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DNP — Doctor of Nursing Practice

Pending UC and WSCUC approval

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree Program is a professional practice-focused doctorate designed to develop competencies for advanced clinical and leadership roles in nursing and healthcare. 

The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Program is to:

  • Advance the scholarly discipline through development of theory and empirical research
  • Contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field
  • Create the future academic leaders of the profession

The DNP degree provides you with a foundation for seamless progression into a research- or practice-focused doctoral program.

Add your name to the Notification List

Program goals

The DNP program will increase opportunities for nurses to meet the demands of an increasingly complex and changing healthcare landscape. The program and innovative curriculum will capitalize on the educational richness of the College of Health Sciences.

This program will utilize a hybrid educational delivery platform.

  • Track 1 is designed for students who have a BS or MS degree in nursing and are seeking a terminal practice-focused nursing degree and certification as a family nurse practitioner (FNP); this track may be completed in 11 quarters.
  • Track 2 is designed for students who have a MS degree in nursing and are seeking a terminal practice-focused nursing degree without certification as a nurse practitioner (NP); this track may be completed in 7 quarters.
Course Curriculum »

Students enrolled in:

  • Track 1 will complete 98 units and 1,020 hours of clinical practice
  • Track 2 will complete 53 units and 540 hours of clinical practice

There is no foreign language requirement; proficiency in a language other than English is desirable but not required.

In lieu of a thesis or dissertation, a Scholarly Project will be required for this professional degree. In preparation for developing this DNP Scholarly Project, students will complete a DNP Project Proposal and present this to their DNP Committee during the DNP Scholarly Project II: Proposal course.  Once approved by the Committee, the student will begin implementation of their DNP Scholarly Project.  The DNP Scholarly Project will require students to demonstrate a synthesis of evidence-based practice in a practice area specific to their specialty and interest. The student will present a final defense of the completed work to the DNP Committee and invited University and community guests in their last quarter, at the conclusion of the DNP Epilogue course. Development of a formal manuscript suitable for publication will also be required. 

The normative time to degree for Track 1 is 3 years, with a maximum time permitted of 5 years.  The normative time to degree for Track 2 is 2 years, with a maximum time permitted of 4 years.

TRACK 1 (BS or MS to DNP with NP Role)
Year 1

Summer Fall Winter Spring
NS 231 DNP Prologue (2) NS 233 Appraisal & Translation of Evidence for Practice (3) NS 222A Seminar in Clinical Translational Science (2)
NS 232 Leadership & Professional Collaboration in Healthcare (3+1) NS 234 Health Politics & Policy (3+1) NS 236 Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity (2+1)
NS 200 Research Methods & Evaluation for Evidence-Based Practice (3) NS 215 Health Promotion/Disease Prevention (3) NS 210 Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
Elective (3)

Year 2

Summer Fall Winter Spring
NS 238 Foundations of Health Systems & Health Economics (3) NS 230 Advanced Health & Physical Assessment (3) NS 225B Advanced Pharmacology (2) NS 235 DNP Scholarly Project I: Conceptualization & Planning (1)
NS 239 The Science of Change, Quality Improvement & Program Evaluation (3+1) NS 230L Advanced Health & Physical Assessment Lab OR NS 231L Clinical Reasoning Competency Assessment (1) NS 245 Primary Care Adult/Gerontology Acute Common Conditions (3) NS 283 Primary Care Procedures (2)
NS 225A Advanced Pharmacology (3) NS 250 Primary Care Women’s Health (2) NS 270 Primary Care Pediatrics (2)
NS 282 Compassionate Care of Underserved Populations (2) NS 260A Primary Care Adult/Gerontology Chronic Conditions (3)
NS 285 DNP APRN Practicum I (2) NS 286 DNP APRN Practicum II (2)
Elective (4)

Year 3

Summer Fall Winter Spring
NS 237 DNP Intersession (2) NS 240 DNP Scholarly Project II: Proposal (1) NS 241 DNP Scholarly Project III: Implementation & Evaluation (1) NS 242 DNP Scholarly Project IV: Implications (1)
NS 255 Primary Care Obstetrics (2) NS 243 DNP Epilogue (2)
NS 279A Frameworks for Advanced Practice Registered Nursing Role (2)
NS 287 DNP APRN Practicum III (6) NS 288 DNP APRN Practicum IV (7) NS 289 DNP APRN Practicum V (8) NS 290 DNP APRN Practicum VI (4)

