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Nursing Practice, D.N.P. (Post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

Saint Louis University's Doctor of Nursing Practice is a practice-focused doctoral degree that educates nurses to become expert clinicians, leaders in health policy and catalysts for improved health care delivery. We offer nurse practitioner specialties in adult/gerontological acute care, family, pediatric primary care, and family psychiatric-mental health.

The Valentine School of Nursing is renowned for excellence in nursing education. In 2021, Niche ranked Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing as the No. 8 best college in the country for nursing. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks our MSN-NP program as a top 50 program in their Best Graduate Schools survey.

Program Highlights

  • Full- and part-time curriculum plans
  • A variety of specialty areas and role options
  • The option to emphasize research in any specialty area
  • Responsive faculty who are nationally recognized for teaching excellence, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship
  • Faculty advisers who are individually assigned to mentor each student throughout the program
  • An online library
  • An online writing center
  • State-of-the-art teaching facilities

Students may choose from four concentrations, allowing them to customize the patient population with which they will work most:

Adult/Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration

If you choose the adult/gerontological acute care nurse practitioner program, you will learn to use complex monitoring and invasive therapies, high-intensity interventions, and continuous vigilance within the range of high-acuity care to help meet the specialized physiological and psychological needs of adults of all ages, including the frail elderly.

Adult/gerontological acute care nurse practitioners work in emergency departments, tertiary care settings, intensive care units, trauma centers and specialty medicine areas treating patients with acute, critical and chronic illness, as well as those with disabilities or injuries. Graduates are eligible for national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration

SLU’s family nurse practitioner program prepares you to provide primary health care to patients of all ages. You will help prevent disease, assess and manage acute and chronic health problems, and consult and refer patients within the health care system. SLU’s family nurse practitioner program emphasizes quality relationships with patients, families and communities, as well as education and coordination of services aimed at specific health outcomes.

Family nurse practitioners, also known as FNPs, work in a variety of settings and are also well-suited to rural populations, where specialty care may not always be available. Graduates are eligible for national certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program.

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration

If you choose the pediatric primary nurse practitioner program, you will be prepared to provide care to patients from birth through the age of 21. Pediatric primary nurse practitioners, also known as PNPs, focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and management of acute and chronic conditions in pediatric offices as well as school, community, urgent care and specialty settings.

Graduates are eligible for national certification from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration

If you pursue the SLU's family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program, you will work with children, adolescents and adults of all ages with acute or complex mental health needs, or psychiatric diagnoses. SLU’s family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program encourages evidence-based, culturally sensitive, recovery-oriented and holistic care.

You will be prepared to apply the nursing process and medical/medication management to promote optimal mental health while engaging in active, ongoing collaboration with clients, their families, significant others, and the interprofessional team. Graduates are eligible for national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Curriculum Overview

The Post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice program requires a total of 68 credits beyond the B.S.N., depending on the population specialty focus. The courses can be taken over a four-to-five-year period with full- or part-time study.

Students will complete the program with 1,050 or 1,125 clinical hours, depending on the specialty.

Four visits to Saint Louis University’s campus are required. The first is a two-day orientation about online education and the role of nurse practitioners. The second is a three-day residency at the School of Nursing, where your knowledge of the curriculum’s content, including diagnostic reasoning, clinical assessment skills and therapeutic communication, will be assessed. The next visit is an orientation to doctoral-level course work. The fourth occurs at the end of the program to present the DNP project.  Please click here to review DNP projects from previous graduates.

Careers

Graduates of SLU's Doctor of Nursing Practice program are prepared to be nurse clinicians or educators. Graduates influence health policy at institutional, local, state and national levels and formulate strategies to maximize patient health.

Admission Requirements

The Saint Louis University Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing adheres to the principles of a holistic admission process in which selection criteria are broad-based and linked to our University’s and school’s mission and goals. While we do consider academic metrics we also look at applicant experiences, attributes, potential for success, and how applicants may contribute to the school’s learning environment and to the profession.

