University of Wisconsin–Madison
A table of DNP students in a suture class, practicing.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

How to Get In

Post-BS Applicants

Post-BS applicants have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Applicants who have a non-APN Master’s degree (i.e. nurse education) are considered Post-BS applicants and are able to waive up to 18 credits based on previous graduate coursework, pending review of syllabi.

DNP Program Eligibility Requirements: Post-BS

  • Graduation from an accredited baccalaureate program in nursing
  • GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 credits for the baccalaureate degree
  • RN license
  • One year of professional nursing experience
  • Grade of B or better in a graduate level statistics course within the last 5 years. (Note: The course does not need to be taken before applying, but must be successfully completed prior to the start of the fall term.)

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • CGFNS Certification
  • Minimum English proficiency scores in one of the following:
    • TOEFL (600 PBT, 100 iBT)
    • IELTS (8)
    • MELAB (85)

Post-MS Applicants

Post-MS applicants have a Master’s degree in a specialty track and are certified (or eligible for certification) as advanced practice nurses.

DNP Program Eligibility Requirements: Post-MS

  • Graduation from an accredited baccalaureate program in nursing
  • Master’s degree in a specialty track from an accredited nursing program
  • GPA of 3.5 for the Master’s degree
  • RN license
  • Certification as an advanced practice nurse
  • One year of professional nursing experience
  • Grade of B or better in a graduate level statistics course within the last 5 years. (Note: The course does not need to be taken before applying, but must be successfully completed prior to the start of the fall term.)

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • CGFNS Certification
  • Minimum English proficiency scores in one of the following:
    • TOEFL (600 PBT, 100 iBT)
    • IELTS (8)
    • MELAB (85)

Tuition

DNP students pay a differential tuition. Rates are subject to change by term.

Tuition Costs Per Credit  (select Doctor of Nursing Practice from the ‘Student Career’ drop-down menu)

Total Costs

This cost of attendance information may help in estimating costs—you will need to substitute the DNP tuition rate:

Graduate School Cost of Attendance

Financial Support

Graduate students in the School of Nursing have access to traineeships, fellowships, scholarships, loans, and research and teaching assistantship positions that may come with full tuition remission.

The majority of funding decisions are made in the Spring for the following academic year. All students are encouraged to apply for funding.

Visit the Costs & Financial Aid page for full information about financial support.

The faculty admissions committee will review applications once each year for fall admission. All DNP program applicants must complete the Graduate School’s online application and submit the required supplementary materials.

  • Application opens: Early September
  • Deadline: December 1
  • In-person interview: Mid-January through late-February. Interview dates and times will be assigned by the School of Nursing.

For the purposes of application review, unofficial transcripts may be uploaded directly to the application. Official records will be requested by the Graduate School for all candidates who are recommended for admission.

Students must indicate their intended population focus and whether or not they intend to follow the full- or part-time program plan as part of the application. Requests to switch population focus areas after starting the program are only seldom possible and considered on a case by case basis.

After an initial application review, eligible applicants will be invited for an interview in mid-January through late-February. All applicants must participate in an interview in order to be considered for this program. Interview dates and times will be assigned by the School of Nursing.

Application Materials

Graduate School electronic application and fee

Supplemental application materials:

  • Transcripts from all previously attended and currently attending institutions
  • Copy of nursing license
  • Reasons for Graduate Study/Statement of Purpose
    Share your motivation and goals for pursing a DNP degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing (1,400 word limit). Your statement must address ALL of the following in 1,400 words or less (4 pages, double-spaced, PDF format):
      • Career Goals. Discuss your motivation and goals for pursuing a practice doctorate in nursing. Explain how you envision this program will help you attain your long-and short-term professional goals.
      • Professional Experience. Describe your current professional role and past clinical experiences. Explain how these experiences have informed your choice of specialty track and will contribute to your success in the program.
      • Critical-Thinking Ability. A key role of the DNP-prepared nurse is to translate evidence into practice. Describe a significant clinical and/or system problem in healthcare that you have encountered firsthand. Address the following questions in your response.
        • What is the problem?
        • Who was most impacted?
        • What are the costs or consequences?
        • What research, best practice guidelines, or innovations have you seen that could provide potential solutions to the problem?
      • Diversity. Diversity strengthens the healthcare workforce and patient outcomes. Describe how your own personal experiences and attributes enable you to contribute to patient outcomes and workforce.
      • Please note that DNP students must possess strong writing abilities. The Statement of Purpose is an important component of the application process and serves as evidence of your ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a logical and analytical manner. Your Statement of Purpose will be assessed in the following areas:
        • Ability to address the entire prompt
        • Ability to write in a logical, analytical and meaningful manner
        • Ability to be concise and utilize proper grammar and syntax
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • International applicants:
  • CGFNS Certification
  • Official TOEFL, ILETS, or MELAB scores

 

Certification

In addition to earning a doctoral degree, Post-BS graduates are prepared to sit for the following professional nursing certification examinations upon successful completion of the program.

Population Focus Role Preparation Professional Certification Examination
Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist ANCC Adult-Gerontology CNS
Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ANCC Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP
Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ANCC Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ANCC Pediatric Primary Care NP
PNCB Primary Care Pediatric NP
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health NP

Connect with an Advisor

Beth Dawson

Career Advisor, Current Students with Last Names X-Z

beth.dawson@wisc.edu

(608) 263-9109

Kristi Hammond

DNP & PhD Program Coordinator

kristi.hammond@wisc.edu

608-263-5258

Monica Messina

Graduate Admissions & Recruitment Coordinator

mlmessina@wisc.edu

608-263-5183

Mandi Moy

Director of Admissions & Recruitment

mandi.moy@wisc.edu

608-263-5261

The program meets the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice and the NTF Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.