Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 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:

  • Provide advanced nursing care to improve patient and population health care outcomes in various direct and indirect settings.
  • Take leadership roles in the analysis, delivery and management of nursing care and health care systems.
  • Provide evidence-based practice through the application of analytical methods, information systems technology, and clinical research.
  • Collaborate with interprofessional teams to meet the healthcare needs of culturally and ethnically diverse individuals and populations.
  • 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 Plan 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.

Bachelor degrees must also be regionally accredited or approved equivalent.

A one-time, non-refundable deposit of $500 is required as a seat holding fee. This deposit will be credited towards tuition costs once admissions acceptance has been completed. This applies to any and all applicants to the DNP program regardless of subplan.   

  • Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (out of 4.0) earned in an accredited nursing program at the baccalaureate and/or master’s level. Students holding a baccalaureate in nursing and a master’s degree in a related field (e.g., MPH, MHA) from an accredited program will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • An unrestricted and unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the student’s state of residence.
  • Current curriculum vitae or detailed professional resumé.
  • Written statement of career and professional goals describing areas of interest in advanced practice or leadership roles, reasons for pursuing a DNP degree, past experiences and achievements in nursing practice, leadership, and scholarship; area of interest/possible DNP project ideas if any, and specific interest in the UNLV School of Nursing (500 word maximum).
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s capacity for academic excellence, potential contributions to the nursing profession, and commitment to completion of the DNP. At least one letter must be from a current or former supervisor.
  • All applicants must participate in 1-2 interviews with members of the DNP Admissions committee and/or other School of Nursing Faculty by either video conference or telephone.

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


 Total Credits Required: 37

View Plan Disclaimer

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  • Complete 37 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • 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.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) credits in each calendar year.
  • Continuously register for at least one to three (1-3) credits each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • Each student, upon admission, will be assigned a faculty mentor (also referred to as advisor/committee Chair).
  • The faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair), along with the student, will plan the student’s entire degree program of study and submit it to the Graduate College by the end of the first semester of enrollment. The degree program plan requires the approvals of the student, faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair), Program Director, appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean. The faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair) 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 faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair). However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure approval of an individual faculty member who agrees to serve as their faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair) before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that their chosen faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair) has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/graduate-faculty-status
  • Students will be assigned their faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair) for their DNP Project committee prior to the first semester. The student, along with the faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair), will identify and select the second and third members to their DNP project committee.
  • The student will be required to file the Committee Appointment Form through the Grad Rebel Gateway when this is completed, for administrative approval. More specific information about the DNP Project will be discussed in the courses it is embedded in the program.
  • In consultation with their faculty mentor (advisor/committee Chair), 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Post-Bachelor’s Family Nurse Practitioner


Total Credits Required: 69

View Plan Disclaimer

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  • Complete 69 credits with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • 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.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) credits in each calendar year. 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.
  • 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 their advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that their chosen advisor or chair has current full graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/graduate-faculty-status
  • 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.
  • In consultation with their 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.
  • Continuously register for three (3) credits each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • 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.
  • 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-Bachelor’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Not Active)


Total Credits Required: 69

View Plan Disclaimer

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  • Complete 69 credits with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3. 00.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3. 00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • 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.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) credits in each calendar year.
  • 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.
  • 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 their advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that their chosen advisor or chair has current graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/graduate-faculty-status
  • 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.
  • In consultation with their 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.
  • Continuously register for three (3) credits each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • 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 three semesters in the program.
  • 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 4 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (Not Active)


Total Credits Required: 92

View Plan Disclaimer

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  • Complete 92 credits with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3. 00 or above each semester enrolled.
  • 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- (2.70) 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.
  • Complete a minimum of six (6) credits in each calendar year.
  • 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.
  • 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 their advisor before changing the original advisor, subject to Graduate College approval. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that their chosen advisor or chair has current graduate faculty status at UNLV, which can be checked at: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/graduate-faculty-status
  • Students will be assigned a Faculty Mentor as their 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.
  • In consultation with their Mentor/Chair, a student will organize an advisory committee of a second member from the School of Nursing. 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.
  • Continuously register for three (3) credits each semester while working on a DNP Project.
  • 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 three semesters in the program.
  • 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


  • The student must submit and successfully defend their 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
  • Students may apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements. All required forms must be submitted to the graduate college via the Grad Rebel Gateway.

Plan Disclaimers


  • Subplan 1: Post-Master’s Advanced Practice: This program does not result in licensure and certification.
  • Subplan 2: Post-Bachelor’s Family Nurse Practitioner: In Nevada, the educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification for the Post-Bachelor’s Advanced Practice subplan (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 subplan 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, please contact GradNursingAdmissions@unlv.edu. License requirements for other states are being explored.