2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

Post-Master's DNP (MSN to DNP)

The TCU Nursing Post-Master's DNP is a completely online practice doctorate designed to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice.

A master's degree from an accredited program and current recognition as an advanced practice registered nurse by appropriate certification and licensing boards is required for admission to the advanced practice track. All students are required to maintain their advance practice recognition through practice requirements defined by appropriate certification and licensing boards during the program.

For direct matriculation into the DNP nursing administration track, a master's degree in nursing administration, current registered nurse license and employment in an administrative role are required. Administrative certification is preferred.

If the applicant does not hold a master’s degree in either advanced practice or nursing administration, then 20 hours for the Clinical Nurse Specialist role or 18 hours for the Nursing Administration and Leadership role are offered as a post-master’s certificate, which allows matriculation into the DNP program.

The post-master’s DNP degree may be completed in two years (24 months) at minimum. The first year is typically composed of didactic courses. The second year focuses on fulfillment of practice and final project requirements. Additional courses are also available to help prepare students for teaching in academia. Part-time study is available.

Admission Requirements

Students will be selected based on the evaluation of a portfolio of evidence to include the following:

  • Completed on-line application.
  • Master's degree with focus in specialty nursing or nursing administration and a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Receipt of one official transcript from all universities and colleges attended.
  • Unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States.
  • For advanced practice roles:
    • Current recognition as advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) by state Board of Nursing in a state where the role is recognized.
  • For nurse administrators:
    • National certification in administration preferred.
    • Additional coursework will be required if the master's degree is not in nursing.
  • Resume or curriculum vita.
  • Three professional references (should be from a supervisor, previous faculty or other professional reference).
  • Satisfactory completion of in-person interview.
  • An essay (up to 500 words) addressing 1) specific personal, academic and/or professional strengths or accomplishments and how these qualify you as a strong candidate for the DNP program; 2) your interest in a clinical doctorate and how the program goals will help you achieve your goals; and 3) an overview of your proposed area of interest for your final capstone project. The essay is to be double spaced with one-inch margins, Times New Roman 12 font and a maximum of two pages.

All submitted materials become the property of TCU.

Acceptable results from a drug screening test and a criminal background check within the 30 days prior to beginning practicum coursework. Screening tests and background checks must be completed by TCU Nursing approved vendors.

If accepted, a $250 non-refundable deposit is due with the Intent to Enroll to hold your position. Once enrolled, the $250 deposit will be applied to your student account.

Due to higher education regulations and the complexity of rules and regulations of some states, TCU is currently unable to accept new applications for admissions to our distance education programs and courses from students living in Massachusetts. TCU is also unable to allow for credit field experiences, including internships, clinical, and practicums to take place in this state. We regret this restriction as it is our goal to offer a quality education to students everywhere. Please visit our website for an interactive map showing state authorization, http://www.cte.tcu.edu/distance-learning/distance-learning-state-authorization/.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit hours are not used to satisfy degree requirements and are not used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.


Pass/no-credit courses are disregarded in the calculation of the student's GPA.

Post-Master's DNP Degree Requirements

The post-master's DNP degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework for completion. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Minimum coursework requirements are:


NDNP 86612Foundations of Scholarly Inquiry


NDNP 81113Complexity and Innovation in Healthcare


NDNP 81123Biostatistics for the Advanced Health Practitioner


NDNP 81233Decision Science and Informatics


NDNP 81243Translational Research


NDNP 81353Health Care Policy and Politics


NDNP 81363Emerging Sciences for Advanced Practice


NDNP 88062DNP Project I


NDNP 88072DNP Project II


NDNP 88182DNP Project III


NDNP 82272Advanced Practicum I


NDNP 82282Advanced Practicum II


A student must complete the DNP degree within five academic years from the semester they first began coursework. Extension of time must be applied for in writing to the Division Director of Graduate Nursing, who will then make a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Nursing. The letter should explain why the degree was not completed within the time limit and should present a schedule for completing the program. Additional courses may be assigned to students who do not complete the degree within the time limit.

Academic Standards

Students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in accordance with provisions described under "Academic Warning." All grades are included in the computation of the GPA, but no more than one grade of "C" or lower may be utilized in satisfying degree requirements. Students who achieve a GPA of less than 3.0 in any semester or term will be placed on academic warning. Students can be removed from that status by achieving a 3.0 cumulative average by the end of the next six hours of enrollment. If a student should fail to do so, further enrollment will be granted only by the special recommendation of the Division Director of Graduate Nursing and with permission of the Associate Dean for Nursing and Dean of the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

An "I" (incomplete) grade is recorded when the student and instructor have determined that the work required for a course cannot be completed within the term of enrollment due to circumstances beyond the student's control. Under no circumstances will a grade of "I" be given to avoid earning an "F" for the course.

The "I" grade must be removed within the first 60 days of the regular semester immediately following or it is changed to an "F." Any extension of this time must have written approval of the instructor and the Associate Dean for Nursing.

Until the "I" grade is removed, progression in the program will be at the discretion of the Division Director of Graduate Nursing.

The practicum and project must be completed within two academic years.

Grade Point Average

Two GPAs are maintained by TCU:

A semester average based on courses taken at TCU during a particular term; and a cumulative average based on all work attempted at TCU.

A student's GPA is computed by dividing the number of grade points (grade points earned per semester hour for the successful completion of academic work) by the number of hours (total credit hours attempted at TCU, excluding those attempted on a pass/no- credit basis).