TRACK 2 (MS to DNP without NP Role)
Year 1

Summer Fall Winter Spring
NS 231 DNP Prologue (2) NS 233 Appraisal & Translation of Evidence for Practice (3) NS 222A Seminar in Clinical Translational Science (2)
NS 232 Leadership & Professional Collaboration in Healthcare (3+1) NS 234 Health Politics & Policy (3+1) NS 236 Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity (2+1)
NS 248 Curricular Design for the Health Professions (3) NS 235 DNP Scholarly Project I: Conceptualization & Planning (1)

Year 2

Summer Fall Winter Spring
NS 238 Foundations of Health Systems & Health Economics (3) NS 240 DNP Scholarly Project II: Proposal (1) NS 241 DNP Scholarly Project III: Implementation & Evaluation (1) NS 242 DNP Scholarly Project IV: Implications (1)
NS 239 The Science of Change, Quality Improvement & Program Evaluation (3+1) NS 249 Transformational Leadership in Education for the Health Professions (3+1) NS 243 DNP Epilogue (2)
NS 237 DNP Intersession (2) NS 291 DNP Practicum I (4*-8) NS 292 DNP Practicum II (5*-10) NS 293 DNP Practicum III (4*-8)
Admission Criteria and Applicant Information »

Track 1: Applicants must have:

  • earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing from an accredited program;
  • an active, unrestricted California RN license;

Track 2: Applicants must have:

  • earned a master’s degree in nursing from an accredited program;
  • an active, unrestricted RN license in the state where DNP practicum work will occur;

All applicants must have:

  • at least one year fulltime work as a registered nurse in the U.S. (or equivalency) prior to the start of program entry;
  • completed a course in descriptive and inferential statistics with a grade of B or better within 5 years of admission to the program;

How to Apply

Add your name to the Notification List to be notified when applications are open.


Once applications become available, they can be submitted until April 15.

You must submit the following to be considered for DNP admission:

  • Online Application for Graduate Admission
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from an employer/supervisor, one from a faculty member and the third from either (review instructions on submitting letters of recommendation).
  • Please mail or hand deliver the following items together in one packet, to be received in our office by the April 15 deadline.
    • One copy of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Transcripts must be in sealed envelopes.
    • Your resume or curriculum vitae

Mailing address

Nursing Science Student Affairs
Attn: GRADUATE APPLICATION
106 Berk Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3959

Applicants must meet the general requirements of the UCI Graduate Division.  A personal interview with a writing sample (instead of the GRE) will be required of all applicants considered for admission.
Key Differences between DNP and PhD/DNS Programs »
Information Sessions »

We will host information sessions so you can learn more and ask questions.

These sessions will be held at Berk Hall Computer Lab, Room 250 on the UC Irvine campus at the following dates and times:

  • TBA (please check back mid-Fall 2017)

Space is limited. RSVP to gnsao@uci.edu

Fees »

Fees for the DNP program are $9,000 per quarter.

  • Track 1  - $99,000 (11 quarters)
  • Track 2 -  $63,000 (7 quarters) 
Financial Aid »

Please review the UC Irvine Financial Aid Office website for information on financial assistance for graduate students ›

Applying for assistance

Financial assistance for graduate students differs substantially from that available to undergraduates.

To be eligible for financial assistance, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The deadline is March 2. Please note that international students are not eligible for need-based financial aid and should not complete the FAFSA. All graduate students, either international or domestic, are eligible to receive university fellowship funding as long as you are documented.

Other scholarships

We encourage you to also look for and apply for any scholarships you can find outside of UCI. In addition to offsetting the cost of tuition, outside nursing-specific scholarships introduce you to organizations that can broaden your idea of what a nurse can accomplish and how nurses are needed in today’s society. The external scholarship database has a sublisting for scholarships available to both Nursing Science graduate and undergraduate students. View external nursing scholarships ›