Nursing Practice (DNP) - MSN to DNP for Advanced Practice Nursing Roles

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

MSN to DNP for Advanced Practice Nursing Roles Pathway

DNP Core Courses
NU 607Scientif Underpinnings Adv Nsg3
NU 608EBP & Quality Improvement HCS3
NU 610Healthcare Policy & Finance3
NU 611Translat Evidence Practice Sys3
NU 612Clinical Prev Population Hlth3
NU 613Organizational & Sys Leadrshp3
NU 615Qual Improv & Outcomes Assmnt3
NU 616Data & Dec Mkng Healthcare Sys3
DNP Residency Courses
Select the DNP courses which match the MSN or Post-Graduate Concentration already completed:12
Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Geron Acute Care NP PP&D
AG ACNP Residency I
AG ACNP Residency II
AG ACNP Residency III
Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Geron Primary NP PP&D
Adult-Gero Primary Cr NP Res I
Adlt-Gero Primary Cr NP Res II
Adlt-Gero Prim Care NP Res III
Adult-Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist
Adult-Geron CNS PP&D
Adult-Geron CNS Residency I
Adult-Geron CNS Residency II
Adult-Geron CNS Residency III
Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) Option: A.) Family NP
Family NP (DR) PP&D
Family NP (DR) Residency I
FNP (DR) Residency II
FNP (DR) Residency III
Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) Option B.) Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP
AG/ACNP (DR) Residency I
AG-ACNP (DR) Residency II
AG-ACNP(DR) Residency III
Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)
Family/Emergency NP PP&D
Family/Emerg NP Residency I
Family/Emerg NP Residency II
Family/Emerg NP Residency III
Executive Nursing Administration
Executive Nsg Admin PP&D
Nurse Exec Admin Res I
Nurse Exec Admin Res II
Nurse Exec Admin Res III
Family Nurse Practitioner
Family NP PP&D
Family NP Residency I
Family NP Residency II
Family NP Residency III
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Neonatal NP PP&D
NNP Residency I
NNP Residency II
NNP Residency III
Nursing Informatics
Nursing Informatics PP&D
Nursing Informatic Residency I
NU Informatics Residency II
NU Informatics Residency III
Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Acute Care NP PP&D
Pediatric Acute Care NP Res I
Pediatric Acute Care NP Res II
Pediatric Acute Cre NP Res III
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Primary Care NP PP&D
Ped Prim Care NP Residency I
Ped Primary Care NP Res II
Ped Primary Care NP Res III
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
PMHNP Residency I
PMHNP Residency II
PMHNP Residency III
Public Health Administration
Public Health Admin PP&D
Public Health Residency I
Public Health Residency II
Public Health Residency III
Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
Women's Health NP PP&D
Women's Health NP Residency I
Women's Health NP Residency II
Women's Health NP Res III
Total Hours36


Students can earn a Post-Graduate Certificate Subspecialty when adding the requirements for any of the following subspecialties to their degree program curriculum.

Addictions Nursing

May be added to any concentration.

HSC 580OUD/SUD Prevention/Screening2
HSC 581OUD/SUD Assessment/Treatment2
HSC 582OUD/SUD Recovery/Sys Practice2
NU 510Addictions Practicum I1
NU 511Addictions Practicum II2
NU 512Addictions Practicum III2
NU 513Addictions Practicum IV (Elective)4
Total Hours15

Advanced Forensic Nursing

May be added to any concentration.

NU 500Explore Culture Sexual Assault2
NU 502Sexual Assault Vic Practicum1
NU 503Trauma Care Sexual Assault Vic2
NU 504Adv Pharm Care Post Assault2
NU 505Sup Care Comorbid Post Assault2
Total Hours9


May be added to Adult-Gerontological Acute NP, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care NP, Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP), and Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP), Family NP, Women’s Health NP, Post-Graduate Certificate Emergency NP, and any Adult- Gerontological CNS student with a strong background in cardiovascular and/or acute care nursing

AHN 630Dysrhythmias and the Heart2
AHN 631Foundations of Cardiac Care2
AHN 632Diag & Mgmnt of Acute CVD2
AHN 633Dig/Mgmt Complex CV Disorders2
Total Hours8

Clinical Lipidology

May be added to Adult-Gerontological Primary Care NP, Adult-Gerontological Acute NP, Adult-Gerontological CNS, Family NP, Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute NP), Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP), Women's Health NP, and Post-Graduate Certificate Emergency NP.

HSC 595Evidence Basd Lipid Practice2
HSC 596Adv Vascular Biology2
HSC 597Adv Pharm Complex Dyslipidemia2
HSC 598Diag/Mgt C-plex Dyslipidemia2
Total Hours8

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare

May be added to any concentration.

HSC 501Found of Diversity Healthcare2
HSC 502Diversity Equity & Inclusion2
HSC 503Curr Issues & Trends Diversity2
HSC 504Lead&Change Mang Adv Diversity2
Total Hours8

Emergency Nurse Practitioner

May be added to Family NP, Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP), or taken as a Post Graduate Certificate if already Family NP certified.

