Doctor of Nursing Practice

Misericordia University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online degree program is a practice-focused doctoral degree that educates nurses to become expert clinicians, leaders in health policy, and catalysts for improved health care delivery within an inter-professional environment. The curriculum consists of didactic and clinical course work structured around the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Didactic and clinical course work in this cutting-edge curriculum culminates in the completion of an evidence-based practice clinical capstone project. A residency experience is not required to complete the DNP program.

The DNP program is designed to accommodate the needs of busy health care professionals and in response to growing national need for advanced practice nurses, and is being offered in two tracks. The 27-credit part-time Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP track can be completed in two calendar years while attending the fall, spring and summer over six semesters. An optional nine-credit specialization in nursing education – the only DNP program offering this specialization in northeastern Pennsylvania – is also available for advanced practice nurses who wish to become educators on the collegiate level. Nationally board certified and licensed advanced practice nurses, including certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and certified clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), are eligible to apply for the MSN to DNP program. The university will begin accepting applications for the program in August for enrollment in the 2015 fall semester. This track is offered completely online. Due to the integrated nature of the DNP program coursework, no doctoral level transfer courses will be accepted.

For further information, contact Dr. Brenda Hage, Director of DNP Programs at (570) 674-6760 or

For questions regarding admissions requirements, contact Maureen Sheridan, Assistant Director of Part-Time and Graduate Admissions, at (570) 674-6451 or

PROGRAM PLAN: BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP Curriculum Plan: Catalog Version

Admissions Information

In addition to the general admission requirements for Graduate Programs, specific criteria for admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program must be met.
  1. Official transcripts of all previous college work, including graduate and undergraduate.
  2. Completion of an online application form.
  3. Master of Science in Nursing degree from a CCNE or NLN accredited institution.
  4. Copy of unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse and license to practice as an advanced practice nurse (CNM, CRNA, CNS, or CRNP).
  5. Copy of current national board certification as an Advanced Practice Nurse.
  6. Minimum of 3.0 GPA from graduate degree program or post-master's certificate program for MSN to DNP program applicants, 3.25 GPA from BSN program for BSN to DNP program applicants.
  7. Two letters of reference (one from current or most recent employer, one from former graduate faculty member).
  8. A 500 word typed statement/writing sample of personal and professional goals.
  9. Telephone interview.
  10. English language proficiency- if English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, you must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The following are the minimum score requirements: Internet based TOEFL exam (iBT): The Internet based TOEFL exam has four subsections, with a grading scale for each section from 1 to 30 (30 being the highest score). Misericordia University will look closely at the score for each section rather than the total score. Applicants must attain the minimum scores for ALL sections in order to be considered for admission to the DNP program.
Students should indicate on the registration form that they wish their test results be sent directly to Misericordia University. The TOEFL code for Misericordia University is 2087.

The Bachelors of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) track, features 64 credits that can be completed while attending classes in three calendar years over nine semesters, including summers. Graduates of the program will be awarded with both the Master of Science degree in nursing and the DNP degree. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national family nurse practitioner board certification examination. In this track, MSN courses are taught face-to-face in a convenient on-campus, one day per week format. The track's DNP level courses are delivered online. A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) post-master's certificate to DNP entry option is available. Individualized program plan information will be determined following a transcript review and consultation with DNP Program Director.

The DNP program at Misericordia University offers:

  • Seamless transition from MSN program
  • Tuition discount for Misericordia University alumni
  • Predictable and convenient course scheduling (MSN to DNP program fully online)

A preliminary application review will be conducted prior to May 1 with a limited number of acceptances being issued by the Graduate Nursing program at that time. A secondary review of completed applications will be conducted in early May with all decisions being made. Final application deadline for the Fall class is August 1, with additional acceptances being issued on a space available basis.

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