Application Requirements

Earn Your Doctor of Nursing Practice

Whether you are a current undergraduate nursing student or a recent graduate putting those skills to work, our Doctor of Nursing Practice program will help you raise your skill level and prepare you to influence health care outcomes. With a focus on innovation, data analytics, and leadership, you will learn best practices to contribute to public health. Building on our rich history of excellence in nursing education, Saint Mary’s College will help you elevate your career.

You may complete this program with a focus in one of three areas: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AG-ACNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care (AG-PCNP), or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). You will be eligible for licensure as a nurse practitioner with prescriptive authority in most states after completion of the DNP in any track. Additionally, with the completion of your track,you will be prepared to take a national exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to be certified as Board Certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC) or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC).

Who Should Apply

  • College senior nursing students, recent college graduates with a BSN, practicing registered nurses and military nursing personnel
  • Nurses who want to improve health care outcomes through data-informed decisions
  • Nurses interested in developing best practices for patient care


  • BSN from a nationally accredited (NLN or CCNE) college or university
  • A recent Statistics course

How to Strengthen Your Application

For those still in school

  • Complete the prerequisite courses and work to achieve the highest GPA you can.
  • Engage in leadership opportunities
  • Gain practical experience through clinical internships
  • Build relationships with your professors to secure letters of recommendation
  • Formulate clear goals for your nursing career that include graduate education

For those currently practicing

  • Brush-up on required courses including statistics
  • Continue developing your leadership skills
  • Reconnect with professors and former supervisors to secure letters of recommendation
  • Formulate clear goals for your nursing career that include graduate education

Application Requirements

  • A BSN degree from a nationally accredited (NLN or CCNE) college or university.
  • The most competitive candidates will have maintained at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in undergraduate coursework.
  • Submission of a completed NursingCAS application for the track you wish to pursue
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions
  • Unencumbered license or eligibility for RN licensure in the State where clinical course work hours will be completed
  • Substantive personal statement that reflects on the DNP role and your desire to pursue the specific track for which you are applying.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or other professionals - recommenders should be able to evaluate your clinical abilities, critical thinking skills, and potential for successfully completing graduate school.  Recommender must have acted in a supervisory capacity.  Recommendations from friends, relatives, or coworkers will not be accepted and will cause your application to be delayed or denied.
  • A current resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal interview(s) with faculty (if selected for one; teleconferencing options available)
  • For those applying to the AG-ACNP track, acute care work experience is required either prior to enrollment or within the first year of the program

Applications for the fall term open September 1. Saint Mary’s College uses the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS) application system.  You must complete the application form, submit the application fee for NursingCAS (no additional fee is collected by Saint Mary’s), and provide all supporting documents through the NursingCAS application system.  The application deadline is March 31.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Admission to the program is subject to all applicable authorizations from the state(s) in which the RN resides and practices.

As a result of state boards of nursing and the Department of Education regulations, we are not accepting applications for the DNP program at this time from students residing in and/or planning clinical work in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee