Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Science

Graduate studies at the doctoral level place primary emphasis upon advanced professional nursing practice, theory, research and leadership roles in advancing health care delivery systems and application of research into practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) represents the highest degree in nursing practice.

The post-master's-to-DNP program is available for those who currently hold an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license and who wish to expand their knowledge and skills to interpret research, apply best practices, and incorporate clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence health care policy. The Post-Master's DNP program at the UAA SON is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted. Contact a DNP advisor for more details. 

In fall 2019, the post-BS-to-DNP program will be offered, preparing nurse practitioners as family nurse practitioners (FNPs) and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMH-NP). This program will replace the current master's degree nurse practitioner options (FNP and PMH-NP). Contact a DNP advisor for details.

Part-Time/Full-Time Study

The post-master’s-to-DNP program is designed to be completed in four trimesters of full-time study or six trimesters of part-time study. Students who are not formally admitted will be allowed to register on a space-available basis and with instructor permission.

Scheduling of Courses

Graduate nursing courses are offered online. Some courses may require short time blocks on the UAA campus. Online courses may be synchronous (entire class participating at the same time) or asynchronous. Some courses will be offered in a condensed 7.5-week format. It is possible for students who reside outside of Anchorage to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue graduate study at UAA.  Also, all students will have the opportunity to take advantage of clinical learning opportunities throughout the state, in both urban and rural settings.

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Admissions Requirements for Graduate Degrees.

The following application submission deadlines are recommended to ensure full processing of application and transcripts:

  • June 15 for October 1 applicants
  • November 1 for March 1 applicants

School of Nursing Admission Deadlines 

The following School of Nursing (SON) application submission deadlines are required to ensure full processing of application:

  • December 1 for admission to the post-master's DNP degree.

School of Nursing Admission Requirements

The SON’s application must be submitted directly to the SON. Additional information and the application forms are on the SON website.

Post-master’s DNP in Nursing Science applicants must:

  1. Submit the SON application form.
  2. Turn in a resumé and personal statement (specific directions can be found in the application packet).
  3. Submit documentation of the following requirements:
    • Master’s degree in nursing from an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC).
    • Active unencumbered Alaska State APRN license. The license must remain active and unencumbered while in the SON graduate program. There are different reasons for a license to be encumbered and some may not preclude admission to the program. Students with encumbered licenses should meet with the graduate chair to determine program eligibility.
    • Engaged in practice as an advanced practice registered nurse.
    • SON advisor-approved plan of study based on a gap analysis. A gap analysis is a process of reviewing transcripts to determine if additional courses might be needed or if some courses can be waived. The gap analysis form can be found in the SON DNP Handbook.
  4. Provide three letters of professional recommendation (see form in application packet). Letters must be submitted directly to the SON from the person writing the reference. References may be contacted by a member of the admissions committee.
  5. Once the above material is submitted and it is determined the candidate meets minimum program requirements, an  interview will be scheduled. Accommodations will be made for distance students.
    • Interviews are scheduled for the first week in March.
    • Candidates should call the SON (786-4537) to schedule an interview.

Applicants who meet the above criteria are considered for program admission on a competitive basis. Meeting all admission criteria does not guarantee admission, nor does prior acceptance into graduate study status guarantee admission into the clinical specialty tracks. Special consideration may be given to candidates with clinical expertise, proficiency in other languages, knowledge of other cultures, and a proven record of professional contributions. This information should be documented in the resume portion of the application. To the extent that there are limited seats available in the program, preference may be given to residents of the state of Alaska as defined by the university’s policy on residency for tuition purposes.

Additional School of Nursing Requirements

All students enrolled in UAA nursing programs must provide:

  • Documentation of continuous current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults, infants, and children;
  •  Evidence of satisfactory health status, including immunity to chicken pox, rubella, rubeola, and hepatitis A and B (by titer),  documentation of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) immunization within the past 10 years, annual PPD skin test or health examination indicating freedom from active tuberculosis, documentation of an annual HIV test (results not required); and
  •  Results of a SON-sanctioned national-level criminal background check.

Students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical sites. In addition, all students are expected to have graduate-level writing and American Psychological Association (APA) referencing skills as well as basic computer and typing skills including:

  •  Word processing.
  •  Sending and receiving e-mail with attachments.
  •  Accessing and navigating the Internet/World Wide Web.
  •  Basic understanding of hardware, software and operating systems.

Academic Requirements

Students enrolled in the DNP program must remain in good standing with the SON. A detailed schematic of the SON good standing policy can be found in the SON DNP Handbook. Noncompliance with the good standing policy and academic progress expectations will result in probation and possible dismissal from the program. In order to remain in good standing students must:

  • Maintain professional and academic standards at all times.
  • Earn a minimum 3.00 (B) in all required coursework.
  • Complete ND A696A, ND A696B and ND A696C no later than three sequential semesters after completion of all other required coursework.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

Complete the following courses:
ND A601AGenetics and Genomics in Advanced Pathophysiology1
ND A610APharmacology for Primary Care: Special Topics1
ND A613Advanced Practice Informatics *2
ND A614Advanced Practice Ethics and Law *2
ND A615Health Services Organization and Finance *4
ND A618AAdvanced Nursing Leadership *2
ND A619AHealth Economics *2
ND A628Practice Inquiry II: Design and Methods3
ND A629Practice Inquiry III: Proposal Development2
ND A634Epidemiology for Advanced Practice *2
ND A683Clinical Immersion **3
ND A684Clinical Concentration **4
ND A696APractice Inquiry IV A: Capstone Project2
ND A696BPractice Inquiry IV B: Capstone Project **2
ND A696CPractice Inquiry IV C: Capstone Project2
Advisor-approved elective3
Total Credits37

 Core courses


The post-MS DNP program has a total of 37 credits. A student may petition to waive up to 7 credits based on an evaluation of their MS transcripts. A DNP requires 1,000 clinical hours; up to 700 hours may be waived based on documentation of supervised clinical hours earned in the master's degree program.

It is highly recommended that students complete the practice inquiry series (ND A628, ND A629, and ND A696A, ND A696B and ND A696C) in sequential order. Students wishing to take ND A696A earlier in the sequence may do so with instructor/advisor approval.

Capstone: Project Dissemination

The DNP program culminates in successful completion of a scholarly capstone project. The project must focus on an issue related to improving patient outcomes and it must demonstrate synthesis of the student’s coursework and clinical practice application.  Students who are unable to complete their capstone after completing ND A696C may be required to take additional coursework. Specific requirements for additional coursework will be determined by the graduate program chairperson, the DNP coordinator and the capstone project chair.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Science will be able to:

  • Demonstrate enhanced professional skills in advanced practice nursing using an ethical, evidence-based approach to promote healthy communities
  • Apply clinical inquiry using a culturally sensitive, evidence-based approach to adapt practice and change health outcomes
  • Act in expanded leadership roles to influence local, statewide and national health care policy and delivery systems serving unique, diverse and underserved populations