Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Nursing, D.N.P.

Concentrations (BSN to DNP):

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Concentration (MSN to DNP):

  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing Sub-Specialty (Optional Concentration)


This Major shares core requirements with the Nurse Anesthesiology, D.N.P.  


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) major prepares graduates for advanced independent clinical practice. Nursing practice, as defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, refers to any nursing intervention that influences health care outcomes for individuals or populations. Objectives for the major are based upon recommendations for essential curriculum elements as identified by the AACN and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

D.N.P. Major Goals:

Prepare graduates:

  • for practice at the most advanced level in a focused area of nursing practice.
  • to use information systems and technology to optimize the delivery of health care.
  • to apply knowledge of the cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health to prevent disease and promote health for individuals, families, and populations.
  • to lead sustainable organizational and health system level changes to improve health care delivery and health outcomes.
  • to direct and develop new and innovative strategies to address current and evolving practice issues in an increasingly complex health care environment.
  • to critically appraise, synthesize, apply, and translate the knowledge created by researchers and theoretical scholars to improve health care quality and safety.
  • to use practice information systems and databases to support and inform decision making, improvement efforts, and the evaluation of health outcomes for individuals, families and populations.
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements, as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below. Certain concentrations are competitive.

B.S.N. to D.N.P. applicants (Post-Bachelor’s Applicants with a B.S.N. in Nursing applying to the D.N.P.) must have:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing or the equivalent degree in nursing from a foreign institution.
  • Must meet University Admission GPA requirements. 
  • Current unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the state of Florida or a compact multi-state registered nursing license before October 30th. Students must have a RN license in the United States prior to admission.

Students applying with a M.S.N. must have:  

  • A current unencumbered license as an Advanced Practice registered nurse before October 30th is required.
  • An RN license in the United States prior to admission.
  • Upon acceptance, a gap analysis will be conducted to ensure competency achievement aligning with current professional standards.  This may result in the addition of courses.
  • Three letters of recommendation, indicating potential for graduate study, from persons who can attest to the applicant’s academic ability, clinical competence, and commitment. These letters must be from a nursing faculty, clinical supervisor, and/or healthcare provider (APRN, PA, DO, or MD). Letters from acquaintances, friends, or family are not acceptable submissions.
  • 3.00 minimum Nursing GPA.
  • Completion of a 3-credit hour undergraduate level statistics course with a grade of B or better. A graduate statistics course is also acceptable.
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae.

Applicants interested in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner concentration must have at least one year [12 months] of full-time experience in critical care (intensive care unit) or high-acuity patient care before matriculation to meet professional practice requirements for clinical placement. Clinical experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by faculty.

The USF College of Nursing does not require the GRE Exam . Please send all official transcripts from every institution attended directly to NursingCAS. Do not send official transcripts to USF Admissions. Once a student is admitted, the College of Nursing will move all official transcripts and documents from NursingCAS to USF Admissions. 

Applicants that have less than twelve (12) months of RN experience will be automatically placed on a part-time program plan so that they can continue gaining work experience while enrolled in the graduate nursing program. Students with a year or more of relevant RN experience based on the concentration they apply for, will be considered competitive. 

Please note before starting the application process, international students may have additional restrictions stipulating course delivery format for their program of choice. Applicants attending USF on F-1 student visa are not eligible for admission due to regulatory limitations for online study. Please refer to USF World for further information on these requirements.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 30 credit hours post masters, 75 credit hours post-baccalaureate

The program follows a standard plan and course sequence for part-time or full-time enrollment. The specific sequence of courses for each admission cycle is determined upon admission to the program and students will be provided their specific program plan upon accepting their offer of admission.


Post-Master’s – 30 hours minimum:

  • Shared Core Requirements – 15 Credit Hours*
  • Practice Management - 3 Credit Hours
  • Optional Concentration - 17 Credit Hours**
  • DNP Project - 12 Credit hours
Example of Post-Master’s (MSN-DNP) program plans can be viewed here.

*Shared Core requirements must be completed by both post-master’s and post-bachelor’s students.  The core shares the same requirements with the DNP in Nursing Anesthesiology.

**Students in the DNP may also complete the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing Sub-Specialty in addition to the other degree requirements. Students opting to complete this concentration will have an additional 17 hours for their total minimum hours.


Post-Bachelor’s – 75 hours minimum:

Students entering the B.S.N. to D.N.P. complete all of the post-master’s requirements above and must also complete additional required courses (27 credit hours) and a concentration (18 credit hours).  The full summary for post-bachelor’s is below:

  • Shared Core Requirements - 15 Credit Hours*
  • Additional Required Courses - 27 Credit Hours
  • Practice Management - 3 Credit Hours
  • Concentrations – 18 Credit Hours minimum
  • DNP Project - 12 Credit hour minimum
Example of Post-Bachelor’s (BSN-DNP) program plans can be viewed here.

*Shared Core requirements must be completed by both post-master’s and post-bachelor’s students.  The core shares the same requirements with the DNP in Nursing Anesthesiology.

Post-Master’s Requirements

Practice Management Requirement (3 Credit Hours)

Optional Concentration for Post-Master’s to DNP

Students may also complete the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing Sub-Specialty in addition to the other post-master’s requirements in preparation for Certification in Occupational Health Nursing.  Note these credit hours are above the total minimum hours for the Program.


Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing Sub-Specialty (35 Credit Hours)

Comprehensive Qualifying Exam

All D.N.P. students must satisfactorily complete a proposal, a scholarly report/manuscript, a poster presentation, and a portfolio. In addition, post bachelor’s (B.S.N.-D.N.P.) students must take a comprehensive exam in their Special Topics course to prepare them for their NP certification exam at the national level. Post Master’s (M.S.N.-D.N.P.) students take their state NP certification exam prior to matriculation.

DNP Project (12 Credit Hours Minimum)

  • The DNP Project courses provide for synthesis and application of knowledge of skills acquired in previous courses through the planning, development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of a practice improvement project. 
  • Completion of a minimum of 125 hours of practicum per semester is required.
  • *D.N.P. students must have a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate supervised practicum hours at the time of graduation.  
  • The DNP Project with Practicum hours must be completed in Florida.
  • This is a clinical degree that does not require a dissertation.

Post-Bachelor’s Requirements:

In addition to the Post-Master’s requirements, Post-Bachelor’s students (B.S.-D.N.P.) must also complete the following:

  • Additional Required Courses (27 Credit Hours Minimum)
  • Concentration (18 Credit Hours Minimum)

Additional Required Courses (27 credit hours)

Sequencing of courses is particularly important and core requirement courses below must be successfully completed prior to beginning clinical coursework. All foundational level clinical courses in the advanced practice nursing tracks must be completed in sequence per an approved program plan unless otherwise approved by faculty.


Students select one of the following concentrations: