Advanced Practice DNP This is a Track

College : Nursing Degree :DNP
Department : Nursing Option : N/A
Program Websites :


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses at the highest level of practice for the current health care environment based on a strong scientific foundation for practice; flexibility and emphasis on evidence-based practice, leadership, and organizational analysis; and analysis of the DNP Project.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the DNP program are to prepare graduates to:

  • Critically analyze complex clinical situations and practice systems.
  • Assume leadership roles in the development of clinical practice models, health policy and standards of care.
  • Develop practice models that support diagnostic reasoning skills and clinical judgement through the use of evidence based practice.
  • Analyze the social, economic, political, epidemiological and other scientific data to improve individual, aggregate and population health.
  • Demonstrate information fluency and advanced communication skills to lead quality improvement initiatives to improve patient care and health care systems.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive care models for populations and/or systems and disseminate findings.

Please note: This program may be completed online, although not all elective options or program prerequisites may be offered online. Newly admitted students choosing to complete this program exclusively via UCF online classes may enroll with a reduction in campus-based fees. See for more information.

International students (F or J visa) are required to enroll in a full-time course load of 9 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. Only 3 of the 9 credit hours may be taken in a completely online format. For a detailed listing of enrollment requirements for international students, please visit If you have questions, please consult International Affairs and Global Strategies at 407-823-2337.

UCF is not authorized to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. Refer to State Restrictions for current information.


For the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), total graduate credit must equal or exceed 72 credit hours. Students take 27 credit hours of core courses, 9 credit hours of electives, and 6 credit hours of a DNP Project. The total clinical hours (including those hours accrued in the MSN degree) will be 1000. The total clinical hours noted in this curriculum are based on an MSN total of 500 hours. Actual hours may vary depending on a review of MSN program hours demonstrated on entry into the program. The core courses have been carefully constructed to incorporate the AACN competencies for DNP graduates. Details about this program are located in the Nursing DNP Handbook.
Total Credit Hours Required:
72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Students will take course work that incorporates The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice [American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2006]. The Essentials address the following:

  1. Scientific underpinning for practice
  2. Organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement and systems thinking
  3. Clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice
  4. Information systems/technology and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of health care
  5. Health care policy for advocacy in health care
  6. Inter-professional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes
  7. Clinical prevention and population health for improving the nation’s health
  8. Advanced nursing practice

DNP Core Courses—27 Credit Hours

The DNP core courses serve to enhance the skill and science base of the graduate and strengthen the focus on evidence-based practice. Safety and efficiency in health care systems is addressed and organizational and policy implications are emphasized within the context of care delivery. An emphasis is placed on evidence-based practice, state-of-the-art interventions and information fluency.

  • NGR 6874 Nursing Environment Management (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7892 Healthcare Systems and Policy (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7673 Epidemiological Principles for APN (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7065 Advanced Clinical Management for APN (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7855C Evidenced-Based Practice Development for DNP (3 credit hours, 60 clinical hours)
  • NGR 7748L Advanced Clinical Practice Selective for APN (3 credit hours; 180 clinical hours)
  • NGR 7827 Concepts, Measurement, and Data Management (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7793 Leadership and Economics in APN (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7820 Innovative Technologies in Healthcare (3 credit hours)

Electives—9 Credit Hours

  • Electives (9 credit hours)

DNP Project—6 Credit Hours

The DNP Project is the product of the culminating or comprehensive experience of an independent project that demonstrates application of advanced clinical and evidence-based practice. The DNP Project is guided and evaluated by an academic committee and is derived from the practice immersion experience (residency). It will serve as a foundation for future scholarly practice.

