Students enrolled in the Post-Master’s DNP Program acquire knowledge in nursing theory, research, policy, statistics, epidemiology, informatics, and nursing education or administration.

Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate

With a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, you will be prepared to improve healthcare outcomes through evidence-based practice as you assume leadership roles as managers of quality initiatives, executives in healthcare organizations, and directors of clinical and academic programs.

Graduate Admissions

The post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program at Gardner-Webb University is a 36-credit-hour program that addresses the foundational competencies for all advanced nursing practice leadership roles.

Coursework is presented in an executive format including 20-23 clock hours per course on campus in Boiling Springs, N.C. each semester for student/faculty collaboration and presentations, clarification of theoretical content, and course requirements. The remainder of the semester includes online lectures, presentations, writing assignments, and interactive class discussions using GWU’s distance learning system. Students enrolled in the Post-Master’s DNP Program acquire knowledge in nursing leadership theory, research, statistics, epidemiology, informatics, healthcare policy, economics, teaching and learning.

Graduates of the post-masters Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program will be prepared to:


  1. Synthesize scientific and theoretical knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to implement best practice approaches reflective of the highest level of nursing.
  2. Collaborate with institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international leaders to make data-driven decisions to improve health care outcomes.
  3. Lead intra- and inter-professional teams to advocate for and implement policies, which improve individual and population health.
  4. Engage in leadership to integrate evidence-based clinical prevention and health services for individuals and populations.
  5. Develop and sustain therapeutic and programmatic interventions and partnerships with patients, populations, and professionals, appropriate to advance nursing specialization.  

Accreditation for the Hunt School of Nursing is maintained through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc. (ACEN) located at ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA, 30326, phone: (404)975-5000 and information can be found on the ACEN website.

After you've earned your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, you'll have expanded opportunities within a variety of work environments. Specifically, the DNP Program serves to:

  1. Prepare advanced practice nurses educationally prepared with a master’s degree to become leaders in evidence-based practice in a variety of healthcare, business, government, and educational organizations.
  2. Engage students in innovative, scholarly evidence-based practice inquiry in their chosen field of nursing.
  3. Provide DNP graduates with the necessary skills to become competent in translating research into practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision making, and implementing innovations to improve health and healthcare outcomes.
  4. Prepare students to make contributions to the knowledge and practice of nursing, meet demands of the increasing complexity of the healthcare system, improve the quality of patient care delivery and outcomes, and influence health care policy.

Application for admission to the DNP Program is made through the Gardner-Webb University Graduate School. In order to enroll students from a variety of nursing backgrounds with the greatest potential for successfully completing the program, the following criteria will be used for consideration of acceptance:

  1. Graduate School Application (available and submitted online).
  2. Current unrestricted licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse (verified online by Graduate Admissions).
  3. Cumulative GPA of 3.20 on all previous graduate coursework as evidenced by official graduate transcripts.
  4. MSN Degree from a regionally accredited institution with a nationally accredited program as evidenced by official graduate transcripts.
  5. Certifications in practice area (if applicable).
  6. Verification of immunizations submitted on provided form.
  7. Three letters of recommendation (professional and academic) submitted on provided form.
  8. Validation of the number of hours of nursing practice completed post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program submitted on provided form.*
  9. Current curriculum vitae.
  10. Written essay addressing your goals related to doctoral education in nursing, including description of a practice problem you would like to impact.
  11. Current, official, satisfactory Criminal Background Check results from the state in which you reside and any other state lived in during the past ten years.

*Hours in practicum or clinical completed post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program are counted toward the requirement of 1,000 practicum hours for completion of the DNP degree. A minimum of 400 practicum hours must be completed in the DNP Program.

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

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