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General Information

Open Admission: Currently accepting applications for Fall 2019
Length of Program: 5 consecutive semesters/terms
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Nursing Practice
Program Delivery: Hybrid

About the DNP

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) first identified the need over fifteen years ago for a practice doctorate for advanced practice nursing due to the growing complexity of the health care system, the growth in scientific knowledge and sophisticated technology, and the need for clinical career paths which would attract outstanding students and retain nurses in a clinical career in nursing. The Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2010) affirmed this need by recommending doubling the number of doctorally prepared (PhD and DNP) nurses by 2020 to add to the cadre of nurse faculty and researchers with attention to increasing diversity. Thus, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was developed to meet the demand for practitioners able to practice and to provide leadership at the highest levels of healthcare and to meet the demand for highly prepared clinical faculty for schools of nursing.

Goals for DNP program

  1. Provide the highest level of professional nursing education for nurses, via a terminal degree in nursing practice (DNP), which advances the education and leadership competencies of nurses in Central Texas, preparing graduates for increasingly complex practice and clinical leadership roles
  2. Prepare DNP graduates to assume leadership roles to deliver the highest quality patient- centered care as members of interdisciplinary teams, emphasizing evidence-based practice, patient safety, quality improvement approaches and informatics
  3. Address the nursing faculty shortage by encouraging doctoral prepared clinical nursing graduates to pursue academic roles as faculty in schools of nursing across the state

DNP Objectives, based on the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education (2006), are designed to prepare graduates to:

  • Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences to advance health and health care delivery systems (Essential 1)
  • Develop and operationalize effective, culturally relevant, and evidence-based care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations (Essential 2)
  • Design and implement scholarly evidence-based processes to analyze and improve outcomes of care at the practice, health care organization, or population levels (Essential 3)
  • Select, use, and evaluate health care information systems and patient care technology to advance quality, patient safety and organizational effectiveness (Essential 4)
  • Exercise leadership to analyze, develop, influence and implement health policies that advocate social justice, equity, and ethics within all health care arenas (Essential 5)
  • Employ interprofessional team building and collaborative leadership skills to create positive change and improve outcomes in complex healthcare systems (Essential 6)
  • Analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, and other appropriate scientific data to develop culturally relevant and scientifically based health promotion and disease prevention initiatives (Essential 7)
  • Employ advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based care to improve patient, population and health system outcomes (Essential 8)

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Course of Study

The 45 hour curriculum for the DNP program is based on the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and addresses all the required competencies. Courses include philosophy and scientific methods in nursing science, policy, management of health services organizations, health economics, epidemiology and health sciences information systems. All students will take nine hours of core courses in the first semester in the program. The initial semester in the program will be followed by 24 hours of supporting courses that can be taken in any order. Additionally, 12 hours of clinical specialization courses (500 clinical practice hours) will be taken in sequential order after the first semester in the program. Within these clinical specialization seminars students will select and develop an area of focus that will culminate in the DNP Scholarly Project. Students who have not completed 500 practice hours as part of their MSN will need complete clinical practice hours in addition to the 500 practice hours in the clinical specialization courses. Students may also elect to complete an optional focus in nursing education (three courses).

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Program Delivery

The DNP program will be taught using a hybrid format. Classes meet on campus two consecutive days a month with online assignments during the alternate weeks.


The curriculum for the DNP program is designed to provide the highest level of professional nursing education for nurses, via a terminal degree in nursing practice, to advance the education and leadership competencies of nurses and prepare graduates for increasingly complex practice and clinical leadership roles.

DNP Focus Areas

The focal areas of the DNP curriculum will be 1) advanced practice nursing and 2) executive leadership. Students may also choose to take additional electives in nursing education and teaching. The DNP is now the terminal degree in nursing for practice excellence. Since more than half of the curriculum in schools of nursing is ‘practice oriented’, it is logical that nurses with the terminal degree in nursing practice would be appropriate educators for the practice components of the curriculum. The clinical teaching electives are designed to meet the growing demand for highly prepared clinical faculty for schools of nursing.

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Highlights of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

  • UT Austin offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study (doctoral portfolio programs) in fields such as gerontology, Mexican American studies, and women's studies.
  • Internationally recognized nursing faculty with over $13 million in NIH research funding.
  • The School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin was recently ranked #13 of the country's 200+ accredited graduate nursing programs. It is the highest ranked U.S. nursing school located on the campus of a non-health-science institution.
  • Nursing faculty at UT Austin have diverse backgrounds in preparation and experience.
  • Thirteen of the current 26 graduate nursing faculty are Fellows in the prestigious American Academy of Nursing.
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice program emphasizes development of a sound foundation in nursing practice.

