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Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs

 How is the DNP with a Public Health focus different from the current (general) DNP program?

The College offers the DNP for clinical advanced practice nurses working in primary care settings. The DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH Dual Degree programs offer a population focus in public health nursing specialization. Much of the coursework in the DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH programs is interprofessional, including Colorado School of Public Health core courses. Also, this specialized public health nursing programs add the option of permitting the student to conduct a program evaluation capstone, in lieu of quality improvement projects.​


 Does the program offer distance learning?

All didactic courses are available through distance technologies. Practicum courses may be arranged locally in consultation with program advisors, course instructors, and local preceptors. There may be on-campus classroom sessions when the student begins the capstone series.


 Do I need to be an APRN to apply for either of these programs?

No, you need not hold a certification in an APN specialty area to apply for these options. Please refer to the DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH programs for clarification.​​


 Will I be an APRN upon completion of one of these programs?

The DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH programs prepare graduates to be certified as Advanced Public Health Nurses (APHN) through the American Nurse Credentialing Center. Dual degree graduates may also sit for certification in Public Health (CPH exam).​


 How long does the program take to complete the DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH programs and what are the credit requirements of each?

Please refer to the sample plans of study for estimated timeframes for completion of the DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH programs as a full- or part-time student. Full-time status at the University of Colorado is a minimum of 5 credits. Students may opt to take a heavier course load than is depicted in sample the full- and part-time program plans to complete the program more rapidly.​


 Are there both part-time and full-time options available?

 Must one live in Colorado to take part in this program?

No. Residents of other states may seek admission to this program. Out-of-state tuition applies to those who are not Colorado residents. However, the CU College of Nursing DNP program is approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) so permanent residents of 15 other western states may be eligible for doctoral education in Colorado at the in-state tuition rate.​


 Where do I apply and what are the requirements?

Applications to the DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH begin at the CU College of Nursing link (insert). Applicants are encouraged to identify interest in the DNP-PHN and/or DNP/MPH in the first sentence of the required essay. CSPH requires recent GRE scores (some exceptions apply). College of Nursing Admissions staff will collaborate with CSPH Admissions staff to ensure a seamless process for dual degree applicants. A team of faculty from both schools will review applications as a part of the dual admissions process.​


 Do I need to submit GRE scores as part of my application?

The CU College of Nursing does not require GRE scores for admission to the DNP program. Applicants for the DNP/MPH dual degree will need to submit GRE scores, as they are a requirement for application to the CSPH, although this requirement will be waived if the applicant has a master’s degree.​


 Why should I consider a nursing program at the Anschutz Medical campus?

Although both the DNP-PHN and DNP/MPH dual degree programs are available online, students may elect to take coursework onsite at the Anschutz Medical Campus, which is located in Aurora, Colorado, adjacent to Denver. The campus is home to several health profession education institutions, including the CU College of Nursing, and is the CU site of the collaborative Colorado School of Public Health. The campus offers many new facilities with state-of-the-art technology and is home to two (soon to be three) Magnet Hospitals. Prospective students are invited to explore the campus website.​11

 What is the DNP Capstone Series?

The courses focus student efforts on a final project as the culmination of the DNP education. In the series, the student identifies, develops, and implements a project that addresses a systems-level practice or patient issue.