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

At the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University, our 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 within an inter-professional environment.

This online program is available to students who possess a master's degree in an advanced practice area such as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. We offer two options within the M.S.N.-D.N.P. program: Advanced Nursing Practice and Nurse Executive Leader. 

Program Highlights

The Valentine School of Nursing at SLU is renowned for excellence in nursing education.  U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks our MSN-NP program as a top program in their Best Graduate Schools survey.

  • Full- and part-time curriculum plans
  • 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

Curriculum Overview

SLU's Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (M.S.N.-D.N.P) program begins each year in August and requires a total of 28 credits beyond the M.S.N. At the discretion of the Valentine School of Nursing, you may be able to transfer five to six credits of comparable graduate-level coursework.

The curriculum provides flexible sequencing of courses that are offered online in the fall and spring semesters, with one course offered in the summer session. The program requires two visits to the St. Louis campus. The first visit is a two to three-day orientation at the beginning of the program. A second visit of one to two days is expected at the end of the program to present the required Doctor of Nursing Practice project. This project is based on your interest and synthesizes the knowledge you gain throughout the program. It will focus on a practice change initiative in risk reduction, such as a program evaluation, a quality improvement project, evaluation of a new practice model, a consulting project or a pilot study.  Please click here to review DNP projects from previous graduates.

At the Valentine School of Nursing, we partner with you on preceptors and clinical placement.  Besides being paired with a faculty mentor with expertise in students' desired field of study, SLU helps students obtain preceptors for their clinical rotations.


Graduates of the 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.

SLU's Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing accepts applications to the D.N.P. and M.S.N.-NP program from students living in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, 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, Washington and Wisconsin.

Applicant Criteria

  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or more on a 4.00 scale.
  • A master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • Certification as a nurse practitioner in at least one of the nursing specialties that the School of Nursing offers as an MSN-NP degree including: acute gerontology primary care, adult gerontology acute care, family, pediatrics and family psychiatric mental health.
  • Recognition as an advanced practice nurse in the state in which clinical experiences will be done.
  • Certification as a clinical nurse specialist (C.N.S) with national and/or state recognition will be individually evaluated for admission according to specialty and functional role.
  • An unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done.
  • Successful completion of pathophysiology, pharmacology and advanced health assessment at the graduate level.
  • Evidence of recent A.P.N. experience.
  • Inferential or biostatistics course within the last five years. (This may be taken at Saint Louis University during the summer prior to the start of the D.N.P. program.)

Application Requirements

Applying for the M.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 five steps outlined below to apply:

Step 1 – Application

Submit the application form and pay the associated fee through NursingCAS. Select Saint Louis University.

Step 2 – Transcripts

Please submit your official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended directly to NursingCAS. They will provide details when the application is initiated.

Step 3 – Resume or Curriculum Vitae

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

Step 4 – Professional Goal Statement

Attach your professional goal statement within the 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 5 – RN License

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

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Financial documents are required to complete an application for admission and be reviewed for admission and merit scholarships. 
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's 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 the student's study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • 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
    • Any honors or degrees received.

WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall admissions: Priority admission is April 15th with an application deadline of June 1st
  • Spring admissions: Priority admission is October 15th with an application deadline of December 1st.

    If the application deadline has passed for your semester of interest, please contact  Late applications may be accepted.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed shortly after all application requirements have been submitted. 


Tuition Cost Per Credit
Doctor in Nursing Practice (DNP) $1,310

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

Net Price Calculator

Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans.  For price estimates, please review the SLU Cost Calculator.  

The Valentine School of Nursing 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


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 in the greater St. Louis area.

  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.

NURS 5000Epidemiology3
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
Total Credits28

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.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
NURS 6150 Clinical Informatics 2
NURS 6100 Health Care Policy and the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
NURS 6160 Evidence-Based Practice I 3
NURS 6130 Interprofessional Collaboration 3
Year Two
NURS 6110 Health Care Delivery Systems 3
NURS 6170 Evidence-Based Practice II 3
NURS 6140 Leadership in Health Care 3
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 1
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS 5000 Epidemiology 3
Year Three
NURS 6960 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Management 1
NURS 6961 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Total Credits28

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions, please contact the Valentine School of Nursing's recruitment and enrollment staff:

Undergraduate Inquiries

Graduate Inquiries