Applying for admission
If you're a nurse in an advanced nursing position who is seeking to expand your knowledge and skills to transform healthcare delivery and education, St. Catherine University welcomes your application for admission into the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.
Full information on admission requirements and procedures is listed below. As you explore the DNP program and the admission process, we encourage you to attend an information session or contact an admission counselor.
Requirements for consideration of admission
All nurses who meet the following criteria will be considered for admission:
- A completed baccalaureate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission).
- A completed master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
- Graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and a grade of not less than 'B-' in every nursing course. Applicants who do not meet these requirements should write a letter to the admission committee with rationale for an exception to the requirement. Admission would be on a provisional basis.
- A post-secondary statistics course completed within the past five years with a grade of ‘C’ or better, inclusive of inferential and descriptive statistics. View a list of local colleges and universities that offer equivalent statistics courses »
- Two years of recent clinical practice in nursing.
- Currently hold an advanced nursing position(s), such as clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse executive, nurse informatician or nurse educator.
Admission decisions are made by the Graduate Programs Interview Committee, which evaluates the applicant’s background, qualifications and readiness for admission. Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.
Applications for the DNP program are submitted through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS).
The following materials must be submitted directly to NursingCAS:
- Official transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended*
- Three recommendations. At least one recommendation should be from a current supervisor; the other recommendations may be from professors or other employers.
- Personal statement
*Transcripts submitted to St. Catherine University as part of a previous application cannot be used to complete the NursingCAS process. All official transcripts must be submitted directly to NursingCAS, including an official transcript from St. Catherine for applicants who were previously enrolled here.
We encourage candidates to begin the application process well in advance of the deadline to ensure that all materials are received. Only applications considered "complete" (by NursingCAS standards) by the application deadline will be reviewed for admission.
Prepare a personal essay that demonstrates advanced written communication skills and clarifies your purpose in pursuing a clinical doctorate in nursing. Do not exceed five typed, double-spaced pages. Please address the following topics:
- Describe a situation or event when you/your team had a significant impact on a patient or a group of patients. How have you been transformed by that experience?
- In your opinion, what are the most pressing health concerns today?
- As a doctorally prepared nurse, what might you do to help reduce health disparities?
- Each DNP candidate completes a systems change project; what topic(s) might you incorporate into your systems change project? What resources are available to help you complete this project within two years?
- What do you envision yourself doing in five years?
Personal statements must be uploaded directly into NursingCAS. Applicants will use the “document upload” feature in the Additional Sections window in NursingCAS.
Submit a current résumé highlighting professional and volunteer experiences. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of recent clinical practice as a registered nurse.
Résumés must be uploaded directly into NursingCAS. Applicants will use the “document upload” feature in the Additional Sections window in NursingCAS.
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the iBT. This requirement is waived for students who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States. Candidates must report unofficial TOEFL scores in NursingCAS. If admitted into the DNP program, official test scores must be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit an International Student Application and Certification of Finances, in addition to the DNP program application. No additional application fee is required.
Qualified applicants will be contacted for a personal interview with the Admission Committee.
Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.