Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

DNP Program General Information

The DNP Program at the UConn School of Nursing is a terminal degree program with two points of entry. The BS-DNP option is designed for applicants who currently hold a BSN and are interested in acquiring an MS degree and advanced practice certification en route to their DNP. The post-MS program is designed for applicants who already hold an MS in nursing and an advanced practice certificate (either APRN or NEA-BC). Please see Plans off Study as appropriate below.The post-MS level program (only) is delivered primarily online, with intensive format courses required on campus in August and in January.

DNP – A Leadership Program of Innovation

The University of Connecticut’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, the first DNP program in Connecticut, is designed to serve nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse leaders, midwives, nurse anesthetists, and administrators who are interested in a doctoral program focused on practice and leadership . The program prepares nurses at the professional doctoral level with courses focused on adding the highest degree of professional expertise in eight essential areas specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN). Students have the opportunity to specialize in their area of scholarly interest. AACN has called for implementation of the DNP program as entry into advanced practice nursing in schools of nursing throughout the U.S. in the future and UConn’s School of Nursing is pleased to be well-positioned to prepare the next generation of doctorally-prepared nurse leaders.

The program is headed by Dr. Joy Elwell, a DNP graduate of Rush University, Chicago IL, and a leader in DNP education in the United States.

Program Objectives

BS-DNP and Post Master’s DNP

The DNP program will:

Develop and evaluate new practice approaches based on theories from nursing and other related disciplines.

Provide graduates with a foundation of scientific and ethical knowledge that will promote competency at the advanced practice nurse level in areas of clinical practice and administration.

Prepare graduates to participate in the development, implementation and dissemination of research that supports evidence-based practice.

Prepare advanced practice nurses competent in the use of information systems technology to influence outcomes through quality improvement processes.

Prepare graduates to work collaboratively on health care teams to enhance health promotion and risk reduction/illness prevention.

Prepare clinical scholars for leadership roles in the practice setting.

Mission and Purpose

The statement of mission for the University of Connecticut defines the institution as both the land-grant and the public research university of the State of Connecticut. As such, the potential range of university programs and activities is extremely broad. The mandate of the University is to be the center within the state for graduate and professional training, research, and public service. As a public university, the University of Connecticut must not only be responsive to the needs of society, but also be capable of anticipating such needs.

Within this context, the University has identified specific responsibilities associated with its mission. Among these is the concentration on the excellence of the graduate and advanced professional degree programs for which it has primary responsibilities in the public sector.These include doctoral degree programs in all fields.

The mission and goals of the School of Nursing mirror, complement, and enhance those of the University. The mission of the School of Nursing is to provide quality, public-university based nursing education at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education levels. The programs are designed to be responsive to the dynamic and changing health care needs of the people of the state, while using established nursing knowledge and creating and testing new nursing theory.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Connecticut is a Post-Masters DNP program. This DNP program provides a terminal degree in nursing practice for those currently engaged in advanced practice, offering an alternative to doctoral programs focused on the science of research. DNP-prepared advanced practice nurses focus on the science of clinical scholarship.

Notice to All International Students Applying to the BS-DNP or DNP Programs

This program is a part-time or full-time and online program. Pursuant to U.S. immigration regulations, the University of Connecticut may not sponsor F-1 and J-1 visas for the purpose of coming to the U.S. for enrollment in this program. International students may enroll in this program if they are currently in the U.S. in another visa status that permits foreign nationals to engage in school enrollment while meeting their primary visa objective.

Programs of Study

The School of Nursing offers entry into the DNP program for students holding a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.This option is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice for those who plan to have a career as a Nurse Practitioner or a Clinical Nurse Leader.


Admission Requirements


  • Application to the DNP Program via the Grad School online link (includes transcripts of all prior academic work).
  • Eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Connecticut.
  • A cumulative undergraduate minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Three reference letters that address the applicant’s level of commitment, leadership ability, clinical practice, professional involvement, and scholarly potential.
  • A personal statement addressing the candidate’s goals, accomplishments, clinical practice dissertation topic, commitment, leadership, practice, professional involvement, and timeframe for degree completion (FT or PT study).
  • Clear indication re: desired advanced practice specialization area: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner: Primary Care, Adult-Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner: Acute Care, or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.
  • Submission of any published works or scholarly papers.
  • A personal interview.

Our BS-DNP Program was approved by the Board of Regents on 11/02/2011.



Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner: Acute Care
Full-Time Plan of Study.pdf
Part-Time Plan of Study.pdf

Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner: Primary Care
Full-Time Plan of Study.pdf
Part-Time Plan of Study.pdf

Family Nurse Practitioner
Full-Time Plan of Study.pdf
Part-Time Plan of Study.pdf

Neonatal Acute Care: Nurse Practitioner
Spring Admit Plan of Study.pdf
Summer Admit Plan of Study.pdf
Fall Admit Plan of Study.pdf
Post-MS NNP and DNP Plan of Study.pdf

Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, the first program in Connecticut, is designed to serve nurse practitioners, Clinical nurse leaders, clinical nurse specialists, midwives, nurse anesthetists, and administrators who prefer a practice-focused doctorate. The program prepares practitioners at the professional doctoral level with courses focused on adding the highest degree of professional expertise in eight essential areas specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN). Students have the opportunity to specialize in their area of scholarly interest.


Admission Requirements

Post Master’s DNP

Graduate School regulations and policies will govern admission to this program. These regulations require:

  • An earned masters degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Current licensure as a registered professional nurse.
  • Master’s degree level certification required in the applicant’s area of specialty. (APRN, CNE, CLN, CNS, or Nurse Executive Advanced)
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all courses of record. Alternatively, a student may present a grade point average greater than 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate study coupled with other evidence of competence and accomplishment, particularly during their masters program. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may present an exceptionally strong grade point average for the most recent year’s study, along with compelling evidence of potential for success.
  • A personal statement from the applicant addressing his or her reasons for applying and his or her plans for the future.
  • A personal Statement (reason for pursuing advanced practice nursing, reason for selecting the specialty track, and goals upon graduation)
  • Three letters of reference from faculty or others who can address the candidate’s potential for success in the graduate program.
    Reference Form for Graduate Student Applicants.pdf
  • If not a native speaker of English, a TOEFL score of 550 or better. If the applicant is to hold a teaching assistantship, he or she must also present a Test of Spoken English (TSE) score of 50 or better.

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the following additional criteria will be used to evaluate students:

  • Evidence of demonstrated competence in the discipline, including but not limited to undergraduate and graduate research experience or clinical experience.
  • Personal interview by a potential graduate advisor, whenever possible.


Post Master’s DNP

Post Master’s Plan of Study



Application Process

BS-DNP and Post Master’s DNP

UConn Graduate School Online Application

This is a web-based form. When you complete the information requested, you will be able to submit the form electronically and will be prompted to return to this page. In addition to the information requested on the form, submit evidence of your current professional RN license, your current CV or resume, and copies of scholarly papers/publications.

The DNP Program is located at:

University of Connecticut School of Nursing
231 Glenbrook Rd
Storrs, CT 06269-2026

Campus Map

For more information:

Associate Clinical Professor
Director, DNP Program
University of Connecticut School of Nursing
231 Glenbrook Rd. U-4026
Storrs, CT 06269-2026

P: (860) 486-3240

Drop us a line: