May 12, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Nursing Practice


This program is accredited by: CCNE. More information can be found at: unlv.edu/provost/vpaa/accreditation

Plan Description


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal professional practice degree. The goal of the DNP program is to prepare nurses to assume leadership roles in clinical practice, administration, and clinical research. The DNP differs from the PhD in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Science degrees, emphasizing advanced clinical practice, implementation of best practices, and evaluation of practice and care delivery models rather than individually initiated research. The DNP program prepares graduates for advanced clinical practice and leadership roles to serve the health care needs of the people of Nevada, the nation, and the professional community. DNP graduates are equipped to assume a wide range of leadership roles in both direct and indirect health care settings. DNP graduates may function as specialists in their advanced practice clinical roles or as healthcare executives, program and policy analysts.

DNP Program Learning Outcomes:

The goal of the DNP degree is to prepare nurses to assume leadership roles in clinical practice and health care leadership and analysis. At the conclusion of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Nursing DNP program, graduates will:

  1. Provide advanced nursing care to improve patient and population health care outcomes in various direct and indirect settings.
  2. Take leadership roles in the analysis, delivery and management of nursing care and health care systems.
  3. Provide evidence-based practice through the application of analytical methods, information systems technology, and clinical research.
  4. Collaborate with interprofessional teams to meet the healthcare needs of culturally and ethnically diverse individuals and populations.
  5. Act as change agent, leader, and advocate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health care policy as it affects populations and the nursing profession.  

View Subplan Disclaimers.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the  Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Post-Master’s Tracks:

Advanced Practice Track:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education [CCNE], Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing [ACEN], National League for Nursing [NLN] Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation [CNEA]).
  2. Students must hold a master’s degree in nursing (MSN or MN) from an accredited program. Exceptions to a master’s degree in nursing will be made on a case-by-case basis and only for those students who hold a baccalaureate degree nursing with a master’s degree in another health-related field (e.g., MPH, MHA, etc.).
  3. Coursework from non-nursing master’s degree must have significant content from nursing or a nursing focus. At a minimum, graduate-level coursework must demonstrate a substantial study of nursing theory, research, and health policy.
  4. Generally, a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 = A scale) earned in a nursing or health-related master’s program of study is required. Students who graduated from accredited competency-based schools are advised to contact the Program Director for additional information. Have completed graduate-level course work with a grade of B or better in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced physical assessment, nursing theory, research, and healthcare policy.
  5. Hold an unrestricted and unencumbered license as a registered nurse and as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) commensurate with state licensure.
  6. Hold national certification in an advanced practice role from a nationally recognized certification/credentialing organization.
  7. Interviews may be required.

Nurse Executive Track:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program (CCNE, ACEN, NLN CNEA).
  2. Hold a master’s degree in nursing (MSN or MN) from an accredited program.  Exceptions to this will be made on a case-by-case basis and only for those students who hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing with a master’s degree in another health-related field (i.e. MBA, MHA, MPH, etc.). 
  3. Coursework from non-nursing majors must have significant content from nursing or a nursing focus.  At a minimum, graduate-level coursework must demonstrate a substantial study of nursing theory, research, and healthcare policy.  Students who have not completed a graduate level course in healthcare policy must complete NURS 719R within the first year of study in the DNP program.
  4. Generally, a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 = A scale) earned in a nursing or health-related master’s program of study is required. Students who graduated from accredited competency-based schools are advised to contact the Program Director for additional information.
  5. Hold an unrestricted and unencumbered license as a registered nurse.
  6. Provide documentation for one of the following:
    1. National certification as a Nurse Executive through either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), or as a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader through AONE.
    2. Students with any other advanced practice national certification are advised to contact the Program Director for information or minimum of 500 hours of academically supervised clinical practicum in master’s degree program on leadership or management.
  7. Interviews may be required.

BSN to DNP Tracks:

Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Executive Tracks:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program (CCNE, ACEN, or NLN CNEA).
  2. Generally, a minimum grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 = A scale) earned in a baccalaureate nursing degree is required. Students who graduated from accredited competency-based schools are advised to contact the Program Director for additional information.
  3. Hold an unrestricted and unencumbered license as a registered nurse.
  4. Have practiced as a baccalaureate prepared registered nurse for a minimum of one calendar year (2000 hours) prior to beginning coursework in the BSN to DNP program.
  5. Interviews may be required.

Other Admission Information:

  1. Three letters of professional recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s motivation, academic capability, advanced practice and/or leadership potential, and personal goals for study in a DNP program.
  2. Letter of interest and Self-Presentation:
    1. Professional goal statement (500 word maximum) describing career objectives and areas of interest in advanced practice or leadership roles. Include reasons for pursuing a doctor of nursing practice degree, specific interest in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas program, and past experiences and achievements in nursing practice, leadership, and scholarship.
    2. Current resume or curriculum vita (CV). 

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Master’s Advanced Practice Track


 Total Credits Required: 31

View Subplan Disclaimer.

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete 31 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  3. Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  4. A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  5. If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  6. Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  7. Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, Program Director, appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  8. The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the Program Director will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at: http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/facstaff/status.html.
  9. Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the Program Director when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  10. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  11. Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  12. Once admitted to the DNP program, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students. The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over at least three semesters in the program.
  13. Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies for UNLV School of Nursing. Students in the DNP program are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College.

