Application requirements

  1. Complete and submit a DNP application available online via NursingCAS

    1. Application Fee $75
  2. Graduate of an accredited college or University with a Master of Science Degree in Nursing with Advanced Practice Specialty (Nurse Practitioner [NP] or Clinical Nurse Specialist [CNS])
    • Graduate Program Accreditation Requirements (Applies to both Domestic and International applicants): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or a National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLN CNEA)
    • To confer the DNP degree: 1,000 post Baccalaureate or Entry Level Masters’ Program clinical hours of face to face, healthcare system preceptored experience are required to meet the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006)
      • Evidence of 500 clinical hours - Students are accepted as advanced practice registered nurses, NP or CNS, providing documentation of the acquired 500 hours of direct patient care. 
      • Students acquire the remaining 500 hours during the plan of study of the DNP Program.  DNP students conduct their 500 clinical hours on off work hours at one approved healthcare facility-which can be at their place of employment.
    • Opportunities for clinical hour deficiencies - Students will meet with the DNP Director and/or Assistant Director to establish the number of clinical hour deficiencies. If no more than180 hours are incomplete, then students will be given the option of completing the clinical hour deficiencies prior to the start of the DNP program, or the 180 hours may be completed in the first semester of the program. Students will be placed on Provisional Admission.
  3. Minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale - Applicants who fall below the eligibility requirements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In each case, additional supplemental items may be required.
  4. Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions
    1. *International Students: Courses completed outside the U.S. must be evaluated for U.S. course equivalency (see further requirements below)
  5. Licensing Requirements (Applies to both Domestic and International applicants):
    1. Unencumbered RN license in the statewhere you plan to do your clinical hours
    2. Unencumbered APRN license in the state where you plan to do your clinical hours. Must be obtained prior to CDU DNP program orientation
      1. Unencumbered APRN license is not required
        -of CNS or other APRN, if licensure is not required by their state to practice
        -if the applicant is in the process of taking the national certification exam in their specialty
      2. If an applicant doesn’t have the APRN license and it’s required in the state the applicant is currently practicing:
        -the applicant will need to take an LOA from CDU DNP program, to obtain appropriate licensing
  6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  7. Personal goal statement- Self-Evaluation
    1. The Personal Goal Statement-Self Evaluation should address the following areas:
    2. What impact do you foresee your doctor in nursing practice degree will have in your nursing practice? 
    3. What motivates you to earn your doctor in nursing practice degree?
    4. What topics are you interested in exploring to complete a DNP project that will focus on change that impacts healthcare outcomes.  In what Healthcare system do you foresee doing your DNP project?
    5. Discuss if you are in clinical practice, include the following and describe the practice, name, location to include city, state and zip code.
    6. Describe and discuss two of your strong assets/characteristics.
    7. Describe and discuss two areas where you would like to see improvement.
  8. Statement-Evaluation Requirements:
    1. APA format using Microsoft Word and must include both a cover and reference page
    2. Approximately 750 words in length
    3. Two to Three reference citations from any source
  9. Three letters of recommendation (academic or professional)
    1. Recommendations should address the following areas:

      1. Relationships with work associates (paid or voluntary)
      2. Work competence
      3. Communication and interpersonal skills with persons of diverse backgrounds
      4. Leadership skills or potential
      5. Values, ethical standards, responsibility, and initiative
  10. Please CLICK HERE for the Letter of Recommendation Form (Recommendation form is required)
  11. Virtual interview with DNP Program Director. DNP Assistant Director and DNP faculty may also be present.

Matriculation Requirements (Post Acceptance)

  1. Certified Background Check (Completion instructions will be emailed to you upon acceptance)

All requirements are due prior to matriculation unless indicated in university policy. All proof/documentation must be on file prior to orientation.

Additional background requirements:

  • Background Clearance
  • Proof of negative drug screen
  • Copy of current CPR “Level C” Certification (Healthcare Provider) that will not be expiring in the next 12 months.

Immunizations requirements: All proof/documentation must be on file prior to orientation.

  1. Proof of annual negative Tuberculosis (TB) screening:

    1. Two-Step TB skin test OR
    2. Past 2-Step TB skin test, along with a current 1-Step TB skin test OR
    3. TB blood test (IGRAs).
  2. Proof of completion of Hepatitis A and B immunization series or titer demonstrating immunity.
  3. Proof of two doses of Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) immunization or titer demonstrating immunity.
  4. Proof of one Tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis (Tdap) immunization (after 19 years of age) and boosters per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s adult vaccination schedule.
  5. Proof of Chicken Pox (Varicella) immunization or titer demonstrating immunity.
  6. Proof of annual influenza immunization
  7. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  8. Additional laboratory tests, immunizations, and/or documentation may be required for specific practicum sites.

Catalog Year

Students admitted to the DNP Program are admitted to the catalog year that is in effect the date when they begin the program.

Transfer of Coursework

Transferable Credits from a previous DNP program taken within one year will be determined by the DNP Program Director.

For International Students:

We do not require a separate application or additional fee, and you should be prepared to meet all of the admissions requirements as outlined above. 
Application Requirements for all applicants submitting coursework outside of the USA

  1. Coursework completed outside the US must be evaluated for US course equivalency from one of the following services (course-by-course evaluation required):

    1. World Education Services (WES)
    2. Josef Silny & Associates (JSA)
    3. Global Credential Evaluators (GCE)
    4. International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    5. Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI)
    6. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, International Education Service (AACRAO IES)

If you need assistance with immigration (I-20 form, F-1 visa, SEVIS, etc.), our Office of International Affairs will be able to assist you. You can contact CDU’s Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Director, Office of International Affairs Dr. Lejeune Lockett or (323) 357-3458