James Madison University

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


Admission to the DNP Program

Online application information

Criteria for DNP Program entry with MSN degree:


  1. Official Transcripts.  Applicants must submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants must have completed a Master’s Degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited institution. A minimum of 3.2 GPA for graduate work is preferred.
  2. Registered Nurse Licensure. An unencumbered Registered Nurse license must be presented in the state where you plan to do your clinical practica.
  3. Advanced Specialty Certification. For Nurse Administrator  applicants, national certification is desired but not required. Other applicants should have the APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) designation in their home states and national board certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nurse Leader, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in their areas of specialty (as appropriate).  Applicants without national certification will be individually evaluated but must submit evidence of their specialty expertise.
  4. Hold current CPR and health records
  5. Meet the School’s technical standards for admission.
  6. Letters of Recommendation. Strong professional references from three persons are required: one (1) academic reference, one (1) from a current clinical supervisor, and a third reference either academic or clinical. Reference should be current, from within the last two (2) years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to select a doctorally prepared nurse as one of the three recommenders.
  7. Curriculum vitae or resume.
  8. Statement of Professional Goals:

    INSTRUCTIONS: On separate paper, answer the following questions. Each question should be answered in no more than 250 words. Scholarly writing will be assessed and content will be used in the overall evaluation of your responses.
    1. What are your professional goals?  How will a DNP degree from James Madison University help you attain your professional goals?
    2. Describe your current advanced practice role, or if you are pursuing a new specialty, explain what you are planning to do with your nursing career in your specialty after you complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
    3. In addition to the information contained in your resume, what strengths do you possess that would contribute to your success in James Madison University’s  DNP program and in a community of interprofessional scholars?  What  areas do you see that may be a challenge for you?
    4. Identify the area of  scholarly inquiry focus from your practice that you plan to explore as part of the DNP program (e.g., quality improvement initiative, evidence-based practice guidelines, new model of care, policy analysis). Provide details such as the problem or question you seek to study more about and answer through doctoral study.  (500 words)
    5. Describe the clinical agency/organization in which you would like to pursue your scholarly activity, providing the name and address of the site. Include your rationale for selecting this setting.
  9. Interview. After the initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.
  10. Technology  Requirements. James Madison University School of Nursing considers the Internet communication link an essential learning resource for doctoral students. DNP students will be required to have a home computer, printer and Internet service provider that has high speed broadband Internet access and webcam technology.
  11. For international students, provide evidence of passing grade on CGFNS exam (both parts) or IELFS score of at least 7.0, apply for VA RN license (TOEFL 570 required). Contact program director for more information.