  • NGR 7911C Doctoral Project I (3 credit hours; 60 clinical hours)
  • NGR 7912C Doctoral Project II (3 credit hours; 120 clinical hours)

The DNP Project is related to advanced nursing practice and benefits a group, population or community rather than an individual patient. It addresses identified needs and builds on an evidence base. DNP projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Translate research into practice and evaluate outcomes
  • Quality improvement (care processes, continuity of care, patient outcomes)
  • Implement and evaluate evidence-based practice guidelines
  • Analyze policy: develop, implement, evaluate, or revise policy
  • Design and use databases to retrieve information for decision making, planning, evaluation
  • Conduct financial analyses to compare care models and potential cost savings, etc.
  • Design and evaluate new models of care
  • Design and evaluate health promotion and disease prevention programs
  • Assess integration of technology in care

The theme that links these forms of scholarly experiences is the use of evidence to improve either practice or patient outcomes. Additional examples of DNP projects can be found on the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) website under Practice Doctorate Resource Center.

Progress to Degree

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Grades below B are not acceptable in the doctoral program in the College of Nursing.  Students who receive a grade of below B in any course are subject to dismissal from the DNP program and will be reviewed by the DNP Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee for continuation in the program.  Students who do not maintain a 3.0 GPA will be put on probation or dismissed from the program.

Graduation Requirements

  • All course work completed with a minimum grade of “B”
  • A satisfactory DNP Project
  • Clinical performance evaluated at a satisfactory level
  • A satisfactory public presentation of the DNP Project

Equipment Fee

Full-time students in the Nursing Practice DNP program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 each semester. 

Independent Learning

A DNP Project will be completed by all students in the DNP program. A scholarly project, derived from clinical practice, will be developed in depth with faculty supervision.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • MSN degree in an APN specialty role or a post-MSN certificate (NP, CNS, CRNA, CNM) from an accredited institution.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) licensure in the State of Florida required. (Out of state applicants must be eligible for licensure in Florida and must achieve ARNP licensure to begin clinical courses.)
  • Certification as an APN or ability to obtain it in the first semester of enrollment is required.
  • Documentation of the number of clinical hours completed during master's program. Acceptable documents are license exam application form or the attached.
  • A personal interview may be required with two members of the College of Nursing Doctoral Committee.
  • Address the following 3 items in a written essay. Total word count for all (not each) answers should be 500 words or less, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, and 1 inch margins:
    • Discuss the impact of the graduate nursing education in your desired track on the evolution of your professional role.
    • Describe the path you would take to ensure success in your graduate nursing education.
    • Identify one significant contemporary issue or problem in U.S. health care and explore how members of the nursing profession can help address that issue or solve that problem.   
  • Curriculum Vitae which reflects prior education, recent clinical accomplishments, any recent scholarly work (publications and presentations), awards, additional certifications, and activities with professional organizations.  For recent graduates this can include accomplishments as a student.
  • Documentation of the number of clinical hours completed during master's program. Acceptable documents are your license exam application form completion of the Verification of Clinical Hours Form   

Before submitting your application, it is recommended that applicants call the College of Nursing Graduate Office at 407-823-2744 to schedule an appointment with a DNP adviser to discuss your goals for doctoral study. It is advantageous to discuss the program before writing the required essay because the essay must address your goals for doctoral-level preparation for advanced nursing practice.

Admission to the program is competitive, based on evaluations of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, FDLE/FBI finger printing and certified background checks, and the match of UCF programs with the applicant's career goals. The College of Nursing accepts the most qualified students. Since enrollment is limited, not all students who apply may be accepted, even if minimum requirements are met.

Effective August 2017, the College of Nursing will be implementing a database, LEAP*RN (ProjectConcert) to manage information regarding student course work and plans of study, clinical placements, and all evaluation data. This database will assist us in maintaining standards required for CCNE accreditation, facilitate student progression, and enhance clinical tracking. All students will be responsible for an annual subscription of $77.40 payable directly to ProjectConcert. Holds will be placed on registration and enrollment if the subscription cost is not paid. Further information will be disseminated early in the summer.


Application Deadlines

Advanced Practice DNP *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants


Apr 30Sep 15


International Applicants



Jul 1


International Transfer Applicants



Sep 1


*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.