Doctor of Nursing Practice

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USU's Graduate School of Nursing was established in 1993 with the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Since then, it has grown in size and scope. Now, the GSN has four Master of Science in Nursing programs, three Doctor of Nursing Practice programs and a Doctor of Philosophy program.


Doctor of Nursing Practice

Application Form and Supporting Documents

Download the Doctor of Nursing Program Application, complete each section and email/mail it to the Registrar's Office in USU's Graduate School of Nursing by August 15.

Complete the Application Checklist to ensure all necessary documentation is submitted with your application.

Admission into the USU Graduate School of Nursing is competitive. The admissions process takes into consideration all application materials when evaluating an applicant. It also reserves the right to require additional materials. Students who do not meet the minimum recommended requirements in all areas may be considered on an individual basis.

Admission Criteria All Program Options

Admissions Criteria Advanced Practice Nursing Programs
Must be a commissioned officer or service sponsored civilian in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy or Public Health Service with an earned Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree with a concentration in Nursing from an accredited universityXXXXX
Combined (all undergraduate and graduate) GPA of ___ or higher on a 4.0 scale2.72.72.732.7
Combined science GPA of _____ or higher on a 4.0 scale (e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, physiology)
Grade of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in a science course from an accredited university within the past 5 years. If applicant needs to take a science course- anatomy, physiology, combined anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, or pharmacology are recommended, graduate level is preferred, undergraduate level courses will be considered.XXX X
Grade of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in a Biochemistry science course from an accredited university within the past 5 years. Graduate level is preferred, undergraduate courses considered.   X 
Grade of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in a statistics course from an accredited university. Graduate level is preferred, undergraduate level courses will be considered.   X 
Competitive GRE scoresXXXXX
Recent direct patient care recommended (see notes below)+X *X
Shadow an APRN working in a role related to the program for which applying for a minimum of 20 hours. Contact your chief nurse/senior nurse executive for guidance and direction if needed. X XX
Three letters of recommendation with unconditional endorsements of the applicant for admissionXXXXX
1. Chief nurse/senior nurse executive (or another officer in the direct chain of command)
2. Immediate supervisor
3. APRN in the specialty for which applying
Evidence-based writing requirement using APA format (answer all 3 essay topics) (APA style, Word document, include any references) X X X X
      1. Explain how your nursing experience has prepared you to-date for the DNP and APRN role for which you are applying.
      2. Describe your strengths and how they will contribute to your success as a doctorally prepared military or federal APRN.
      3. Describe a systems problem that you encountered in your clinical practice and how the DNP will help to address that issue.
 Current, active unrestricted nursing licenseX XXX X
 Original transcripts from all colleges and universities attendedX XXX X
 Current curriculum vitae X  X X
 Current single page service-specific officer brief- (e.g. SURF, ORB, OSR)X XXX X
 Applicants may be required to complete an interview with the facultyXXXXX
 Current Basic Life Support Certification (BLS)XXXXX
Current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)X  X 
Current Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)   X 
 Current Certification for Operating Room Nurses (CNOR) X    

University admissions are separate and distinct from the sponsoring agency (e.g. Air Force, Army, Navy, PHS).

Admission to the GSN is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the university.

Applicants must be accepted by both the university and the sponsoring agency to attend the university.

CNS= Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, FNP= Family Nurse Practitioner, PMH= Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, RNA= Registered Nurse Anesthesia, WH= Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

+AGCNS applicants must have a minimum of two years’ experience as a perioperative nurse at the time of matriculation.

*RNA applicants- At least one year of experience as a RN in a critical care setting in a military or civilian hospital. Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories, or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse is to have developed critical decision-making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial); cardiac assist devices; mechanical ventilation; and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care areas may include but are not limited to: Surgical Intensive Care, Pediatric Intensive Care, and Neonatal Intensive Care. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology. For example a military nurse who worked in ICU at military hospital for 6 months and then deployed to Kandahar and worked critical care or trauma for 7 months may possess the necessary 1 year experience requirement to apply.