Are You Pursuing a Career in Advanced Practice Nursing?

In the nursing industry, the DNP degree is the highest qualification that can be obtained. Those that have pursued their education at this level are able to choose their own career.  A doctoral degree in nursing practice prepares graduates for positions of leadership.  They generally open their own practice and administer advanced patient care.  Many of them are faculty heads at universities and colleges, and they are all qualified to utilize scientific research to make improvements in the industry.  This is often in health care, policies, systems development and education.

Featured DNP Programs (RN Required)

Finding a DNP Program

There are many different DNP programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of DNP Programs...

  • The Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University has a DNP program that prepares nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists for leadership roles.  There is also an administration track.  This is an online program that requires very infrequent campus visits.  Part-time students will take two years to complete the program, but full-time students will finish in one calendar year.  To begin in June, submit applications prior to February 1st. To begin in January, ensure applications are submitted before September 1st.
  • The Capstone College of Nursing offers a joint DNP program with the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama in Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  Graduates will deliver specialty practice at the highest possible level and are also able to assume leadership roles in various aspects of health care. Courses are studied through distance learning.  Consisting of thirty four semester credits, the program is typically completed in two years of scheduled part-time study.  The program begins every Fall, and the final deadline date for applications is April 1st.
  • The CCNE accredited DNP program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham is offered through a partnership involving the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  The program builds upon nineteen advanced clinical practice specialties and prepares students for health care leadership positions.  This online program has options for flexible study plans.  It will take two years for those studying full-time to complete the program.  Part-time students finish in three years.  Please contact the school to obtain application deadline information.
  • The DNP program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is available through a consortium with the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  Students further their studies in preparation for advanced practice, improving health care systems, and education. Students study according to their own pre-approved schedule and courses are delivered online.  This program is thirty four semester credits in length.  Full-time students complete it in less than two years, while those studying part-time will finish in three years.  Applications for Spring admission close on November 1st of every year.  April 15th is the final deadline date for admission into the Fall semester.
  • Troy University offers a DNP program through their School of Nursing.  Graduates will be able to provide the most advanced level of care to patients throughout their communities.  All courses are delivered online and there are options available for part-time and full-time study.   A minimum of thirty five semester credits are required to complete this program.  This typically takes students two years to achieve.  The final deadline for applications is February 1st or until the cohort is full.
  • The DNP program at the University of South Alabama allows students to gain advanced expertise in a wide array of clinical practice specialties.  This completely online program is designed for working individuals.  There are flexible study options and the program is accredited by CCNE.   Although there is a five year time limit for students to complete their degree requirements, the average student is able to achieve this in about two years.  March 1st is the application deadline for admission into the Fall term.  August 1st is the final deadline for those wishing to begin in the Spring term.

Alabama DNP Checklist

In order to study for your doctorate degree you will need to have already specialized in an advanced concentration at the Master’s level.  If you do not yet have your MSN, then there are bridge programs that will allow you to complete it first.  There are pathways for entry for BSN and MSN graduates at these schools.  Please contact them to find out what you will need to apply.  Doctoral degrees are extremely competitive and schools insist on high achievements at the baccalaureate and graduate level.  This is what you will need when applying to a DNP program in Alabama:

  • You will need to make yourself available for an interview with the school.
  • Specific diseases will need to be vaccinated against.  Medical and background checks will occur.
  • The number of clinical hours worked during graduate coursework will need to be proven.
  • An example of your creative writing must be submitted.  Scholarly papers are accepted.
  • All certifications obtained as an Advanced Practice Nurse will need to be copied and submitted.
  • Three letters of recommendation will be required.  They will only be accepted if from authoritative faculty members, employers, or working colleagues.
  • Ensure that your resume is updated with all academic and professional accomplishments and experiences.
  • Provide a well written statement that explains why you are seeking a doctoral education.  Use your career objectives to describe how the program will benefit the community and your professional goals.
  • Statistics, healthcare assessment, and research courses will need to have been completed no less than five years ago – at the graduate level.
  • Each school attended since high school must submit official transcripts for you.
  • You must have attended an accredited institution for your completed Master’s degree.  3.0 is the minimum overall grade point average scores acceptable.
  • You must possess licensure to practice unrestricted in Alabama as a registered nurse.

Studying for a terminal degree such as a doctorate will ensure that you have the highest qualifications possible.  In addition to this, potential employers have a proven record of your academic and clinical dedication, guaranteeing gainful employment.  The job rate for DNP graduates is one hundred percent, and they are able to choose the job they most desire.  Not only are they earning the best salaries in the nursing industry; they are the ones making decisions that ensure advanced practice, health policies, information technology and nursing education is providing communities with optimal health care.