Doctor of Nursing Practice

Apply to our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has four tracks designed for big thinkers who are ready to lead and transform healthcare.

The executive leadership and advanced clinical tracks are both two-year programs, while the MBA or MHA to DNP transition track takes three years, and the MSN-DNP dual degree track takes four.

Distance-learning options are available to international and domestic students for all tracks.

Admission Criteria

You must possess an unencumbered RN license in your state of practice for all DNP tracks.

Post-MSN DNP tracks: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science degree in Nursing (MS in nursing or MSN) from a National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited program with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on 4.0 scale for both degrees.

MBA & MHA to DNP Transition Tracks: A Bachelor of Science of Nursing from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE accredited program, and earned an MBA or MHA from an AACSB or CEPH accredited program with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on 4.0 scale for both degrees.

MSN & DNP Dual Degree track: A Bachelor of Science of Nursing from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE accredited program with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on 4.0 scale.

Steps to apply

If you are interested in the DNP program, please contact Nikki Benbow, Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs at the IU School of Nursing, at 317-274-5119 or nholdcro@iu.edu to discuss your interest in the program and learn more about our tracks and the application process.

Prior completion of a 3 credit, graduate-level statistics course from an accredited four-year university with a grade of B- or better is required for admission to the Post-MSN DNP tracks, and the MBA or MHA to DNP Track. You do not have to meet the prerequisite to apply, but it must be completed prior to beginning the DNP program. If you wish to take NURS-R 505 at IUPUI, complete the Graduate Nursing Non-degree application:

  • Create account or login to existing one
  • Enter “Nursing” into search bar, and filter by campus, selecting IUPUI
  • Select the application for program Graduate Nursing Non-degree

There is a $70 fee associated with this application, but you may request a fee waiver coupon code from the Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs for the Non-Degree Application.

In order to apply to the DNP program, complete the Indiana University online graduate program application. The application for August 2023 admission to Post-MSN tracks will open on September 3, 2022. The application for January 2023 admission to MBA or MHA to DNP track opened on March 3, 2022.

  • Create account or login to existing one
  • Enter “Nursing” into search bar, and filter by campus, selecting IUPUI Select the correct DNP track application:
    • Nursing DNP: Post-MSN Executive Leadership track
    • Nursing DNP: Post MSN Advanced Clinical track
    • Nursing DNP: MBA or MHA to DNP track
  • Carefully read the Program Descriptions to see program start dates, application deadlines, and application materials required

There is a $70 fee associated with this application.

Applicants will submit the online DNP application and provide the following required supporting materials:

  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary coursework*
  • Three professional references indicating ability to succeed in DNP program, including at least one from a nurse faculty member who has knowledge of the applicant's academic ability. If you are unable to secure an education reference from a prior instructor, then three professional references are allowed.
  • The application includes six short essay questions in lieu of a personal statement. (Essay guidelines in next section.)
  • Current resume or CV
  • Copy of your current, unencumbered RN license and any certifications held
  • Post-MSN tracks only: Documentation of masters clinical hours completed. Applicant will provide the MSN Clinical Hours Verification form to the institution granting the Masters degree to verify total supervised practice hours from master’s degree program. For MSN degrees completed at IUPUI, we will have access to your official transcript and Plan of Study; you do not need to complete this form.

All qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a formal admission interview once the complete application packet is received.

*Submit official transcripts from each university and college attended outside of the Indiana University system. For coursework completed at Indiana University (any campus), we will have access to your official transcript - you do not need to send one.

To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to the IU School of Nursing by the issuing institution or their agent. We cannot accept transcripts that are marked “Issued to Student.” The issuing institution can send transcripts electronically to Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs (preferred method) or by mail to:

IUSON, Attn: Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs
600 Barnhill Drive, room NU 147
Indianapolis, IN 46202

The DNP Curriculum & Student Affairs Committee requires applicants to show evidence of the capacity for success in the DNP program by completing focused essays within the online application. Each essay should be 300 words or less, and is your opportunity to highlight your writing ability, and to convey how a DNP will enhance and support your career path.

The essays will ask you address the following topics:

  • Describe your career goals and how a Doctor of Nursing Practice relates to those goals
  • Describe the personal and professional changes you plan to make in order to be successful in the DNP program
  • Describe your past professional accomplishments, including professional memberships, teaching, quality improvement, scholarly presentations or experiences if applicable. How did these influence you to seek a DNP?
  • Describe your academic challenges and strengths
  • Describe the unique contributions you will bring to the DNP program (can be your skills, experiences, etc)
  • Describe any past and present roles in which you have served as a leader. What challenges did you face? How did those roles help you envision your future leadership goals?