General Degree Information
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program offers a terminal professional degree for those who wish to pursue or further their career as an advanced practice nurse focusing on healthcare needs of specific populations. The ETSU College of Nursing and TTU School of Nursing Joint Program currently offers six concentrations within the degree: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner.
The focus of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care concentration is patient centered quality care including common and acute illnesses while emphasizing quality of care and health outcomes. The patient population for this concentration is children of all ages. Graduates will be eligible for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care National Certification examination. The Family Nurse Practitioner works in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team. Graduates are prepared for employment in varied healthcare settings.
For application terms and deadlines please refer to the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing website.
Admission requirements for the joint DNP program are as follows:
- a completed application with payment of nonrefundable application fee
- official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework
- a written essay
There are different levels of admission depending upon prior credentials of applicants and whether or not they hold a BSN, MSN, or a BSN and a master’s in another discipline. Additional requirements for admission to the DNP program include:
- BSN-DNP applicants:
- A bachelor’s degree in nursing is required;
- For international applicants, a bachelor’s degree in nursing or equivalency (for BSN to DNP applicants), or a non-nursing master’s degree or equivalency (for MSN to DNP applicants) from a nationally accredited nursing program or comparably recognized non-U.S. institution, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale;
- MSN-DNP applicants (4 options)
- Certification in the selected nursing specialty for the concentration.For example: Certified FNP for FNP concentration, Certified WHNP in the WHNP concentration, etc.;
- Master’s in Nursing in a specialty different than the intended concentrations (WHNP, PNP, ACNP, PMHNP, FNP, Executive Leadership) will require a longer program of study adapted to the previous Master’s specialty and nursing experience;
- Non-nursing master’s with a BSN from a nationally accredited nursing program will require a longer program of study adapted to the previous Master’s specialty and nursing experience;
- For the MSN-DNP, Master’s in Nursing with advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, or Nurse Anesthetist) or master’s level nursing administration/ healthcare systems leadership concentration;
NOTE: All four MSN options for the Executive Leadership in Nursing concentration require at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role.
- All applicants with a cumulative GPA less than 3.2 as reported by their BSN or MSN institution will be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);
- Unencumbered licensure as a Registered Nurse in the United States and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee or equivalency for international students;
- All applicants are required to have at least two years of full-time work experience (or equivalent) in nursing as a registered nurse;
- Three letters of recommendation are required: one from the applicant’s current (most recent) supervisor, one from a faculty member who has worked directly with the applicant during previous academic study, and one from an individual selected by the applicant;
- All applicants will participate in an interview;
- All applicants will be required to complete a writing sample at the time of the interview describing a problem the applicant has identified in practice that the applicant might explore in the DNP program;
- All applicants must submit a cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study; and
- All applicants must submit a current resume or vita.
The completed application form and fee, official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, essay, documentation of nursing licensure in the United States, MSN certification(where applicable), letters of recommendation and resume or vita must be submitted to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies or the TTU Graduate College, depending upon the applicant’s choice. International students must also forward the additionally required documentation to the appropriate school.
The personal interview and time for completing the writing sample will be scheduled by the Joint DNP Admissions Committee. Factors given consideration in the admission decision include: previous grade point average (GPA), clarity of the applicant’s selected problem as stated in the writing sample and during the interview, writing ability, professional work experience and achievements, professional honors and awards, interest in rural and underserved population groups, and quality of references/recommendations. The Joint DNP Admissions Committee may recommend admission of a promising applicant who has not met all the admission standards on a conditional basis.
Student Retention and Progression Criteria
The DNP graduate student, to remain in good standing, must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better on all graduate work attempted. In order to graduate, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and on the program of study.
Credit toward a degree objective will be granted for any graduate course in which a grade of A, B, or S is assigned; however, not more than three (3) hours of credit below a B grade is allowed.
If a student’s grade is lower than “B,” s/he may repeat a course. However, no more than one required course may be repeated. In repeating a course, the previous grade as well as the grade earned from the repeated course will be calculated into the subsequent GPA. Students will be dismissed from the program if they do not meet the requirements in this policy.
Incomplete (I) Grade
An incomplete grade (“I”) indicates that the student was passing the course at the end of the semester, but due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, was unable to complete the course work for which the “I” is assigned. The “I” grade cannot be used to allow a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade or to repeat a course. An “I” grade must be removed no later than one calendar year from the time the grade is awarded. Time extension requests for removal of an “I” grade must be submitted by the instructor of record to (and approved by) the home school’s graduate school Dean before the allotted time expires. An “I” grade not completed within the one year time frame will be converted to an “F.”
Academic Probation: Unsatisfactory Performance
When the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the graduate student will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. If the student does not achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of one probationary semester, his/her home school’s Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and appropriate college/departmental/program officials will determine whether the student should be dismissed from graduate study or continued on probation. No students will be allowed more than two probationary semesters, whether consecutive or cumulative. At the end of the second probationary semester a student whose cumulative GPA is still below 3.0 will be dismissed from graduate study. Students whose performance results in a GPA so far below 3.0 as to make it mathematically impossible to attain an average GPA of 3.0 after one semester may be subject to dismissal without a probationary term.
If the student does not achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the conclusion of one probationary semester, the ETSU or TTU Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and appropriate college/departmental/program officials will determine whether the student should be dismissed from graduate study or continued on probation. At the end of the second probationary semester a student whose cumulative GPA is still below 3.0 will be dismissed from graduate study. A student will also be dismissed from graduate study if they receive a second grade below “B.”