Subplan 2 Requirements: BSN to DNP Family Nurse Practitioner Track (ON HOLD)


Total Credits Required: 68

View Subplan Disclaimer.

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete 68 credits with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00.
  2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  3. Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  4. A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  5. If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  6. Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  7. Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, Program Director, appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  8. The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the Program Director will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at: http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/facstaff/status.html.
  9. Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the Program Director when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  10. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  11. Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  12. Once admitted to the DNP program, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  13. The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over at least three semesters in the program.
  14. Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies for UNLV School of Nursing. Students in the DNP program are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College.

Subplan 3 Requirements: Post-Master’s Nurse Executive Track


Total Credits Required: 32

View Subplan Disclaimers.

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete 32 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  3. Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses.  If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated.  The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  4. A student may register for a course only two times.  A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  5. If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  6. Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  7. Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor.  The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee, if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment.  The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, Program Director, appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  8. The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the Program Director will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College.  At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee.  However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval.  Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at:  http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/facstaff/status.html.
  9. Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the Program Director when this is completed.  More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  10. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two School of Nursing members.  In addition, a third member from outside the School of Nursing, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed.  An additional committee member may be added at the student or School of Nursing’s discretion.  Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  11. Continuously register for three semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  12. Once admitted, students will need to continue to take a minimum of three credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation.  A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  13. The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials.  This is a project completed over at least three semesters in the program.
  14. Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies for UNLV School of Nursing and are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College. 

Subplan 4 Requirements: BSN to DNP Nurse Executive Track (ON HOLD)


Total Credits Required: 60

View Subplan Disclaimer.

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete 60 credits with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  3. Receive a grade of “B” (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses.  If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2.7) is earned, the course must be repeated.  The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  4. A student may register for a course only two times.  A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  5. If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  6. Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  7. Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor.  The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee, if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment.  The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, Program Director, appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  8. The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study.  In addition, the Program Director will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College.  At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee.  However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval.  Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/facstaff/status.html.
  9. Students will select a chair for their DNP Project committee in the first semester and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the Program Director when this is completed.  More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  10. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members.  In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the graduate College Representative, must be appointed.  An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  11. Continuously register for three semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  12. Once admitted, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation.  A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  13. The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP essentials.  This is a project completed over at least 3 semesters in the program. 
  14. Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies for UNLV School of Nursing and are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College.

Subplan 5 Requirements: BSN to DNP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track (ON HOLD)


Total Credits Required: 68

View Subplan Disclaimer.

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete 68 credits with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3. 00.
  2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3. 00 or above each semester enrolled.
  3. Receive a grade of “B” (3. 00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a “B”, for example a B- (2. 7) is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time.
  4. A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than “B” is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  5. If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grade less than “B” in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
  6. Complete a minimum of six (6) semester hours in each calendar year.
  7. Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an advisor. The advisor (and later the Advisory Committee including the chair of the Advisory committee if in place) will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester of enrollment. The degree program requires the approvals of the student, advisor, and the DNP Coordinator, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.
  8. The Advisor monitors the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the DNP Coordinator will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. At any given time, the student can request a change of advisor or chair of Advisory Committee. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as his or her advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that his or her chosen advisor or chair has current graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at:  http://graduatecollege.unlv.edu/facstaff/status.html.
  9. Students will select a chair for their  DNP Project committee in the first semester and be required to file the Committee Appointment Form with the DNP coordinator when this is completed. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  10. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least two departmental members. In addition, a third member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  11. Continuously register for three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  12. Once admitted to the DNP program, students will need to continue to take a minimum of 3 credits per semester for both fall and spring semesters to maintain their place in the program until graduation. A leave of absence may be requested by students.
  13. The DNP Project is a culmination project based on guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. This is a project completed over three semesters in the program.
  14. Students in the DNP program are required to abide by the policies for UNLV School of Nursing. Students in the DNP program are also required to abide by the policies of the UNLV Graduate College.

Plan Graduation Requirements


Submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her DNP Project by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public. The student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their project to the Graduate College for format check. Once the project format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for project defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

Plan Disclaimers


Subplan 1: Post-Master’s Advanced Practice Track: This program does not result in licensure and certification.

Subplan 2: In Nevada, the educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification for the BSN to DNP Advanced Practice Track (DNP) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) are an active Nevada RN License, National Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and graduation from a nationally accredited Nursing Program with a minimum of 500+ hours of direct patient care. The DNP track is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). UNLV School of Nursing has not made a determination with respect to the licensure requirements in any other state.  As such, DNP Advanced Practice Family Nurse Practitioner may not be authorized in any other state in which the prospective or enrolled student resides. If you reside in a state other than Nevada where licensure requirements are still unclear, UNLV will refund the applicable application fee in accordance with its procedures. License requirements for other states are being explored.

Subplan 3: Post-Master’s Nurse Executive Track: This program does not result in licensure and certification.

Subplan 4: BSN to DNP Nurse Executive Track: This program does not result in licensure and certification.