Licensure Disclosure

The curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in the State of Missouri. Note that the Missouri Board of Nursing may impose additional requirements on candidates prior to granting a license; we encourage you to investigate these requirements.

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing has not determined whether the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for nursing licensure in any other states or territories. However, graduates of our APRN programs are eligible to sit for National Board Certification Exams in all states and territories. We encourage you to investigate the requirements in your state or territory prior to accepting an offer of admission at the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing.

Saint Louis University School of Nursing accepts applications to the D.N.P. program from students living in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Applicant Criteria

  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • One year of clinical experience.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.00 system.
  • An unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done.
  • Current CPR certification from the American Heart Association.
  • Completion of an undergraduate-level descriptive and inferential statistics course.
  • Completion of a beginning-level health assessment or equivalent course.

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Requirements

Applying for the B.S.N.-D.N.P. program requires careful planning to ensure that all admission requirements are met. You may experience a delay in processing if the application instructions are not followed exactly as listed.

Please follow the six steps outlined below to apply:

Step 1 - Application

Submit the application form and fee through either SLU (graduate application) or NursingCAS.

Note: Students only need to submit one application option. Submitting the application directly through SLU is preferred but not required.

Step 2 - Transcripts

Option A: If you are completing the application through SLU please submit your official e-transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to graduate@slu.edu.

Option B: If you are completing the application through NursingCAS please submit your official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended directly to NursingCAS. They will provide details when the application is initiated.

Step 3 – References

Submit three references (preferably master's or doctorally prepared nurses not related to you) who can speak to your potential for success in a doctorate-level nursing program.

Option A: If you are completing the application through SLU you will enter your references email address within the online application. Your references will receive an email with a recommendation form to complete and email back to Saint Louis University.

Option B: If you are completing the application through NursingCAS they will provide details when the application is initiated.

Step 4 – Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Attach your CV/résumé documenting your education, clinical nursing experience, and service to the nursing profession/community within the SLU or NursingCAS application.

Step 5 - Professional Goal Statement

Attach your professional goal statement within the SLU or NursingCAS application. The goal statement should outline your goals for doctoral study, research translation area of interest for the capstone project and your career goals. The statement should be one-to-two pages and double-spaced.

Step 6 – RN License

Attach a copy of your unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done within the SLU or NursingCAS application.

Application Deadlines

Students should apply for the spring semester by August 1 and the fall semester by May 1.  If the application deadline has passed for your semester of interest, please contact slunurse@slu.edu to determine if the application deadline has been extended.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed shortly after the submission deadline. Applicants will have a decision six to eight weeks after that time.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. 

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University offers scholarship and graduate research assistantship opportunities to eligible graduate students. Additionally, most nursing students will participate in a tuition assistance program provided through their employer.

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

Accreditation

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing is fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at the Valentine School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. To achieve its educational objectives, the school uses the hospitals within SSM Health and many health care organizations of greater St. Louis.

  1. Graduates will be able to use advanced knowledge of mid-range and translational theories from nursing and other disciplines as a framework for advanced nursing practice.

  2. Graduates will be able to critically examine research and scholarship to support evidence-based clinical practice.

  3. Graduates will be able to exemplify ethical principles in the delivery of comprehensive health care.

  4. Graduates will be able to formulate strategies to maximize health inpatient populations.

  5. Graduates will be able to develop clinical competence for advanced practice that provides consumers with primary, secondary and/or tertiary health care.

  6. Graduates will be able to use technology and information to improve health care.

  7. Graduates will be able to apply principles of epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental sciences to recognized populations at risk, patterns of disease, and effectiveness of prevention and intervention.

  8. Graduates will be able to apply current knowledge of organizations and financing of health care systems to improve the outcomes of care.

  9. Graduates will be able to design and implement processes to evaluate outcomes and systems for health care delivery.

  10.  Graduates will be able to use business and management strategies for the provision of quality care and efficient use of resources.

