Telephone (302) 831-8386
The School of Nursing offers programs leading to a Post Master’s certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.
The Post Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) provides individuals who already hold a Master of Science in Nursing degree with the core courses and clinical experiences necessary for eligibility for advanced certification.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) (with specialties in Family/Individual Across the Lifespan [FNP], Adult-gerontology Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) prepares graduates to perform at the highest level of advanced nursing practice. The DNP degree is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to the research-focused doctoral program. This degree prepares students to translate research to the practice setting.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science program prepares researchers and academic faculty for positions in college, university, and clinical settings. Graduates are prepared to advance the art and science of nursing and to assume leadership positions in the profession and take responsibility for shaping and advancing healthcare with a goal of improving individual, family, and population health through the integration of theory, research, and evidence-based practice.
The PhD in Nursing Science program requires 41 credit hours of coursework plus nine credit hours of dissertation for masters’ prepared nurses. Students entering with a BSN take 53 credit hours plus nine credits of dissertation. Students are required to work with their advisor to develop a plan of study. The plan must first be approved by the academic advisor and then the PhD in Nursing Science Program Director by the end of the first semester of study in the program. In addition to coursework, degree completion requires successful completion of the comprehensive examination, successful defense of the dissertation proposal and successful defense of the dissertation. Please refer to the program policy statement for more specific details regarding these processes and selection of examination and dissertation committees. Students are expected to complete the program in 10 or 14 semesters, per Graduate College requirements..
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate (PMHNP)
The Post Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certification provides individuals who already hold a Master of Science in Nursing degree with the core courses and clinical experiences necessary for eligibility for advanced certification.
Credit hours and clinical practicum hours depend on the courses and clinical hours completed in previous master’s level programs.
Requirements for Admission (See below “Admission”)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares graduates to perform at the highest level of advanced nursing practice. With a focus on population health and leadership, students gain competencies that will allow them to become leaders in practice innovation and policy development that will improve the health of diverse populations. The foundation for practice expertise with a population health focus will enable the graduate to plan and lead evidenced-based interventions, quality improvement strategies, and health policy changes that improve health outcomes by addressing patient safety, promoting patient-centered care, and reducing health disparities among diverse groups. The focus on practice that integrates both primary health care and mental health competencies will enable graduates of this program to provide health care in diverse settings, to communities, and populations that are currently unable to easily access care. The DNP degree is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to the research-focused doctoral program. This degree prepares students to translate research into the practice setting.
The DNP Program is available at two entry levels - post-baccalaureate; post-masters. All students must complete a core curriculum, in addition to courses specific to population-focused advanced practice nursing concentrations that lead to eligibility to sit for national certification. The course requirements for this program include 14 DNP core courses, 6 NP core courses and 7-8 courses specific to the population foci. These include family nurse practitioner (Family/Individual Across the Lifespan), adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).
Post-baccalaureate DNP Program
The Post-baccalaureate DNP program requires the completion of 81 course credits. Students entering the Post-baccalaureate DNP Program will choose a population-focused clinical concentration and complete all courses to meet eligibility requirements to become certified and licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). There are full time and part time options for the post-baccalaureate program. Upon program completion, students will be eligible to apply for a national certification exam in one of the population foci. Credits for the specific population-foci are as follows:
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): 81 credit hours and 1120 clinical hours (direct care: 784 /indirect: 336)
- Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP): 81 credit hours and 1120 clinical hours (direct care: 784 /indirect: 336)
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): 81 credit hours and 1008 clinical hours (direct care: 672 /indirect: 336)
Post-master’s DNP Program
The post-master’s DNP program includes completion of all DNP core courses, a total of 36 course credits. Additional credits (1-3) will be required in a clinical immersion final course, depending on the number of clinical hours completed in the previous master’s program. The purpose of these credits is to ensure that students complete a total of 1,000 clinical hours as recommended by the AACN. Students who apply to the post-master’s DNP option must hold national certification in an area of advanced nursing practice. Their pathway through the program will vary by the credentials they present upon admission and will also depend on their career goals. There is a part-time option for the post-master’s program. The plan of study for the post-master’s DNP can be completed in either 2 or 3 years. Pathways include: Post-masters with license and certification as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) [clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, or nurse midwife] for the individual who seeks certification as a nurse practitioner.
DNP-prepared nurses with national certification in an area of nursing practice may seek preparation as a nurse practitioner in one of the concentrations offered. In this case, students will complete only those courses required for the population-focused NP program of their choice that will allow them to apply for national certification. A certificate will be awarded.
Admission to the DNP and PMHNP programs is competitive. Those who meet stated requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of the requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.
Students will usually be admitted under regular status. However, provisional status may be granted for post-baccalaureate students whose RN licensure is pending for up to one semester. Provisional status may also be granted for post-master’s applicants whose national certification is pending, for up to one semester.
