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Applying to the DNP program

School DNP Application Deadline

November 1 (for early acceptance) and March 1

On-campus requirement:

For DNP students admitted to begin classes during summer 2015, the 5-day on-campus Leadership and Technology Institute will be

June 8-12, 2015

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Doctor of Nursing program

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The distance-mediated Doctor of Nursing Practice program (DNP) at the Sinclair School of Nursing enables students to obtain advanced education online to prepare for leadership roles in nursing to improve quality of health outcomes for individuals, populations and systems.

Admission Criteria

  • Baccalaureate or master degree in nursing from a program accredited by a national organization responsible for nursing accreditation (i.e. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)) or related field for DNP Leadership students.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale based on the last 60 hours of undergraduate nursing course work for applicants with less than a master's degree.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for applicants with a master's degree in nursing.

* Due to higher education regulation changes, the University of Missouri is unable to accept applications for admission to online programs from students residing in several states (highlighted below). You can find more information at this link:

States MU cannot admit from

Steps in Applying

To apply to our DNP program, submit all materials electronically, as part of your online application. Following is a checklist of all the required materials and instructions for your application.

  1. Apply for admission to the University and submit application fees to MU Graduate Studies and the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. To apply click on: University of Missouri Graduate Studies Application The deadline is November 1 (for early acceptance) and March 1.
  2. Submit your Graduate Studies Application Fee
  3. Submit your MU Sinclair School of Nursing Application Fee:  A nonrefundable application processing fee for the Sinclair School of Nursing DNP program — $50 (U.S. dollars) for U.S. citizens and permanent residents,— is required for all new DNP applicants. The application fee is nonrefundable; it is not applicable to the educational fee, student activities fee, computing fee or student health fee; and it is valid for one academic year (three semesters). Please send check to MUSSON, S235, Sinclair School of Nursing, Columbia, MO 65211, prior to interview.

As you apply using the University of Missouri Graduate Studies Application you will be asked to upload the following documents into your online application.

  • Upload unofficial copies of all transcripts, especially those documenting a baccalaureate or master degree from a program accredited by a national organization responsible for accreditation (i.e. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)). Instructions for current and former MU students to request unofficial transcripts are available here:
    • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements must submit acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the exam must have been taken within the last five years.
    • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements also may provide additional evidence documenting examples of outstanding professional leadership, practice and/or scholarship for special consideration.
  • Submission of a 3-5 page essay describing your professional goals and how participation in the DNP program will enhance these goals.
    • The essay should identify a topic of clinical interest or a practice-based problem of interest that you might address as the topic for your final, scholarly, DNP project.
    • The scope of the project should be large enough that it would result in, for example, a change at the organizational, system, regional or national level; new or revised state health policy; or the establishment of a significant new health-related service to a population or geographic region.
    • The purpose of the essay is to provide the Admission Committee insight into the professional goals and expectations of the applicant, congruency of topic area with faculty expertise and an opportunity to evaluate the applicant's written communication skills.
  • List of contacted clinical preceptors
  • Submission of copies of current, unencumbered Registered Nurse license(s).
  • Submission of copies of all advanced practice nursing certification and/or credentialing/recognition documents for applicants with a master's degree.
  • If you have clinical hours from previous MSN and/or certificate programs you must submit this verification form with your application materials.
  • Submission of a curriculum vitae using the official MU Sinclair School of Nursing format which documents educational preparation, work experience, leadership and professional organization activities, and scholarly endeavors such as publications, presentations, research, honors and awards. curriculum vitae guidelines
  • Professional Recommendations: Submission of three (3) professional recommendations supporting the applicant's potential success in the DNP program are required and must be submitted through the Recommendation section online of the MU Graduate Studies application.
    • References should be from master's or doctorally prepared nurses or faculty members who can address the applicant's potential or ability to function in the advanced practice nursing role (i.e. clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaboration and communication with other health professionals and leadership abilities).
    • Applicants currently enrolled in a nursing program must submit at least one (1) recommendation from a current faculty member in that program.
    • Please do not include recommendations from a family friend, fellow staff nurse or minister.

How the online recommendation process works:

    • Click the “Recommendation Provider List” button on the recommendation request page within the MU Graduate Studies application.
    • Insert the name and contact information of each recommendation provider.
    • Once the recommendation provider information is saved, an email will be sent to the recommendation provider with an access code and instructions on how to proceed with the online recommendation.
    • When the recommendation provider submits the form to the graduate studies office it will become a part of your application.
    • Applicants can view the status of online recommendations by logging into their application account.

Interview by invitation. The interview will be arranged after preliminary review of academic credentials and application materials. The interview process will take place approximately mid-January. We will have the option of your interview to be in person or on-line.

Technology requirements

  • Student will require a computer with a video card (responsibility of the student).
  • Laptop and an extra screen are ideal for clinical courses and on-campus sessions.
  • For home: 384K minimum download/upload speed; a business connection best for quality. If using satellite or wireless – connection delays may be a problem and you are expected to find a site near your home to make connection for classes (i.e. library, or AHEC office). No excuses for not attending.
  • For work: firewalls need to be evaluated, conducive location when at work – not interfering with work.
  • Quality – testing (initial, and 30 minutes before classes and as needed)
  • Logitech camera (webcam) or camera in laptop
  • Headset with microphone or speakers and microphone.
  • Windows: Operating system: Windows XP (minimum) or Windows 7 (recommended)
    • Microsoft Office – latest version (Office 2013) (to purchase)
    • Functional Anti-Virus Software (example: Microsoft Security Essentials)
  • Mac:  Operating system: OS 10.6 (minimum) or 10.7 (recommended)
    • Microsoft Office 2008 (minimum) or Microsoft Office 2011 (recommended)
    • Anti-virus: Free products include Sophos, Avast and iAntivirus
  • Endnote (to purchase)
  • SPSS (to purchase)
  • E-mail capabilities

Prerequisite Coursework

  • Completion of a graduate course in introductory statistics or biostatistics within the last 5 years is required prior to entry into the DNP program.

Transfer of Graduate Credits

Up to 20 percent of graduate credits of required coursework can be accepted in transfer with the approval of the program director.

Upon admittance to the program, the following must be completed by the student and documentation of these items must be submitted to (School code is UN16) before registering for coursework:

  • Current required immunizations
  • Satisfactory criminal background check
  • Satisfactory drug screen
  • Current CPR certification

For more information on APRN DNP programs, contact:

S235 Sinclair School of Nursing
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Phone: (573) 882-0200

For more information on the Leadership DNP Program, contact:

S245 Sinclair School of Nursing
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Phone: (573) 884-4705