Creighton University College of Nursing offers a program of study in nursing leading to the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with specialty tracks in Advanced Practice Nursing (Nurse Practitioner), and Clinical Systems Administration (CSA). The DNP program provides graduate education in a learning environment where ethical leadership, creative problem resolution, service to diverse populations, interprofessional collaboration, and commitment to performance excellence are hallmarks within the Health Sciences schools as well as the Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Heider College of Business  and the graduate program in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. DNP students will complete core, role support, and specialty courses in advanced practice nursing or clinical systems administration. The program's emphasis is on preparing local, regional, national and international nurse leaders who use their expertise in providing quality care in increasingly complex environments.

The Doctor of Nursing Program at Creighton University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

There are two pathways leading to the DNP.

BSN-DNP Option

A post-baccalaureate option exists for students who have successfully completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a college or university accredited by the  Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education on Nursing (ACEN). The number of credit hours for the post-baccalaureate to doctoral degree ranges from 66-75 credit hours. The required credit hours for graduation are commensurate with the student’s chosen role option. Full and part-time plans of study are available for all options. Detailed Programs of Study are available for review.

Post Graduate to DNP Option

 A  post-graduate to DNP  option exists for students who have completed a Master's of Science degree with a major in nursing from a college or university accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education on Nursing (ACEN). 

The Post-Graduate to DNP  program is designed for current APRN nurses, as well as those with an MSN in Administration, who are prepared at the graduate level and are wanting to earn their DNP degree. Applicants who are MSN prepared, but are not currently an APRN or have an MSN in Administration, will need to complete a BSN to DNP curriculum in order to complete all required course content for a Nurse Practitioner track.

The number of credit hours for the post-master’s to doctoral degree ranges from 28-36 credit hours. A change in certification will result in increased credit hours required. The required credit hours for graduation are commensurate with the student’s chosen role option. The full and part-time plans of study are available for all options. Detailed Programs of Study are available for review.

DNP Program Objectives

The DNP program is designed to prepare nurses who:

  1. Integrate nursing science with theories and knowledge from interdisciplinary sciences to advance the health of people and quality of clinical practices.
  2. Provide leadership in the analysis of health care delivery systems and clinical practices, and the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of strategies for creating and sustaining continuous improvement.
  3. Apply information technology and decision support systems to analyze, evaluate, and improve structure, processes, and outcomes in health care.
  4. Engage in policy analysis, formulation, implementation, and advocacy activities to improve health care locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  5. Apply communication, collaborative, and dispute resolution skills and techniques to maximize team performance in analyzing and resolving complex issues.
  6. Apply appropriate methods and models in partnership with families, individuals, groups, communities, and providers to improve health and address gaps in population-based healthcare.
  7. Employ a systematic process of moral reasoning and values-based dialogue to address, prevent, and resolve ethical dilemmas and situations.
  8. Engage in the generation, translation, application, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence to administrative and/or clinical practices.
  9. Integrate advanced and specialized knowledge and skills when implementing practice roles in clinical care delivery or management of care delivery systems.

DNP Admission Requirements

Admission into the DNP Program is based on academic acceptance by the College of Nursing. Academic acceptance is based on meeting the following requirements:

Post-Baccalaureate Applicants

  1. A completed application form, together with a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
  2. A Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing from a college or university accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)  .
  3. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale, or a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0.
  4. Three recommendations from persons able to evaluate the applicant’s current and potential competency in advanced nursing practice, academic potential, leadership skills, and potential for leadership in the profession. One reference should come from a nursing employer or supervisor. Baccalaureate nursing students applying during their last undergraduate semester will be required to provide a reference from their most recent clinical instructor and/or preceptor.
  5. An official transcript of all previous academic work at the collegiate level. Applicants must assume the responsibility of requesting the registrar of each institution previously attended to mail or e-mail an official transcript directly to Creighton University Enrollment Services Department.
  6. A current active unencumbered registered nursing (RN) license to practice in the United States.
  7. A current resume/curriculum vitae that provides evidence of leadership or service experiences.
  8. A personal essay that includes a narrative response to the following items (500 words per item allowed):
    1. The applicant’s educational and professional goals, both short term and long term, and how earning the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will aid in reaching those goals.
    2. One example of a practice problem encountered by the applicant and a description of the applicant’s role in effecting change to alleviate or correct the problem.

Academic Acceptance for Post-Graduate Applicants

Academic acceptance by the College of Nursing is based on the applicant’s meeting the following requirements. Academic acceptance is based on meeting the following requirements:

  1. A completed application form, together with a $50 nonrefundable fee.

  2. A Master of Science in Nursing or Master’s of Science degree with a major in nursing from a college or university accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)  . The applicant must have earned a cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.0.

  3. Three recommendations from persons able to evaluate the applicant’s current and potential competency in advanced nursing practice at the doctoral level, academic potential, leadership skills, and potential for leadership in the profession. One reference should come from a nursing employer or supervisor.

  4. An official transcript of all previous academic work at the collegiate level. Applicants request that the registrar of each institution previously attended to mail or e-mail  an official transcript directly to the Creighton University Enrollment Services Department.

