Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree offers B.S. or post-master’s degree curriculum.  This curriculum allows B.S.- or M.S.- prepared registered nurses to earn doctorates, which will prepare them for assuming advanced practice (patient care) and leadership (health-care systems) roles.  It addresses and meets outcome expectations as articulated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing that advanced practice specialty areas be staffed by nurses with doctoral degrees.

Learning outcomes for Doctor of Nursing Practice

The learning outcomes for the D.N.P. degree program are designed to prepare nurse leaders with a Christian perspective to enable them to contribute to professional nursing through clinical practice, teaching, and administration. Upon completion of the D.N.P. degree, the graduate will demonstrate the following:

  1. Provide leadership in the use of information systems/technology and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of health care.
  2. Utilize current scientific underpinnings for practice.
  3. Promote the use of practice scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice.
  4. Participate in interdisciplinary collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes.
  5. Advocate for health care through policy analysis and development.
  6. Apply organizational and systems leadership theory for quality improvement and systems thinking.
  7. Demonstrate leadership in the promotion of advanced nursing practice and the nursing profession.
  8. Incorporate into his/her practice the principles of practice prevention and population health for improving the nation's health.
  9. Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships with patients, families and other professionals, considering all aspects of care—including physical, mental, and spiritual—to facilitate optimal care and patient outcomes using evidence based-practice.

Master's degree option

A Master of Science degree option is available for students experiencing life events likely resulting in noncompletion of the D.N.P. degree.  This degree option is not available at admission.  The M.S. degree will provide a basic advanced practice preparation, but will not include the leadership or scholarship emphasis of the D.N.P. degree.  The M.S. degree option is subject to application ($250.00 application fee) and approval by the joint D.N.P. and M.S. Academic Review Committee.  Completion of the D.N.P. degree does not include conferral of the M.S. degree.

In addition to Loma Linda University admission requirements, the applicant to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program must also complete the following requirements:

Bachelors to Doctor of Nursing Practice program admissions criteria

  1. Baccalaureate degree or equivalent in nursing from a regionally accredited program.
  2. GPA of 3.0, both cumulative and in nursing courses.
  3. Current United States RN license before application and CA RN license before the start of classes.
  4. Current BLS certification.
  5. Three electronic recommendations from recent professors or current work supervisor.
  6. Interview by faculty members in the School of Nursing.
  7. Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT).
  8. Additional criteria for nurse anesthesia applicants:
    1. Science GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    2. Current CA RN license must be free of active administrative action.
    3. The three electronic recommendations must be from the following: one each from a spiritual advisor or pastor, an immediate supervisor in the critical care area in which the applicant is currently working, and a critical care/ICU coworker.
    4. Current certification in BLS, ACLS, and PALS is required before clinical courses; CCRN preferred.
    5. 8 hours of clinical observation with a CRNA highly recommended before admission interview.
    6. Minimum 1 year, full-time critical care RN experience (in the US) at time of matriculation (excluding orientation).  Adult critical care experience preferred.  ER will be considered.  Experience is evaluated on an individual basis.
    7. Completion of an online questionnaire following submission of application.  This questionnaire must be completed by the applicant before the admission deadline.
    8. Interview granted by Admissions Committee.

Post-Masters to Doctor of Nursing Practice program admissions criteria

  1. Completion of a master's degree in nursing with a clinical major from a program or completion of a Bachelor's degree in nursing and a Masters in a closely related field.  The nursing degrees must be accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  2. Undergraduate and Graduate GPA of 3.0, both cumulative and in nursing courses.
  3. Current U.S. RN license and BLS certification.
  4. Three electronic recommendations from recent professors or current work supervisors.
  5. Interview by faculty members in the School of Nursing.
  6. Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT).
Application deadlines

Applicants seeking graduate admission must have the application process completed by the dates indicated in the following.

  • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Autumn Quarter Priority--November 1
    • Autumn Quarter Standard--December 15
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner
    • Autumn Quarter--April 1
    • Winter Quarter--August 1
    • Spring Quarter--November 1

Pre-entrance requirements:

  1. Health clearance, including immunizations
  2. Background check

Nondegree course status

Up to 12 units of required core course work may be taken as a nondegree student, with the consent of the instructor, while the application submission and review are in progress. If grades of B or higher are earned, the course work may be applied toward the graduate degree upon acceptance into the program.

Course scheduling

Core nursing courses are scheduled to accommodate the typical working nurse.

Curriculum change

The school reserves the right to update and modify the curriculum without prior notice to maintain currency with standards in health care.

Students in continuous attendance will meet graduation requirements of the CATALOG under which they enter the School of Nursing unless change is necessary to comply with new professional standards.

General requirements

For information about requirements and practices to which all graduate students are subject, the student should consult the Catalog of Loma Linda University, Section II About the University and in Section III, About the Schools, School of Nursing.