The BSN to DNP is a hybrid program, offering students numerous opportunities to connect with peers and faculty as they prepare to become family nurse practitioners. Courses are stacked on two days mid-week. Synchronous requirements may vary by course, but students are able to attend synchronously scheduled classes through live stream technology. Students may complete their clinical hours in the FNP courses, NUR 722-752, and the evidence-based practice project, within the NUR 799 series, near campus or close to their own home or place of employment.

Fall Semester

Course Requirements Credits
Biology 590 Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology 3
Nursing 612 Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice 3
Nursing 662 Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice 3
Nursing 701 Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
Total Credits 12

Spring Semester

Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 605 Advanced Health Assessment 3
Nursing 606 Pharmacologic Principles for Advanced Practice Nursing 3
Nursing 670 Research Methods for Evidence-based Practice 3
Nursing 702 Family Theories 3
Total Credits 12

Fall Semester

Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 711 Ethical Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing 3
Nursing 712 Organizational & Systems Leadership in Healthcare 3
Nursing 721 Promoting Health Across the Lifespan 3
Nursing 722 Application of the APN Role I (140 clinical clock hours) 2
Total Credits 11

Spring Semester

Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 703 Epidemiology 3
Nursing 731 Managing Common Health Conditions 3
Nursing 770 Evidence-based Practice for Advanced Practice Nurses 3
Nursing 732 Application of the APN Role II (210 clinical clock hours) 3
Total Credits 12


Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 799A DNP Project: Development (140 clinical clock hours) 4
Total Credits 4

Fall Semester

Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 741 Managing Complex Health Conditions 3
Nursing 799B DNP Project: Implementation (140 clinical clock hours) 4
Nursing 742 Application of the APN Role III (210 clinical clock hours) 3
Total Credits 10

Spring Semester

Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 713 Business & Legal Aspects of Advanced Practice Nursing 3
Nursing 799C DNP Project: Evaluation (140 clinical clock hours) 4
Nursing 752 Application of the APN Role IV (140 clinical clock hours) 2
Total Credits 9

Note: Coursework in the DNP may be completed on a part-time basis.

Program Requirements

DNP students must meet the admission, progression, and graduation requirements of the University Graduate Catalog. No more than nine transfer credits can be applied to program requirements.

DNP students are required to come to campus four times: to attend new student orientation at the beginning of their program, to participate in a simulated patient experience while enrolled in NUR 605,  to attend oral and poster presentations while enrolled in NUR 770, and to deliver their poster and oral presentation at the completion of their studies.

Prior to beginning clinical courses (NUR 605 for BSN to DNP) students must submit evidence of current license, CPR certification, TB skin test results, immunizations (Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis B, Varicella, and annual influenza), a statement of good health, a clear criminal background check, and a negative drug screen. These items must be uploaded on a tracker purchased through the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The clinical clearance items must be updated annually and must be current through the end of the semester.

Nursing Liability Insurance

In connection with the clinical practice component of the nursing program, all students in the DNP program, beginning with their first clinical course, must secure professional liability insurance provided by the university (fees to be determined).

Criteria for Admission into the BSN/DNP Program

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, which include:

  • A BSN degree from an accredited university with a grade point average of at least 3.0;
  • Unencumbered license or eligibility for RN licensure in the State where clinical course work hours will be completed;
  • Copy of all registered nurse licenses.

As part of the application process, students must provide:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application and DNP Application;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and any graduate coursework;
  • Letter of recommendation from three clinical peers/supervisors who attest to communication and clinical competence (Valpo alumni need only submit two letters of recommendation);
  • A two-page reflective essay relating doctoral study to professional goals;
  • Submission of a portfolio to include curriculum vita/résumé that includes a description of current and past clinical practice as well as any presentations and/or publications;
  • Criminal background check and drug screen will be required through Valpo to begin clinical courses;
  • Application Fee: $30 for U.S. citizens.

Admission is only for the fall semester. Application materials are due by April 15.  

Interested students should request information from the Graduate School through our website or by emailing  BSN to DNP applicants, with a minimum 3.25 GPA, submitting all required materials by March 1st are eligible for an expedited admission decision. Contact the Graduate School for additional information about the expedited decision process.

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