  5. A current active unencumbered registered nursing (RN) license and, if applicable, a current and active unencumbered license to practice as an advanced practice nurse in the United States

  6. Evidence of current national certification as an advanced practice nurse, if applicable.

  7. A current resume/curriculum vitae that provides evidence of leadership, practice, and service experiences, such as a holding a management position.

  8. A personal essay that includes a narrative response to the following items (500 words per item allowed):

    1. The applicant’s educational and professional goals, both short term and long term, and how earning the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will aid in reaching those goals.

    2. One example of a practice problem encountered by the applicant and a description of the applicant’s role in effecting change to alleviate or correct the problem.

    3. A discussion of the applicant’s focused area of interest for the capstone evidence-based quality improvement project and a description of one outcome the applicant would like to address with the project.

    9.   V​erification of the clinical/practicum hours completed in your master’s/certificate program in one of the following ways:

           a. The clinical/practicum hours completed in the master’s program are clearly identified on the transcript

           b. Syllabi for the clinical/practicum courses are submitted and the clinical/practicum hours are identified

           c. A letter from an official from the institution where the master’s degree was granted verifying the clinical/practicum hours

This University is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant international students. Ability to speak and write correct grammatical English is imperative. All applicants who are not native speakers of English or who have obtained a high school diploma or degree outside of the United States must present a TOEFL iBT score of at least 100. Scores over 2 years old will not be accepted. Students must ask the ETS (the testing agency) to send original TOEFL scores to Creighton University (institutional code 6121). The College of Nursing reserves the right to require students to re-take the exam. It is also at the discretion of the College of Nursing as to whether a TOEFL score is required of applicants who have earned a college degree from a United States university. Eligible students who have not attained the minimum TOEFL iBT score, may be conditionally admitted to Creighton provided that they enroll in Creighton University’s Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) until they obtain the required English proficiency level for admission.

All admission materials must be sent directly to the Creighton university Enrollment Services Department. Questions concerning admission materials can be addressed by contacting the College of Nursing’s Admission Counselor at 402.280.2067.

Upon academic acceptance into the College of Nursing, students must meet certain Conditions of Enrollment. Conditions of Enrollment include:

  1. Completion of required immunizations for all Creighton University Health Sciences students.
  2. An unencumbered registered nurse (RN) licensure to practice nursing.
  3. Completion of a background investigation.
  4. Completion of drug screening.
  5. Current certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for health professionals.
  6. Verification of physical examination attestation form.
  7. Validation of ability to meet the cognitive, affective and psychomotor requirements (Safety and Technical Standards).
  8. A minimum of 2000 hours of employment in a direct care setting prior to enrollment in the course NUR 694 Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan and the corresponding health assessment practicums. A minimum of 4000 hours of employment in the care of critically ill newborns/infants prior to enrolling in NUR 615 Advanced Neonatal Assessment/NUR 616 is required (Post-baccalaureate student). A minimum of 2000 hours of direct care in pediatrics prior to enrolling in practicum courses for those entering a pediatric track.
  9. Successful completion of undergraduate course in statistics prior to enrollment in NUR 683 Statistics and Data Analysis for Evidence-Based Nursing Practice (Post-baccalaureate student).
  10. Successful completion of an undergraduate course or its equivalent in Physical Assessment prior to enrolling in NUR 694 Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan and its corresponding health assessment practicums or NUR 615 Advanced Neonatal Assessment/NUR 616 (Post-baccalaureate student).

DNP Degree Requirements

The post-baccalaureate and post-graduate pathways leading to the DNP include a sequence of courses in three (3) major areas: core courses, role core and/or support courses, and advanced specialty role courses. Core courses include learning experiences in statistics, data analysis, research process and utilization, evidence-based practice, ethics, policy, and care management as well as negotiation and dispute resolution.

Role core and/or support courses provide students with a foundation in advanced health assessment across the lifespan and diagnostics, advanced pharmacology across the lifespan, advanced pathophysiology across the lifespan as well as advanced concepts in finance and health care and conflict resolution. Students selecting the clinical systems administrator role option will enroll in business courses related to finance and economics.

Specialty and role courses provide students both classroom and practicum opportunities in the student’s specialized role option.

Please note that the number of credit hours in each area is commensurate with the role option and whether the student is enrolled in the post-baccalaureate or post-master’s program.

Both post-baccalaureate and post-graduate students in the DNP program are required to complete a scholarly project demonstrating synthesis of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired in the core, role support and role specialty courses. The project documents achievement of the program objectives. The project requires that students collaborate with scholars from nursing and other disciplines to design, manage, and evaluate clinical practices and organizational systems. The types of scholarly projects include: quality improvement projects, program development and evaluation, evaluation of new practice models, guidelines, or innovation, and/or participating in faculty research.

Additional courses in cardiovascular, and oncology are available for students enrolled in selected nurse practitioner role options. Courses in curriculum, instruction, and educational evaluation are available to all students regardless of their chosen option.

DNP Program Options:

Nurse Practitioner:

Post-Graduate to DNP Option

Dual Degree programs