NU 570Emergency NP I2
NU 571Emergency NP Practicum I1-3
NU 572Emergency NP II2
NU 573Emergency NP Practicum II1-3
NU 574Emergency NP III2
NU 575Emergency NP Practicum III1-3
NU 576Emergency NP IV2
NU 577Emergency NP Practicum IV1-3
Total Hours12-20

Nurse Educator

May be added to any concentration.

NU 620Prin Teach/Learn/Assess Nu Ed3
NU 621Curr Design/Outcome Eval Nu Ed3
NU 622Current Topics in Nu Education2
NU 623Nsg Educ Synthesis Practicum3
Total Hours11

Palliative Care

May be added to any concentration.

AHN 530Found Palliative Care/Adv Role2
AHN 531Adv Palliative Cr/End of Life2
AHN 532Adv Chronic Illness Care2
AHN 533Adv Palliative Care Practicum3
Total Hours9

Trauma-Informed Integrated Behavioral Healthcare

May be added to any concentration.

HSC 510IPT for TI-IBH Primary Care1
HSC 511IPT Telehealth Deliv TI-IBH1
HSC 512TI-MI in IBH Seminar1
NU 526Trauma-Informed Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Practicum I1
NU 527Trauma-Informed Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Practicum II2
NU 528Trauma-Informed Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Practicum III2
Total Hours8

Elective Courses

NU 509Bioethics Advan Practice Nsg1
NU 597Intro to Scholarly Writing3
HSC 500Address Gender Discrimination (Addressing Gender Discrimination and Disparities in Healthcare)3
HSC 573Resp Prescrib Common Used Drug1

Additional Information

Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a professional degree and prepares graduates to provide the most advanced level of nursing care for individuals and communities. This includes the direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, administration of health care and nursing systems, and the development and implementation of health policy. The program is designed to be in compliance with The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice as put forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The College of Nursing has several pathways, specialization, and sub-specialization options within the DNP program. The pathways include the MSN to DNP for Advanced Nursing Practice roles, MSN to DNP adding a new advanced practice certification area, MSN to DNP Clinical Nurse Leader Bridge to Executive Nursing Administration, and the BSN to DNP.

Areas of Specialization

Several concentration areas are offered to meet the career goals of students. Available Nurse Practitioner options include Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nursing, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nursing, Dual Role (Family Nursing/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nursing), Dual Role (Family Nursing/Emergency Nursing), Family Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Neonatal Nursing, Pediatric Acute Care Nursing, Pediatric Primary Care Nursing, Women's Health Nursing. Clinical Nurse Specialist is available in Adult-Gerontological Nursing. Concentrations are also available for students pursuing careers in Executive Nursing Administration, Nursing Informatics, and Clinical Nurse Leader Bridge to DNP Executive Nursing Administration. Emergency Nursing is offered only as a post-graduate certificate. Sub-specializations are available in Addictions Nursing, Advanced Forensic Nursing Care, Cardiovascular, Clinical Lipidology, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare, Nursing Education, Palliative Care and Trauma-Informed Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Subspecialty.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, graduates should be able to:

  1. Assume organizational and system leadership in the analysis, delivery, and management of nursing care.

  2. Implement the highest level of advanced nursing care to produce high-quality, cost-effective outcomes for diverse patient outcomes.

  3. Use theories, concepts, and analytic methodologies to design, implement, and evaluate practice by applying evidence to transform nursing systems.

  4. Contribute to the knowledge of best-practices and dissemination of outcomes through professional writing and presentations.

  5. Develop practice standards based on the integration of ethics and evidence-based nursing care.

  6. Build interdisciplinary professional collaboration through leadership and mentorship.

MSN to DNP for Advanced Nursing Roles Pathway

The DNP curriculum consists of 36 Credit hours for the student holding a Master of Science in Nursing degree with preparation in an area of advanced practice nursing. Students who graduated with an MSN from the University of South Alabama College of Nursing and completed the following courses NU 607, NU 608, NU 610, and NU 613 during the MSN coursework may complete the DNP program with an additional 24 Credit hours if the previous coursework is within the seven year limit. The MSN to DNP program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. Full-time study is defined as six or more credit hours per semester. Permission to take more than 12 Credit hours per semester must be obtained from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Part-time study is also available.

The program must be completed in five years of matriculation for the MSN to DNP for Advanced Practice Nursing Roles Pathway.

Course work for the MSN to DNP program is offered completely on-line. Students are not required to come to campus during the MSN to DNP program. Electives can be taken but are not required. The program does not require a thesis or dissertation; however, students are required to complete a major synthesis project that results in a quality improvement change and has a substantial effect on health care outcomes. Residency requirements for the synthesis project can be completed in the student's home region with an approved mentor.

Admission Criteria

To be considered for admission to the DNP program, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States of America.

  2. Current registered nurse licensure with no restrictions. Nurses with any restrictions on their license, including participation in a voluntary disciplinary alternative program, cannot be admitted.

  3. Graduate of an approved regionally accredited master's program with a major in nursing.

  4. Applicants to the MSN to DNP pathway must have a minimal grade-point average of 3.0 on all MSN work (A=4.00).

  5. Submission of a résumé which documents clinical experience.

  6. Prior to enrolling in nurse practitioner clinical course, students are required to have at least 2 years of experience in an area appropriate to the specialty track.

