Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is for the nurse with an earned Nursing Master's degree.

Now Accepting Fall & Spring Applications

This post-masters DNP is a 35-credit online program which has been approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors as the first doctoral program at West Chester University. The first 2-credit course, NSG 701 Transition to Doctoral Studies, is held on-campus, over one weekend, all other courses are online. Courses are taught by qualified WCU faculty, many of whom are advance practice nurses.

The curriculum has three components: The Science of Nursing (10 credits), Leadership (9 credits) and Practice (16 credits) that build on traditional masters degree programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, systems leadership, and other key areas. A capstone project, in lieu of a dissertation, is the culminating work.

The DNP program is a cohort model that can be completed in 9 consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring and Summer). All coursework is online with the exception of the first course, NSG 701 Transition to Doctoral Studies, which is a 2-credit class that is done over a weekend near the WCU campus.

Program eligibility will be individually determined based on transcript evaluation, credentials, national certification, and personal interview.

Please check the Graduate Catalog for complete descriptions of the DNP curriculum, courses, requirements and program outcomes.

Please read the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s recommendation on the DNP degree .

DNP Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have an earned Master's degree in nursing in an advanced nursing specialty from a nationally-accredited program. Advance practice is defined as a direct care specialization (e.g., nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife) or indirect care specialization (e.g., nursing administration, nursing informatics).
  • Advanced Practice Nurses must be certified by a nationally recognized certifying agency (e.g. ANCC or AANP).
  • Nurse Educators must hold the credential of Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) which is the National League of Nursing's (NLN) certification credential for Nurse Educators prior to admission.
  • Transcripts representing all previous coursework completed. A GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale) in a master's program is required as well as course work including a graduate level research course and an undergraduate or graduate level statistics course.
  • Official copy of Registered Nurse license from applicant's state of practice.
  • Two letters of reference addressing the applicant's academic ability and professional competence.
  • Telephone or in-person interview with the Program Coordinator (to be completed after applicant has submitted the other application requirements).

Please go to the Graduate School page for more information on our program and how to apply.



The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at West Chester University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

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Contact Information

Veronica Wilbur Ph.d., FNP, CNE, FAANP
Department of Nursing
Graduate Coordinator
West Chester University

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DNP Student Handbook

Full-time DNP course sequencing

Part-time DNP course sequencing

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