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 leadership roles in advanced practice for patient care and health-care systems. It addresses and meets outcome expectations that advanced practice specialty areas be staffed by nurses with doctoral degrees, as articulated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Learning outcomes for Doctor of Nursing Practice

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

  1. Provide leadership in the ethical and professional use of information systems and health-care technology for the improvement and transformation of nursing care and health-care populations.
  2. Integrate current scientific and interdisciplinary theories and perspectives to develop a broad knowledge base for nursing practice.
  3. Participate in and advocate for interdisciplinary collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes.
  4. Advocate for health care through legal and policy analysis and development.
  5. Apply organizational and systems leadership theory for quality improvement and systems thinking that leads to workplace and patient safety.
  6. Demonstrate leadership in the ethical integration and promotion of evidence in advanced nursing practice and the nursing profession.
  7. Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships with patients, families, and other professionals, considering all aspects of care including physical, mental, and spiritual to facilitate optimal communication and patient outcomes, using evidence-based practice from multiple disciplines.
  8. Construct, coordinate, and communicate plans of care with a focus on wholeness that includes assessment, diagnosis, and care for the patient and self.
  9. Demonstrate ethical leadership with accountability to individuals, society, and the profession.

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

Bachelors to Doctor of Nursing Practice program admissions criteria

  1. Baccalaureate degree or equivalent in nursing from an accredited institution
  2. G.P.A. of 3.0, both cumulative and in nursing courses
  3. Current unencumbered United States RN license before application and CA RN license before the start of classes.
  4. Current BLS certification
  5. Three electronic recommendations from a recent nurse manager or director, nursing peer, and spiritual advisor. 
  6. Interview by faculty members in the School of Nursing
  7. Additional criteria for nurse anesthesia applicants:
    1. Science G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher
    2. Unrestricted Registered Nurse license in the United States; unrestricted Registered Nurse license in California before matriculation and must be maintained until program completion
    3. Three electronic recommendations 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 begin and must be maintained until program completion; CCRN preferred
    5. Eight hours of clinical observation with a CRNA highly recommended before admission interview
    6. Minimum one year, full-time critical care RN experience (in the US) at time of matriculation (excluding orientation); adult critical care experience preferred.  Experience is evaluated on an individual basis.
    7. Completion of an online questionnaire following submission of application—must be completed by the applicant before the admission deadline
    8. Not all applicants who meet the admissions criteria are guaranteed an interview. Competitive applicants are selected for an interview by Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee.
  8.  Additional criteria for acute care practitioner applicants:
    1. Baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing from an accredited program
    2. Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher
    3. Science G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher
    4. Unrestricted Registered Nurse (RN) license in the United States with an unrestricted Registered Nurse license in California BEFORE matriculation and the California RN license must be maintained until program completion.
    5. Minimum of one year of full-time RN experience in an acute care setting within the past 3 years in a U.S. hospital, in an adult critical care area where the RN must have developed critical decision-making and psychomotor skills; competency in patient assessment; proficiency in monitor and calculating infusion rates for critical care medicines and monitoring those infusions; and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitor techniques including, but not limited to mechanical ventilation and invasive monitoring for cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological status. A critical care area is defined as one, where on a routine basis, the RN manages one or more of the following: invasive, hemodynamic monitors such as pulmonary artery catheter, central venous pressure monitoring (CVP), and arterial lines; cardiac assist devices; mechanical ventilation; and vasoactive infusions. Examples of Adult Critical Care Units may include, but are not limited to Surgical Intensive Care Unit; Trauma and Neurological Intensive Care Unit; Medical Intensive Care Unit; Coronary Intensive Care Unit; Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit; or a Comprehensive Licensed Emergency Department affiliated with an acute care hospital that has specialty designation such as a Level I or II Trauma Center, a Stroke Center of a Cardiac Care Center. Post-Anesthesia Care Units are NOT considered critical care units for admission.
    6. Current certifications – American Heart Association Basic Life Support (CPR) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification are required before admission and must be maintained until program completion. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification is optional.
    7. Three strong letters of recommendation using the LLU form provided from a spiritual advisor or pastor, immediate supervisor in the critical care area in which the applicant is currently working, critical care/ICU co-worker
  9. If interview is granted by the Acute Care NP Program Admissions Committee:

    1. Completion of Emotional Intelligence Screening and continued participation in the Emotional Intelligence Program and course work through completion of the program

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 G.P.A. 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, current work supervisor, and spiritual advisor.
  5. Interview by faculty members in the School of Nursing.
Application deadlines

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

  • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Autumn Quarter - Application Period: June 1 - August 1
    • Autumn Quarter Documents Deadline: All official documents must be submitted by September 1
  • 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 coursework 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 coursework 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 these sections of the CATALOG: About the University and General Regulations, School of Nursing.