College of Nursing and College of Health Professionals students attend clinicals

BSN to DNP Program

As a nursing professional, you can propel your path forward in the nursing vocation and toward improving patient outcomes by becoming a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The BSN to DNP at Valpo University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions will prepare you to advance your specialty area and make a lifelong impact on your nursing practice and leadership skills as a family nurse practitioner. The FNP is a rewarding path for countless Valpo students and has consistently been ranked as one of the top five in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Ready to earn your doctorate in nursing? Learn more about the BSN to DNP by exploring admission requirements, the plan of study, program requirements and more.

Admission to the BSN to DNP program at Valpo is based upon a defined set of criteria. Please review the information below to learn about the ideal candidate for Valpo’s doctorate in nursing.

Criteria for Admission into the BSN/DNP Program

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application, available online at valpo.edu/grad-apply
  • Official transcripts for all degrees earned and/or coursework completed
  • A BSN degree from an accredited university with a grade point average of at least 3.0
  • Evidence of having completed an undergraduate research course and statistics course
  • Unencumbered RN license in the state in which clinical coursework hours will be completed; a copy must be on file prior to beginning clinical coursework
  • A reflective essay of two double-spaced pages indicating the student’s reasons for pursuing the DNP degree and the relationship of graduate study to professional goals as a family nurse practitioner
  • Letters of recommendation from three clinical peers/supervisors who attest to communication skills, clinical competence, and potential for graduate success (Valpo alumni need only submit two letters of recommendation)
  • A portfolio, including a curriculum vita/resume, that describes current and past clinical practice as well as any presentations and/or publications
  • Application fee: $30 for U.S. citizens (may be waived if you take a campus tour), $50 for international students. A non-native English speaker is required to have a minimum TOEFL 82 or IELTS 6.5.

Admission is only for the fall semester. Application materials are due by April 15.  A non-refundable seat deposit ($250) is required for the DNP program.  The seat deposit will be applied to the first semester’s tuition.

Interested students should request information from the Graduate School through our website or by emailing graduate.studies@valpo.edu.  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.

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 conveniently stacked on two days mid-week, meeting synchronously no more than twice a month. This schedule provides flexibility to the working nurse while supporting a unique connection with fellow students and our dedicated faculty. Synchronously scheduled classes may be attended on campus or from ’ homes through livestream 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 (35 practice/simulation hours) 2.5 + 0.5
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) 0 + 2
Total Credits 11
Spring Semester
Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 703 / Interprofessional Education 603 Epidemiology 3
Nursing 731 Managing Common Health Conditions 3
Nursing 732 Application of the APN Role II (210 clinical clock hours) 0 + 3
Nursing 770 Evidence-based Practice for Advanced Practice Nurses 3
Total Credits 12
Summer
Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 799A DNP Project Lab A: Development (140 clinical clock hours) 2 + 2
Total Credits 4
Fall Semester
Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 741 Managing Complex Health Conditions 3
Nursing 742 Application of the APN Role III (210 clinical clock hours) 3
Nursing 799B DNP Project Lab B:  Implementation
(140 clinical clock hours)
2+2
Total Credits 10
Spring Semester
Course Requirements Credits
Nursing 713 Business & Legal Aspects of Advanced Practice Nursing 3
Nursing 752 Application of the APN Role IV
(140 clinical clock hours)
2
Nursing 799C DNP Project Lab C: Evaluation
(140 clinical clock hours)
2+2
Total Credits 9

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

A nursing lab fee is payable by each graduate nursing student enrolled in NUR 605, NUR 752, and NUR 799.

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 (which is aligned with the DNP Presentation Day)
  • To attend oral and poster presentations while enrolled in NUR 770
  • To deliver their poster and oral presentation at the completion of their studies

The DNP Presentations are scheduled for Friday, April 29, 2022

Prior to beginning clinical courses (NUR 605 for BSN to DNP), doctorate in nursing students must submit evidence of the following:

  • Current license
  • Medical/health insurance
  • CPR certification
  • TB skin test results
  • Immunizations (Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis B, Varicella, COVID-19, and annual influenza)
  • Statement of good health
  • Clear criminal background check
  • 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.

In addition to the academic progression policies of the Graduate School, the following CONHP policy applies to all DNP students:

Students who are on academic probation, due to low GPA or the receipt of two grades below B-, are not eligible to proceed to the NUR 799 series until academic deficiencies are resolved. Students must achieve a grade of B- or higher in NUR 770 to progress to the NUR 799 series.

Nursing Liability Insurance

In connection with the clinical practice component of the doctorate in 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).

    Apply to the BSN to DNP Nursing Program

    Interested in applying to one of the top BSN to DNP programs in Indiana? Students who follow the BSN to DNP path are poised to reach great heights of practice expertise through clinical skill and leadership development as a family nurse practitioner.

    Apply to Valpo’s BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice program today or request more information about the program.