  11. Graduates will be able to use advanced communication and leadership skills with interprofessional health care teams to create and evaluate health care delivery systems.

  12. Graduates will be able to influence health policy at institutional, local, state and national levels.

Program Core Requirements
NURS 5000Epidemiology3
NURS 5040Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition1
HCE 5500Ethics in Nursing& Health Care2
NURS 5080Advanced Pharmacology3
NURS 5110Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making3
NURS 5140Health Promotion3
NURS 5160Principles of Practice Management2
NURS 5170Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 5200Gen Research Methods3
ORES 5010Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Outcomes3
NURS 6100Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse3
NURS 6110Health Care Delivery Systems3
NURS 6130Interprofessional Collaboration3
NURS 6140Leadership in Health Care3
NURS 6150Clinical Informatics2
NURS 6160Evidence-Based Practice I3
NURS 6170Evidence-Based Practice II3
NURS 6960Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management2
NURS 6961Doctor of Nursing Practice Project3
Concentrations
Select one of the following:16-21
Total Credits67-72

Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Concentration Courses
NURS 5310Critical Appraisal of Technology: Acute Care3
NURS 5260Advanced Clinical Studies I: The Acute Care Setting4
NURS 5270Advanced Clinical Studies II: The Acute Care Setting5
NURS 5810Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum4
Total Credits16

Family Nurse Practitioner

Concentration Courses
NURS 5630Dynamics of Family Nursing Practice3
NURS 5280Advanced Clinical Studies I: Adults and Older Adults5
NURS 5290Advanced Clinical Studies II: Women and Children5
NURS 5510Mental Health Care Family2
NURS 5810Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum4
Total Credits19

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Concentration Courses
NURS 5550Family and Child Development3
NURS 5320Advanced Clinical Studies I: Nursing of Children4
NURS 5330Advanced Clinical Studies II: Nursing of Children4
NURS 5xxx Elective2
NURS 5810Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum5
Total Credits18

Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Concentration Courses
NURS 5400Ecological Approach to Human Behavior3
NURS 5550Family and Child Development3
NURS 5340Advanced Clinical Studies I: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing4
NURS 5350Advanced Clinical Studies II: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing5
NURS 5430Psychopharmacology2
NURS 5810Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum4
Total Credits21

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
SummerCredits
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3
 Credits3
Fall
NURS 5040 Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition 1
NURS 6110 Health Care Delivery Systems 3
NURS 5140 Health Promotion 3
 Credits7
Spring
NURS 5200 Gen Research Methods 3
NURS 5170 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
NURS 5080 Advanced Pharmacology 3
 Credits3
Spring
NURS 5110 Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making 3
NURS 6100 Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
 Credits6
Year Three
Summer
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
NURS 6805 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research 3
 Credits4
Fall
NURS 5260 Advanced Clinical Studies I: The Acute Care Setting 4
HCE 5500 Ethics in Nursing& Health Care 2
 Credits6
Spring
NURS 5270 Advanced Clinical Studies II: The Acute Care Setting 5
NURS 5310 Critical Appraisal of Technology: Acute Care 3
 Credits8
Year Four
Summer
NURS 6130 Interprofessional Collaboration 3
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits4
Fall
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
NURS 6150 Clinical Informatics 2
 Credits3
Spring
NURS 6160 Evidence-Based Practice I 3
NURS 6140 Leadership in Health Care 3
 Credits6
Year Five
Fall
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
NURS 6170 Evidence-Based Practice II 3
 Credits4
Spring
NURS 5160 Principles of Practice Management 2
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 2
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 3
 Credits7
 Total Credits67

