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 UAA School of Nursing DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

There are two pathways for the DNP degree.

  • The post-baccalaureate DNP pathway is for registered nurses who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Students will develop advanced practice primary care skills for individuals across the life-span as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH-NP). In addition, they will expand their knowledge and skills to interpret research, apply best practices, and incorporate clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence health care systems and policy. In fall 2019, the post-baccalaureate DNP pathway will replace the current master's degree nurse practitioner options (FNP and PMH-NP). Contact a DNP advisor for details.
  • The post-masters DNP pathway is for individuals who are master’s prepared Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and are certified nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), or certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Since students in this pathway are already educated in a population focused advanced practice role, the program is designed to expand their knowledge and skills to interpret research, apply best practices, and incorporate clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence health care systems and policy.

Part-Time/Full-Time Study

The post-baccalaureate DNP pathway is designed to be completed in 4 years (12 trimesters) of part-time study. The post-master’s DNP pathway is designed to be completed in two years (6 trimesters) of part-time study. Students who are not formally admitted will be allowed to register for up to 9-credits of core classes on a space-available basis and with instructor permission. For information on full-time options, please contact the School of Nursing DNP advisor.

Scheduling of Courses

Non-clinical graduate nursing courses are offered online. Online courses may be synchronous (entire class participating at the same time) or asynchronous. Clinical courses require short time blocks on the UAA campus. It is possible for students who reside outside of Anchorage to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue graduate study at UAA. 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.

School of Nursing Admission Deadlines 

Information on admission deadlines can be found on the SON website. The post Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program reviews all candidates once application is complete.  All applicants may take up to 9 credits of core courses, on a space available basis and with faculty permission, while waiting for their application to be processed.

School of Nursing Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the post Master's DNP program the student must submit documentation of the following:

  • Earned graduate 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).
  • Registered professional nurse license in the state of Alaska. License must remain active and unencumbered while in the School of Nursing (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.
  • Active unencumbered APRN license. The license must remain active and unencumbered while in the SON graduate program.
  • Engaged in practice as an advanced practice registered nurse.
  • Meet with the faculty advisor and have an 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 (see SON website for advisor contact information).

School of Nursing Admission Process

The UAA School of Nursing application process can be found on the SON website.

Additional School of Nursing Requirements

Once accepted to the Post Master's DNP program, students will receive instructions for submission of the following requirements*:

  • 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);
  • Results of a SON-sanctioned national-level criminal background check.

Footnotes *The above requirements may change based on the demands of clinical facilities. Please check with the SON for the most recent list of requirements.

Students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical sites. They are also responsible for their portion of the cost of audio conferencing. Students must have access to a personal computer and reasonable Internet connectivity. Prior to entry into the nursing program, students are expected to have graduate-level writing and American Psychological Association (APA) referencing skills, as well as basic computer and typing skills, for example:

  •  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 maintain continuous enrollment and 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 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.
  • Maintain continuous enrollment each trimester until degree is earned.
  • Earn a minimum 3.00 (B) in all required coursework.
  • Complete NSG A696A, NSG A696B and NSG A696C no later than three sequential semesters after completion of all other required coursework.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

Complete the following courses:
NSG A615Health Services Organization and Finance4
NSG A601AGenetics and Genomics in Advanced Pathophysiology1
NSG A610APharmacology for Primary Care: Special Topics1
NSG A613Advanced Practice Informatics *2
NSG A614Advanced Practice Ethics and Law *2
NSG A618AAdvanced Nursing Leadership *2
NSG A619AHealth Economics *2
NSG A628Practice Inquiry II: Design and Methods3
NSG A629Practice Inquiry III: Proposal Development2
NSG A634Epidemiology for Advanced Practice *2
NSG A683Clinical Immersion **3
NSG A684Clinical Concentration **4
NSG A696APractice Inquiry IV A: Capstone Project2
NSG A696BPractice Inquiry IV B: Capstone Project **2
NSG 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 (NSG A628, NSG A629, and NSG A696A, NSG A696B and NSG A696C) in sequential order. Students wishing to take NSG 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 NSG 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