  7. Students are admitted to a specialty track and may not change their track without permission.

  8. Students must be in good standing with all academic institutions/nursing programs that they have attended in order to be admitted to the DNP program.

Contingency for Admission and Initial Registration

Admission and initial registration is contingent on completion of the following requirements:

  1. Acceptance Packet

  2. Negative Drug Screen

  3. Acceptable Background Check

  4. All Health Requirements as outlined in the Medical Documents Manager.

Notification of missing documents will be sent to your JagMail email account. Only students who have successfully completed the Acceptance Packet in its entirety, have a negative drug screen and acceptable background check, and completed all required portions of the Medical Documents Manager will be permitted to register for classes.

Application Procedures

Admission to the program is limited and selective. Application forms and other information may be obtained from the College of Nursing's Website or by contacting the college directly at:

College of Nursing
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama 36688
Telephone: (251) 445-9400.

  1. Completion of the Primary Application: 

    1. Primary Application submitted through Nursing Centralized Application System (NursingCAS).

    2. Official transcripts of all college and university studies, regardless of the outcome of enrollment, must be sent directly from the home institution to the NursingCAS. These documents become the property of the NursingCAS and will not be returned to the applicant. Applicants are responsible for any fees required by NursingCAS for their services.

    3. Personal Goal Statement is required. The Personal Goal Statement is a description of the applicant's purpose for completing the graduate degree. This essay serves as a writing sample to be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee to determine the applicant’s scholarly writing skills.

    4. Submission of a résumé which documents clinical experience.

  2. Completion of the Supplemental Application:

    1. The Supplemental Application is submitted electronically directly to the DNP Office at the USA College of Nursing.  Under Academic Information please select the appropriate semester for admission.  Select "graduate" under both student type and academic level of interest.  A new option will appear asking if you are applying for a graduate nursing program, select "yes" and this will take you into the nursing application.

    2. Please note that the Supplemental Application should be completed AFTER you have completed your NursingCAS application and it has moved through the following stages: received, complete then VERIFIED.  Once it is verified you may complete the Supplemental Application.

    3. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their completed Supplemental Application is submitted by the deadline for the semester for which they are applying. Incomplete applications will not be processed. 

    4. This application requires a non-refundable processing fee of $100.00.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted three times a year, and must adhere to the following application deadlines:

  • Fall Semester Deadline is March 1

  • Spring Semester Deadline is July 15

  • Summer Semester Deadline is December 1

Academic Progression Policy

Students in the MSN-DNP for Advanced Practice Nursing Roles program must meet the following requirements to progress in the program:

  1. Maintain an overall GPA of 3.0. Any term in which a graduate student drops below a 3.0 Program GPA, the student is placed on probationary status and has a period of two terms to attain a 3.0 Program GPA or be dismissed.

  2. Students in these programs can have a maximum of one “C”. A student earning a second "C" or lower will be academically dismissed from the program.

  3. A student earning one grade of "F" in the program will be academically dismissed.

  4. The final outcome of the DNP Project Planning and Development course and the DNP Incomplete Extension course is "Successful/Unsuccessful." Students receiving two grades of “U” in these courses will be academically dismissed.

  5. Failure to show good ethical and moral character including but not limited to any of the following may result in dismissal from the program:

    1. conviction of a crime,

    2. disciplinary action against a nursing license in Alabama or any other state,

    3. positive drug test,

    4. adverse background check, or

    5. disruptive behavior, including online behavior.
      All students must notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Dean of the College of Nursing immediately or no later than 48 hours of any of the above stated incidents.

  6. All students must notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Dean of the College of Nursing immediately or no later than 48 hours following an arrest. Failure to report an arrest may result in removal from the program.

  7. All students are subject to testing for controlled substances and must submit to random drug testing as requested. A positive test or refusal to submit to testing will result in removal from the program.

  8. All students are subject to a background check and must submit to additional background checks as requested. An adverse finding or refusal to submit to a background check may result in removal from the program.

  9. A student who has been academically dismissed is not eligible for readmission to the DNP program and is not eligible for admission to the MSN program.

DNP Residency Coursework Policy

The DNP Residency Coursework includes the DNP Project Planning and Development, Residency I, Residency II, and Residency III. Students who do not meet all requirements in a course must complete a DNP Incomplete Extension Course prior to moving forward with the next course in the DNP Residency progression.

Scientific Review Committee Policy

The DNP project will be reviewed by the USA College of Nursing DNP Scientific Review Committee to evaluate rigor and feasibility. The review process will occur during Project Planning and Development. The DNP project must be reviewed by the Scientific Review Committee before enrolling in Residency I.

Graduation Information

The program must be completed in five years of matriculation for the MSN to DNP for Advanced Practice Nursing Roles Pathway. Each candidate for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree must submit an application for the degree the semester preceding their anticipated graduation through the Registrar's Office. See the University Calendar for specific deadlines. Deadlines for each semester application are located on the Registrar’s Graduation Website.