BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice 

The BSN to DNP program is 86 credits with 1252 practicum hours. This clinically-oriented program provides nurses with strong educational and practicum experiences to prepare them as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) who are proficient in interprofessional educational competencies and have the knowledge to improve care of patients of all ages with multiple chronic conditions. Upon completion, graduates are eligible for national certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a PMHNP.

Educational Objectives:

The BSN to DNP Program is designed to prepare certified registered PMHNPs who:

  1. Utilize expert communication and leadership skills with interdisciplinary teams to ensure quality of care of patients experiencing mental illness;
  2. Employ clinical reasoning at the highest level of nursing practice to aid in the differential diagnosis of both medical and psychiatric disorders across the lifespan, in collaboration with other health care professionals;
  3. Utilize pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic and complementary interventions using an evidence-based practice approach in the provision of treatment to individuals across the life span experiencing acute and chronic psychiatric disorders;
  4. Engage proactively in the development and implementation of health policy in relation to mental health;
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of standards and principles for selecting and evaluating information systems and patient care technology;
  6. Function as team leaders to facilitate collaborative, interprofessional teamwork to ensure safe, patient-centered care;
  7. Use evidence-based practice health promotion findings, related to clinical prevention and population health, to improve the health status of the U.S. population; and
  8. Demonstrate culturally competent care in the provision of treatment to individuals experiencing acute and chronic psychiatric disorders across the life span.

Program Format

Attending full-time, you can complete the program in about three years (eight semesters), taking three to four courses per semester. The accelerated part-time curriculum can be completed in four years, taking two to three courses per semester. Courses include lecture, seminar/discussion and practicum experiences, using both classroom and online instruction. Practicum courses include 8-12 hours a week of clinical experience. A variety of health care agencies are used as practicum sites, including hospitals, physician’s offices, primary care and specialty clinics.

You’ll complete a five-credit capstone course in your final semester, in which you must demonstrate clinical competence and conduct a field project under the supervision of an on-site preceptor and a faculty advisor. You’ll select the project based on your chosen evidence-based practice area of interest. The course requires an oral presentation and a ready-for-journal-submission scholarly article.

Admission Criteria

To be considered for admission to the B.S.N. to D.N.P. Program, applicants must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum undergraduate QPA of 3.25 or acceptable GRE scores
  • Current RN licensure
  • At least one year of work experience as an RN
  • Current CV or resume
  • Essay on goals and expectations for education and career
  • A faculty interview
  • 2 professional letters of recommendations
  • BSN to DNP with Fall Semester Start

    Course Credits Hours
    Year 1—Fall Semester
    Statistics for EBP NURS 8050 3
    Advanced Pathophysiology NURS 8010 3
    Research and Theory NURS 8020 3
    Year 1—Spring Semester
    Advanced Pharmacology NURS 8110 3
    Advanced Physical Assessment/Diagnosis NURS 8130 3
    Advanced Physical Assessment/Diagnosis Practicum NURS 8135 1 56
    Year 1—Summer Semester
    Health Promotion/Clinical Prevention NURS 8120 3
    Principles of Biological Psychiatry NURS 9010 2
    Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents* NURS 9120 2
    Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents Practicum* NURS 9125 1 56
    Year 2—Fall Semester
    Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan NURS 9110 3
    Psychiatric Diagnosis Across the Lifespan NURS 9210 3
    Psychiatric Diagnosis Across the Lifespan Practicum NURS 9215 3 168
    Clinical Teams and Teamwork I NURS 8010 2
    Year 2—Spring Semester
    Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan I NURS 9310 3
    Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan I Practicum NURS 9315 3 168
    Principles of Epidemiology NURS 8030 2
    Year 2—Summer Semester
    Individual Therapy NURS 9330 2
    Individual Therapy Practicum NURS 9335 2 112
    Integrating Research & Practice NURS 8150 3
    Year 3—Fall Semester
    Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan II NURS 9320 3
    Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan II Practicum NURS 9325 3 168
    Clinical Genetics NURS 8230 2
    Year 3—Spring Semester
    Family Therapy NURS 9510 2
    Family Therapy Practicum NURS 9515 2 112
    Evidence-Based Practice for Advanced Nursing Roles NURS 8140 3
    Year 3—Summer Semester
    Health Policy HSIC 8020 2
    Health Care Economics HSIC 8030 2
    Evidence-Based Practice & Information Systems NURS 9130 3
    Year 4—Fall Semester
    Psychiatric Considerations in the Geriatric Population NURS 9410 2
    Psychiatric Considerations in the Geriatric Population Practicum NURS 9415 2 112
    Health Law & Ethics HSIC 8210 2
    Year 4—Spring Semester
    Practice Management Issues/ Role Integration NURS 9610 3
    Applying Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care Settings NURS 9620 5 300
    TOTAL 86 1252