DNP Program

Admission to the DNP Program

Criteria for DNP Program entry with MSN degree:

  • Master’s degree in nursing (or other field) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • A minimum of 3.2 GPA for graduate work is preferred.
  • An unencumbered Registered Nurse license in the state where you plan to do clinical practica.
  • Undergraduate or graduate statistics course
  • Certification:
    • Nurse Administrator applicants-national certification is desired but not required.
    • APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) applicants with the following certifications: 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 (e.g. MSN in Nursing Education) will be individually evaluated and must submit evidence of their specialty expertise.
  • Current CPR and health records
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Interview. After the initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.
  • 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.
  • 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.

This program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please refer to the JMU Professional Licensure Program Status by Jurisdiction Index to determine if this JMU program meets the educational requirements specified by the associated licensing or certification agency in the state or territory in which you are located while enrolled. You can also determine if the program meets the educational requirements specified by the licensing boards in other states and territories. Requirements vary by state and are subject to change. The information provided is current as of the review date indicated in the table.

Criminal Background & Sexual Offender Checks

The JMU School of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs are graduate-level, clinical programs.  Based on Code of Virginia § 23.1-407.1 (, the James Madison University School of Nursing (SON) Program will not deny admission to any applicant solely on the basis of criminal history.  However, for any applicant who has been admitted, but not yet enrolled, the Graduate Programs may inquire about the applicant’s criminal history.  The Graduate Program may then withdraw an offer of admission to anyone whom James Madison University determines has a criminal history that poses a threat to the institution’s community. Therefore, for individuals admitted to the JMU SON Graduate Programs:

  • It is required that a criminal background and sexual offender check be completed. 
  • These must be completed prior to enrollment.  Additional checks may be required later in the Program, just prior to the start of fieldwork. 
  •  The student must comply with these additional checks in order to remain a student in good standing within the Program and before clinical placement can take place. 
  • The cost of these background checks will be the sole responsibility of the student. 

 It is imperative for prospective students to understand that depending on the information appearing on the criminal history record, it is possible that the student may not be able to participate in a clinical site practicum, which will prevent progression in the program.  Students may seek placement at alternative sites; however, it is possible that program completion would be in jeopardy if all fieldwork cannot be completed. 

The Two-Part Application Process

  1. Apply to The Graduate School
    • After completing the Graduate School application, download a screen shot of your application fee receipt and save it as a PDF file, then upload to NURSINGCAS as directed in the instructions outlined in step 2 (below)
  2. Apply to NURSINGCAS
    • Submit all required documents.
    • DO NOT submit these within the JMU Graduate School application.

Required Documents to be submitted in application process

  • Certification
  • CV/Resume
  • License
  • Personal Statement (APA Format, 500 words or less):
    1. Why you are choosing this particular program of study;
    2. Your plans upon completion of the doctoral degree; and,
    3. How your work and life experiences will enhance your success in this DNP Program.
  • References
  • 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. Reference contact information is entered in the CAS application system. An email request will automatically be sent to the referer on your behalf.