Doctor of Nursing Practice

The primary goal of the DNP degree program is to prepare clinical leaders who can effectively evaluate clinical outcomes, identify and manage health care needs of individuals, families, and populations, use technology and information to transform health care systems, and participate in interprofessional collaboration to develop efficient and effective models of health care delivery. The graduate of the DNP degree program options of Family Nurse Practitioner ( FNP) or Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is eligible to sit for the certification examination for the specific option.

The DNP degree program options are delivered online. The DNP degree program will enroll students on full-time, part-time, or post-master's status. Admission to any option on full-time, part-time, or post-master's status is contingent on sufficient enrollment as defined by the SON. Two specific options are open for enrollment in the DNP degree program. These options include the FNP and PMHNP.

In order to be eligible for the Post-Master's DNP degree program, the applicant must hold national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) with entry specific to the certification held at time of application.  

Option Descriptions for the DNP degree program:

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP):

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is prepared to be a leader in primary care combining the roles of provider, mentor, educator, and administrator. The FNP is prepared to practice autonomously and in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to provide evidence-based care to individuals, families, and populations across the lifespan in a variety of settings.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP):

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is prepared to provide psychiatric mental health care along the wellness-illness continuum, effectively evaluate clinical outcomes, and identify and manage primary and acute mental health care needs of individuals with extension of expertise to families and communities.

DNP Degree Program Outcomes

  1. Assume interprofessional leadership to advance clinical practice and health care delivery to rural and diverse populations.
  2. Integrate nursing science into evidence-based care for individuals, families, and communities to improve outcomes.
  3. Incorporate practice initiatives to improve systems of health care delivery.
  4. Advocate policy for health care.

Admission Requirements

The student must apply to and meet all requirements for admission and application to the ISU Graduate School. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, the following are required:

  1. Earned Bachelor of Science (BS in Nursing or BSN) from program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or other nationally recognized accrediting body for nursing education. A master's degree in nursing from an accredited program will be considered. 
  2. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S. or B.S.N.) program of study or 3.0 or higher GPA based on previous 60 credits of most recently completed degree. POST-MASTER’S APPLICANTS ONLY: If a post-masters’ applicant, the GPA is calculated based upon all master's coursework and BSN until 60 credits are reached.
  3. English Proficiency Exams: The School of Nursing DNP program adheres to the ISU Graduate College requirements for those students who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the United States (at the undergraduate and/or graduate level) and whose native language is not English.
  4. Completed application by established deadline.
  5. Verification of valid and current unencumbered Registered Nursing license.
  6. Completion of a preadmission interview by the SON DNP Admissions committee. If the applicant resides at a distance over 100 miles, an interview by video conference may be arranged. Being interviewed is not a guarantee of admission; the results of the interview may exclude an applicant from acceptance, despite meeting other qualification criteria.
  7. Mandatory attendance at the orientation for the DNP program to be held on the ISU Pocatello campus in August of the year of admission.

Two years of documented previous healthcare or nursing experience before admission is preferred.

The SON DNP Admissions committee will make the final recommendation regarding admission. This decision will be based on evaluation of established application and admission requirements.

Admission to the FNP or PMHNP DNP degree option is contingent on sufficient enrollment as defined by the SON.

Application Requirements

The student must apply to and meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, the following is required:

  1. Application through the ISU Graduate School website with payment of appropriate fees.
  2. Submission directly to the Graduate School of official transcripts of all degrees including the completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN or BS in Nursing) from an accredited nursing program. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the Registrar's Office of the applicant's previous institution(s) of study.
  3. Submission of professional essay (3-4 pages, see application in CollegeNet for essay instructions).
  4. Three professional references attesting to the applicant’s capacity for doctoral study. All forms are sent through the ISU Graduate School application system.
  5. Submission of professional vitae or resume through the ISU Graduate School application system..
  6. POST-MASTER'S APPLICANTS ONLY: The post-master's applicants must provide proof of certification in the option (FNP or PMHNP) for which the application is submitted.
  7. POST-MASTER'S APPLICANTS ONLY: The post-master's applicant must submit at the time of application an official letter that documents the total number of clinical hours completed in the previous advanced practice program in nursing from which the student graduated. An official transcript that documents the total number of clinical hours completed in the previous advanced practice program will be accepted.

Selection Schedule for DNP Degree Program

Application for the DNP degree program will open in September of any academic year. Preference will be given to full-time applicants submitted by December 1 of any year. Applications to the post-master's options (FNP and PMHNP) are welcomed and reviewed independently. Admission to the FNP or PMHNP DNP program is contingent on sufficient enrollment as defined by the School of Nursing. Applications are accepted on a rolling bases until the class is filled. All application and admission requirements as posted on the website for the DNP degree program apply. Notification of applicants selected for admission and alternates begin in April of any year.

