Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Right for You?

The nursing industry is responsible for providing health care services to millions of people who have a right to quality treatment. Highly trained leaders and skilled practitioners are needed  to ensure these goals are met…and they are needed now more than ever.  With nursing shortages affecting many communities across the county, hospitals, clinics, nursing care facilities and academic centers (basically any workplace focused on patient care or education) are actively seeking individuals with doctorate degrees to provide advanced care and to become leaders within their organizations. The Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest form of education for nurses interested in advanced patient care.  DNP curriculum will prepare graduates  to implement new methods of treatment, prevent and control diseases, make adaptations to health policies, information systems, academic curricula and more. If serving your community through patient care, education, or administration is your goal, pursuing a DNP is a great well to set yourself up for success. See below for a list of featured DNP programs accepting students in Indiana or nationwide.

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...

  • Accredited by CCNE, the DNP program at Ball State University allows Advanced Practice Nurses to assume leadership positions in organizational and clinical settings. They are taught to evaluate research and translate it into practice. Extremely rare campus visits are required, but all courses are delivered in an online format. This is a part-time program that students complete in eight consecutive semesters, or two years. Seven years is the time limit for students to obtain the required semester credit hours. Classes begin annually in the Spring semester and the final deadline date for applications is June 1st.
  • The DNP program available through the Department of Advanced Practice Nursing at Indiana State University is accredited by ACEN. Qualified Nurse Practitioners are prepared to excel at a variety of leadership positions. Full-time and part-time study plans are available, and the curriculum is taught via online learning. The program consists of thirty nine semester credit hours that generally take students two years to complete. Submit your application at the earliest convenience as they are reviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is full.
  • A DNP program is offered by the School of Nursing at Indiana University. It is designed to train advanced practice nurses for leadership roles at the organizational and clinical levels, as well as in direct patient care. While the courses are delivered in a distance accessible format, there are limited campus intensives. Study plans are flexible for working professionals. Consisting of thirty seven semester credit hours, the program typically consists of two to three years of study. The final application deadline date is March 1st for admission into the Fall semester.
  • Purdue University has a DNP program available at their School of Nursing. Nurse Practitioners are provided with the skills and knowledge to become leaders of advanced practices. They choose careers in a multitude of specialized concentrations. There is a beneficial collaboration among various medical facilities that require onsite attendance for students. This is a two year program for full-time students. Those studying part-time will take approximately three years to complete the degree requirements. Please do not hesitate to contact the school directly and ask about their final deadline dates for applications.
  • The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana has a CCNE accredited DNP program available. Students become experts in advanced clinical care and leaders in innovative practices based on scientific findings. While many courses are offered online, traditional classroom attendance is also required. Part-time students complete the program in three years, while those studying full-time will obtain their degree in two years. January 15th is the final deadline for all applications to be completed and submitted.

Indiana DNP Checklist

With competition being so rife among students applying to these programs, it is advisable that you become familiar with the application process and admissions procedure of each school that interests you. There are strict requirements in place for prospective students to adhere to and a rich history of academic success is imperative. Several prerequisites must be met in order to be considered for admission. While there are bridge programs available that allow you to obtain your MSN during the course of the program, graduate education must still be completed with suitable grades before entry is permitted. We have compiled a list of exactly what you will need when applying to a DNP program in Indiana:

  • Write a short essay about your desire for a doctoral education. Describe your career objectives and highlight how the program will ensure your goals become reality.
  • A minimum overall Grade Point Average of 3.5 is expected. This is on a scale of 4.0 and some schools may be willing to consider those with a score of no less than 3.0.
  • All clinical hours worked as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner must be proven. Submit evidence of those experienced during graduate coursework as well.
  • You will need to be licensed as a registered Advanced Nurse that allows you to practice unhindered in Indiana.
  • It is of utmost importance that your completed BSN and MSN degrees were obtained through accredited programs.
  • All colleges and universities that you have attended must provide you with official transcripts.
  • A background check will be done by the school and you must also undergo a full medical check. You must be vaccinated against any diseases the school requires.
  • Working peers, academic authorities, employers, and physicians are good sources for the three recommendation letters you will need.
  • Scholarly papers must be submitted with your application as the school requires your creative written work.
  • Update your Curriculum Vita to include any voluntary undertakings, academic achievements and career experiences.
  • Make yourself available for a personal interview when the school requires your attendance.
  • Completed courses in research, nursing theory and statistics must have been undertaken in the last five years at the graduate level.

The qualifications obtained through this terminal degree allow graduates to make their own career choices. They choose the positions they most desire from multiple employment offers. All of them are fulfilling important roles in society within a few months of graduating, and they are paid extravagant salaries for their expertise. The skills gained at the doctoral level are in high demand and entire populations benefit immensely from their input into the nursing industry.