Family Nurse Practitioner

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
SummerCredits
ORES 5100 Research Methods in Health & Medicine 3
NURS 6805 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research 3
 Credits6
Fall
NURS 5040 Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition 1
NURS 5170 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
 Credits4
Spring
NURS 6100 Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
NURS 5080 Advanced Pharmacology 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Summer
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3
HCE 5500 Ethics in Nursing& Health Care 2
 Credits5
Fall
NURS 5110 Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making 3
NURS 6110 Health Care Delivery Systems 3
 Credits6
Spring
NURS 5140 Health Promotion 3
NURS 5510 Mental Health Care Family 2
 Credits5
Year Three
Summer
NURS 6130 Interprofessional Collaboration 3
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits4
Fall
NURS 5280 Advanced Clinical Studies I: Adults and Older Adults (Critical course:  NURS 5280-23) 5
NURS 5630 Dynamics of Family Nursing Practice 3
 Credits8
Spring
NURS 5290 Advanced Clinical Studies II: Women and Children 5
NURS 5900 Residency 0
NURS 5160 Principles of Practice Management 2
 Credits7
Year Four
Summer
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits1
Fall
NURS 6150 Clinical Informatics 2
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits3
Spring
NURS 6160 Evidence-Based Practice I 3
NURS 6140 Leadership in Health Care 3
 Credits6
Year Five
Fall
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
NURS 6170 Evidence-Based Practice II 3
 Credits4
Spring
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 2
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 3
 Credits5
 Total Credits70

Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
SummerCredits
NURS 6805 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research 3
 Credits3
Fall
NURS 5170 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NURS 5040 Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition 1
NURS 5550 Family and Child Development 3
 Credits7
Spring
NURS 5140 Health Promotion 3
NURS 5080 Advanced Pharmacology 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Summer
NURS 5430 Psychopharmacology 2
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3
 Credits5
Fall
NURS 5110 Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making 3
NURS 5200
or ORES 5100
Gen Research Methods
or Research Methods in Health & Medicine
3
 Credits6
Spring
NURS 5400 Ecological Approach to Human Behavior 3
HCE 5500 Ethics in Nursing& Health Care 2
 Credits5
Year Three
Summer
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 2
NURS 6130 Interprofessional Collaboration 3
 Credits5
Fall
NURS 5340 Advanced Clinical Studies I: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing 4
NURS 6150 Clinical Informatics 2
 Credits6
Spring
NURS 5350 Advanced Clinical Studies II: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing 5
NURS 5900 Residency 0
 Credits5
Year Four
Summer
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 1
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
 Credits2
Fall
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 2
NURS 5160 Principles of Practice Management 2
NURS 6170 Evidence-Based Practice II 3
NURS 6110 Health Care Delivery Systems 3
 Credits10
Spring
NURS 6140 Leadership in Health Care 3
NURS 6100 Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
 Credits6
Year Five
Fall
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 1
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project (Capstone) 2
 Credits3
 Total Credits69

3 day on-site; usually end of April

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
SummerCredits
HCE 5500 Ethics in Nursing& Health Care 2
NURS 6805 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research 3
 Credits5
Fall
NURS 5170 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NURS 5140 Health Promotion 3
NURS 5040 Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition 1
 Credits7
Spring
NURS 5110 Advanced Assessment and Clinical Decision Making 3
NURS 5080 Advanced Pharmacology 3
 Credits6
Year Two
Summer
NURS 6130 Interprofessional Collaboration 3
ORES 5010 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Outcomes 3
 Credits6
Fall
NURS 5550 Family and Child Development 3
NURS 5320 Advanced Clinical Studies I: Nursing of Children 4
 Credits7
Spring
NURS 5330 Advanced Clinical Studies II: Nursing of Children 4
NURS 5160 Principles of Practice Management 2
NURS 5900 Residency 0
NURS 6100 Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
 Credits9
Year Three
Summer
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits4
Fall
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 2
NURS 6100 Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
 Credits5
Spring
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 5
 Credits8
Year Four
Summer
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 1
 Credits2
Fall
NURS 5810 Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Practicum 2
NURS 6170 Evidence-Based Practice II 3
NURS 6150 Clinical Informatics 2
 Credits7
Spring
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 1
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Credits3
 Total Credits69

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Scott Ragsdale
Recruitment Specialist
SLU Valentine School of Nursing
314-977-8995
slunurse@slu.edu