Requirements for Admission
Students will be admitted as either post-baccalaureate or post-master’s students depending on their prior educational achievement. Admission requirements differ for post-baccalaureate and post-master’s applicants. The School of Nursing Graduate Faculty and DNP Subcommittee will make admissions decisions. Students will be admitted to the program based on their ability to meet the following minimum recommended entrance requirements and enrollment availability.
- Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited School of Nursing.
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Copy of active Registered Nurse (RN) license(s) in the state of Delaware or compact state (state which has license reciprocity with the Delaware State Board of Nursing) or demonstrated eligibility for licensure before starting the program.
Post-master’s Applicants (including PMHNP applicants)
- Master’s degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited School of Nursing with national certification in an area of advanced nursing practice.
- Graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
- Letter from the master’s program indicating the number of clinical hours completed in advanced nursing practice.
All Applicants (as applicable)
- Relevant professional nursing experience.
- Copy of license in a state where applicant is actively practicing
- Completion of a master’s level statistics course in the past 5 years with a grade of B- or better.
- Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS exam taken within the last 2 years (for non-native English speaking applicants only). The minimum TOEFL score is 100; the minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
Other Documents required
- A written statement that clearly identifies the applicant’s career goals and how admission to the program will facilitate their professional objectives.
- Three letters of recommendation: two from an academics who can comment on the applicant’s potential for doctoral level study, and one from the employer and/or other professional source who can comment on applicant’s ability for evidence-based practice and leadership. Academic references must be from someone who is prepared at the doctoral level and who can attest to the student’s capacity to complete a doctoral program.
- A successful interview with the DNP Program Coordinator and members of the DNP Subcommittee.
- Demonstrated competence in written communication through submission of a writing sample.
- A curriculum vitae or resume.
The School of Nursing has several named scholarships and assistantships that are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students. In most cases, scholarships are renewed annually provided that the criteria continue to be met (i.e., GPA, financial need, etc.). Scholarships are not transferable to another major. Tuition information for PhD and DNP nursing courses can be found at the following link.
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science
Telephone (302) 831-8392
The School of Nursing PhD in Nursing Science program prepares researchers and academic faculty for positions in college, university, and health care settings. Graduates are prepared to advance the art and science of nursing and to assume leadership positions in the profession. They will take responsibility for shaping and advancing healthcare, with a goal of improving individual, family and population health through the integration of theory, research, and evidence-based practice. The PhD in Nursing Science program emphasizes specific areas of study in which nursing makes a significant contribution to health. These areas are defined by the research expertise of faculty in the context of interdisciplinary resources available at the University of Delaware and Delaware Health Sciences Alliance campuses and the local, national, and international communities. Graduates are prepared to collaborate with other scientists and health professionals to contribute to the development of knowledge. The breadth of focus of the PhD in Nursing Science curriculum ranges from nursing research in the bio-behavioral sciences to health services.
Requirements for Admission
PhD in Nursing Science admission requirements originate at two levels: The University and the School of Nursing. The University-level requirements may be found in the Graduate Admissions section. Students will be admitted to the program based on enrollment availability, identification of an appropriate and available committee advisor, and their ability to meet the following minimum recommended entrance requirements:
- A baccalaureate in nursing degree from an accredited college/university (minimum GPA 3.0).
- Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS exam taken within the last 2 years (for non-native English speaking applicants only); it is required that all students in the program be proficient in both the verbal and written English language.
- A written statement of goals and objectives (the personal statement) that clearly identifies the applicant’s research and curriculum interests and describes how admission to the program will facilitate their professional objectives. The statement should indicate how the applicant’s research interest is consistent with the research expertise of a SON faculty member.
- Three letters of recommendation from an academic, employer, and/or other professional sources who can address the scholarship potential of the applicant.
- Active Registered Nurse (RN) license. International applicants must be licensed as Registered Nurses or the equivalent in their country of origin at the time of application.
- A curriculum vitae or resume.
- Demonstrated competence in oral and written communication. A critical writing sample is required. This sample should demonstrate the student’s ability to critique and synthesize the literature on a specific topic related to their dissertation area of interest.
- Knowledge of statistics; completion of a master’s level statistics course in the past five years is required.
- An interview with the PhD program director.
Those applicants who meet the stated minimum academic requirements for admission are not guaranteed admission, nor are those applicants who fail to meet those minimum requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.
Financial assistance for students in the PhD in Nursing Science program is obtained from a variety of external sources and will therefore vary in form and availability. Assistance will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants best fitting the needs of the granting agencies and sponsoring faculty. Students receiving full stipends will be expected to work up to 20 hours per week on faculty projects, and are expected to maintain full-time status. Please refer to Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships for more information.