evaluate outcomes of the intervention. The DNP Project Proposal Defense must occur in a different semester than the final oral and project defense. The graduate faculty representative and all but one (1) of the graduate committee must vote to pass the student.

Final Oral Exam

The student arranges with his/her advisory committee the time and location for the final oral examination. The student will submit the final oral exam form to the Graduate School no less than two (2) weeks prior to the examination date. A final oral examination will be administered by the advisory committee, covering the student’s plan of study and project. This examination must be comprehensive, testing the student’s ability to analyze, integrate, and apply knowledge from the discipline. The graduate faculty representative and all but one (1) of the graduate committee must vote to pass the student. The final oral exam must be completed three (3) weeks prior to the end of the semester in order to graduate.

Time Limitation

Obsolete Program

If the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is not completed within eight (8) years from the program start date, the request for an extension of the graduate program form must be submitted to the Graduate School.  The request will be reviewed and a decision as to whether the student may continue in the program will be made by the Graduate School Director.

Obsolete Coursework

Courses taken more than eight (8) years before completion of the program are regarded as obsolete coursework. Obsolete courses may be used in the DNP degree program if validated. Validation is allowed at the discretion of the advisory committee and department involved and can be accomplished by passing validation requirements in the subject matter area and submitting the validation form to the Graduate School. Validated coursework cannot exceed fifty (50) percent of the total coursework listed on the plan of study and must be certified by the advisory committee.  Course validation may be subject to a processing fee. Only courses taken at SDSU may be validated.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Checklist

Requirements Timeline
Designation of Major Advisor During the semester of NURS 850.
Designation of Advisory Committee As soon as possible, but no later than the completion of fifty (50) percent of the credits toward graduation, the major advisor will recommend to the Director of the Graduate School members of an advisory committee.
Plan of Study During the first semester of graduate work or before 50% of coursework is complete. Must be approved by all Advisory Committee members and submitted to Graduate School.
DNP Project Proposal Defense During NURS 880 and with permission of the Major Advisor.
Graduation Application During final semester, by deadline.*
Final Oral Exam Final oral exam follows completion of DNP project. The final oral exam must follow Graduate School deadlines.

* The Graduate School sets deadlines for graduation each semester.  Please also consult with your Department for other program specific requirements and deadlines.  All forms are available on the Graduate School Forms page.