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Admission Requirements for the DNP Program

All students interested in applying for the DNP program in Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin must meet the admission requirements established by the University’s Office of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing. Applicants are expected to be graduates of accredited colleges or universities. Below are the minimum requirements for admission.

  1. Master of Science in Nursing degree (or equivalent graduate degree)
  2. A GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable GPA in upper-division work (junior- and senior- level courses) and in any graduate work already completed
  3. 18 months of professional RN work experience
  4. Current Texas RN licensure or a license from "Nurse Licensure Compact" state or Texas Board of Nursing eligible
  5. Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past five years
    1. GRE waiver may be applicable – contact DNP coordinator or program director for details

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Application Procedures for the DNP Program

All students applying for formal admission to the DNP program must complete the online application and submit the following application materials for Fall 2019 admission.

Application for Admission

Complete online application for admissions and pay application fee at The online application is data entry only. All supporting application documents are uploaded on the My Status Check after the application is complete.

*Recommendation: Complete online application as early as possible to allow enough time for recommendations to be completed and submitted before the deadline.

Supporting Application Documents

  1. Official transcripts from all four-year institutions attended. Upload an official copy to the Status Check page. If admitted, the official hard copy transcripts are required.
  2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the past five years. University code 6882, no department code required. Note: GRE scores take 10-14 days to reach UT Austin.
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Statement of Purpose: See application checklist for content details.
    1. Maximum two (2) pages
    2. Times New Roman, 12-point, double-spaced, 1-inch margins
  5. Three references:
    1. Provide the name, position, and email address for three recommenders on the application for admissions. Recommenders are sent an email with instructions on completing the recommendation form 48 hours after the application is completed, paid and submitted.

For additional details on how to prepare your graduate application materials and personal statement instructions, please view DNP Application Checklist (PDF).

Upon application completion visit My Status Check web page to upload application documents and to track progress of your application status.

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Tuition and Fees for the DNP Program

Tuition and Fees
Application Fee: $65
Tuition per semester *  
9 credit hours: $6,000
10 credit hours: $6,500
11 credit hours: $7,000
12 credit hours: $7,500
UT ID (first semester): $10
Liability Insurance per year: $15
Estimated Costs As Applicable  
**Textbook per semester:  

Tuition & fees beginning fall 2018
*Credit hours vary by number of courses taken and required clinical hours.
**Resources used and cost varies by course and instructor.

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DNP students needing financial assistance are eligible for the following aid:

  1. Federal financial aid as well as private education loans. Private loans are available from various lending institutions (e.g. banks, credit unions, etc.). The university is prohibited by federal law from recommending any particular private loans to certificate program students, but we encourage you to shop competitively before choosing a particular private loan to help meet educational expenses. The interest rates on these loans vary, as do other terms and conditions. Click here to download the Office of Student Financial Services Private Loan Lender Form.
  2. Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) is a loan-cancellation program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions. This program allows nursing schools to provide financial loans to students enrolled in advanced degree nursing programs and who intend to teach in a nursing program after graduation. This is not a need-based loan program; however, students must complete a FAFSA. For more information, visit UT Financial and Administrative Services - Nursing Faculty Loan Services page.

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Acceptance to Graduate Programs in Nursing

The School of Nursing Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee (GAPC) may begin preliminary admission reviews as soon as an applicant’s file is complete; however, admission decisions are not made until after the program’s application deadline. All application materials are required to be submitted by the program’s application deadline; files that remain incomplete will not be reviewed or acted upon by GAPC.

If admitted, applicants will be notified of the admission decision and will receive two separate notices: (1) an e-letter from the School of Nursing with GAPC’s unofficial decision, and (2) an e-letter from the Graduate and International Admission Center (GIAC) notifying you of the admission decision of the Office of Graduate Studies. Acceptance by both the School of Nursing and the Office of Graduate Studies is necessary before enrollment is permitted. Please be aware that if admitted, you will be required to meet all compliance requirements at least one month prior to the first day of class.

If not admitted, applicants will be notified by GIAC only.

NOTE: Email is the official means of communication for all university business.

If you have questions concerning DNP admissions or the DNP program contact Asst. Director of Graduate Academic Services Tracy Demchuk, Bed, M.A. or DNP Program Director, Jane Dimmitt Champion, PhD, DNP, FAANP, FAAN.

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Important Forms/Documents

All files are in PDF format.

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