Graduation Criteria

  1. Successful completion of a DNP Project based on established guidelines.
  2. Pass an oral defense of the DNP Project as a final component of the comprehensive examination.
  3. Meet all requirements established by ISU, the Graduate School, and the School of Nursing for graduation with the DNP degree.

DNP Project

The DNP Project includes synthesis of scientific evidence and theoretical principles within a practice environment(s) to improve healthcare outcomes. The DNP Project involves the incorporation of knowledge of current and emerging healthcare technologies to improve care delivery and organizational systems for groups and populations. Requires a minimum of six credit hours.

Continuous Enrollment

Students must maintain continuous enrollment in NURS 7790 while in the process of completing the DNP Project. The student must maintain continuous enrollment until graduation as outlined in the Graduate School policy.

The SON website and DNP Student Handbook provide further information on the DNP degree program.

DNP Degree Programs of Study

Core Courses (required for all DNP options)
NURS 5580Genetics for Health Care Professionals2
NURS 6600Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Practice3
NURS 6610Advanced Evidence Application3
NURS 6611Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS 6611LAdvanced Health Assessment Lab3
NURS 6620Advanced Human Pathophysiology3
PHAR 6645Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nurses3
NURS 6655Advanced Leadership3
NURS 7720Professional Issues of the DNP3
NURS 7723Health Promotion for Advanced Practice Nurses3
NURS 7725Informational Technology in Health Care2
NURS 7735Statistical Analysis in Evidence Based Practice3
NURS 7760Professional Issues of the DNP II3
NURS 8809Research and Practice in Rural and Global Communities2
NURS 8826Approaches to Scholarly Writing2
NURS 8840Leadership and Health Policy3
NURS 7790DNP Project (Requires a minimum of six credit hours over four semesters. May be repeated.)1-3
Total Hours50
Family Nurse Practitioner
NURS 6642Primary Care of the Young Adult3
NURS 6642LPrimary Care of the Young Adult Lab3
NURS 6643Primary Care of the Child and Adolescent3
NURS 6643LPrimary Care of the Child and Adolescent Lab2
NURS 6644Primary Care of the Middle and Older Adult3
NURS 6644LPrimary Care of the Middle and Older Adult2
NURS 7740Primary Care Throughout the Life Span FNP1
NURS 7740LPrimary Care Throughout the Life Span Lab FNP5
NURS 7780LFNP Practicum6
Total Credits28

Full-Time Curriculum for the DNP Degree Family Nurse Practioner [FNP] Option

Bachelors in Nursing (BS or BSN) to DNP Degree

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
NURS 66003NURS 66103 
NURS 66203NURS 66113 
NURS 77203NURS 6611L3 
NURS 77252PHAR 66453 
NURS 88092NURS 88403 
 13 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NURS 66423NURS 66433NURS 55802
NURS 6642L3NURS 6643L2NURS 66553
NURS 77233NURS 66443 
NURS 77353NURS 6644L2 
NURS 88262NURS 77902 
 14 12 5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
NURS 77401NURS 77603 
NURS 7740L5NURS 7780L6 
NURS 77903NURS 77901 
 9 10
Total Credits: 78

DNP-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

NURS 6630Neurobiology of Mental Disorders2
NURS 6650Psychopharmacology3
NURS 7745Mental Health Across the Lifespan4
NURS 7745LMental Health Across the Lifespan PMHNP Clinical I: Adult and Geriatric5
NURS 7795Psychotherapy for the PMHNP3
NURS 7795LPsychotherapy for the PMHNP Lab2
NURS 7798LPMHNP Advanced Practicum6
Total Option Specific Credits30

 Full-Time Curriculum for the DNP Degree Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner [PMHNP] Option

Bachelors in Nursing (BS or BSN) to DNP Degree

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
NURS 66003NURS 66103 
NURS 66203NURS 66113 
NURS 77203NURS 6611L3 
NURS 77252PHAR 66453 
NURS 88092NURS 88403 
 13 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NURS 66302NURS 77454NURS 55802
NURS 66503NURS 7745L5NURS 66553
NURS 77233NURS 77902 
NURS 77353  
NURS 88262  
 13 11 5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
NURS 7755L5NURS 77603 
NURS 77902NURS 77902 
NURS 77953NURS 7798L6 
NURS 7795L2  
 12 11
Total Credits: 80

Post-Master's in Nursing DNP Degree Program

Note: Applicant must hold certification as an FNP or PMHNP in order to be eligible for the Post-Master's DNP degree program. See School of Nursing website for further details at www.isu.edu/nursing.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NURS 77203NURS 77603NURS 55802
NURS 77353NURS 77902NURS 66553
NURS 88262NURS 88403 
 8 8 5
Second Year
FallCredits  
NURS 77252  
NURS 77904  
NURS 88092  
 8
Total Credits: 29