BS to Doctor of Nursing Practice

All graduate degrees

How the BS-to-DNP program works

The BS to DNP is a program for the Registered Nurse who has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and wishes to progress rapidly and seamlessly to a doctoral degree. Those enrolled in this program are not awarded the MSN degree. This program is primarily a face-to-face program with some online courses. Students are required to register for and attend a DNP seminar on campus each fall until completion of their program. (Nurse Educator, DNP/MBA, and Lifestyle Medicine emphases are completely online)

Students entering the BS to DNP program bypass the MSN degree and have no requirement for experience at the time of entry into the program. It is expected that they will have achieved a minimum of two years (4,000 hours) of nursing experience prior to beginning DNP practicum courses. The BS to DNP has a primary emphasis of the student’s choice and requires either a secondary emphasis or elective hours to meet the 77-hour total.

Any student wishing to complete clinical experiences outside the State of TN must verify that State is a member of NC-SARA and seek permission from that State Board of Nursing. Clinical placements in some States may not be able to be accommodated due to specific State Board of Nursing regulations.

Eligibility and prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited program
  • Undergraduate GPA: A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Statistics course: An undergraduate or graduate course in statistics
  • RN licensure: Current RN licensure in your state or location of residence

Application deadlines

All application steps are to be fully completed by the dates listed.

Term U.S. Residents International
Fall April 1 March 1
Winter October 1 August 1

Admission process

  1. Transcripts:  Submit official college and university transcripts. Many institutions subscribe to the convenient transcript-request service at National Student Clearinghouse, or you may also contact your institution directly. Have your transcripts sent to Melodie Lopez in the Graduate Studies office (malopez@southern.edu). If you earned your prerequisite degree at Southern, you do not need to complete this step.
  2. Recommendations: Submit three recommendation forms—one academic and two from a clinical setting. This should be done as part of the online application process, or Download form
  3. Written statement: Write a statement describing your purpose and goals for pursuing this degree.  Your statement should be thoughtfully written to demonstrate your writing skills.  It should be submitted through your Application Status Page.
  4. Curriculum vitae: Submit a curriculum vitae. Upload to your Application Status Page.
  5. Writing sample:  Submit a scholarly writing sample, such as a previous graduate-level paper through your Application Status Page.
  6. Interview:  Schedule a faculty interview after completing your Graduate application from your Application Status Page.
  7. For the DNP/MBA, submit scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). With approval, applicants may be admitted without the GMAT if they have:
    • An undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution with a minimum GPA of 3.25
    • OR a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 with five years of full-time business-related management experience

Once you are accepted

Before you enroll, we need acceptable documentation of these items. Email all documents to jlthompson@southern.edu.

International students

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States are considered international students and must meet additional requirements for admission.

  • View international-student admission requirements »

    1. Applicants from non-English institutions must submit certified English translations and evaluations of official university records, including demonstration of the equivalency of a bachelor's degree.
      Transcript evaluations must be submitted directly to Southern from one of the following agencies:
    2. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker or received the college/university degree from an English-medium institution, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at ets.org/toefl »

    3. Submit Declaration of Finances.
      International students must have financial resources sufficient to support themselves for the calendar year, in addition to an international-student deposit of $3,000 (USD). Download Form
      • To be issued an I-20 Form, students must also provide a letter from financial sponsors (including their name and address), as well as copies of bank statements for the last three months showing the balance history for the student's account or the financial sponsor's account.

International students who will be coming to Southern's campus need some additional information about travel documents and living on campus.

More Information

Course guide

Select an emphasis:

Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology NP

Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Emphasis

Acute Care + Family NP Emphases

Lifestyle Medicine Emphasis

MBA Healthcare Administration Emphasis

Nurse Educator Emphasis

Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology NP Emphasis

Primary Care—Family NP Emphasis

Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health NP Emphasis

BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology hours
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 645 Practicum I: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 657 Acute Care Concepts and Skills I 3
  NURS 659 Acute Care Concepts and Skills II 3
  NURS 671 Practicum I: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care 3
  NURS 673 Practicum II: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care 3
  NURS 685 Advanced Practice Role Development 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
    Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Emphasis Total: 23
ELECTIVES or second emphasis hours
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 13
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 13
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Acute Care + FAMILY NP HOURS
Acute Care NP  
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 645 Practicum I: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 657 Acute Care Concepts and Skills I 3
  NURS 659 Acute Care Concepts and Skills II 3
  NURS 671 Practicum I: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care 3
  NURS 673 Practicum II: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care 3
  NURS 685 Advanced Practice Role Development 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
Family NP  
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  NURS 662 Primary Care of Children 3
  NURS 655 Practicum II: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 663 Practicum: Primary Care of Children 2
  Elective Select from NURS courses
    Emphasis in Acute Care + Family NP Total: 35
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Lifestyle Medicine hours
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
  NURS 728 Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine 2
  NURS 732 Health Coaching 2
  NURS 733 Practicum: Health Coaching 1
  NURS 735 Lifestyle Strategies for Psychosocial Health 2
  NURS 738 Natural Adjuncts for Health Healing 2
  NURS 744 Exercise Modalities for Lifestyle Change 3
  NURS 746 Nutritional Approaches to Disease Prevention and Management 3
  NURS 748 Lifestyle Management of Chronic Disease 3
  NURS 751 Practicum: Lifestyle Medicine 2
    Lifestyle Medicine Emphasis Total: 20
ELECTIVES OR SECOND EMPHASIS hours
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 15
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 15
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
PREREQUISITES FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOT TAKEN UNDERGRAD EQUIVALENTS hours
  ACCT 505 Financial Accounting 3
  ACCT 505 Principles of Finance 3
MBA HOURS
  BUAD 510 Accounting for Control and Decision Making 3
  BUAD 515 Operations Management 3
  BUAD 530 Organizational Behavior 3
  BUAD 555 Leadership and Change 3
  BUAD 562 Integrating Faith and Business 3
  BUAD 570 Strategic Decision Making 3
  HADM 532 Healthcare Economics and Finance 3
  HADM 552 Healthcare Marketing and Human Resources 3
    MBA Total: 24
EMPHASIS IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION hours
  NURS 570 Emergency and Disaster Management 2
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 638 Advanced Nursing Leadership and Role Development 3
  NURS 654 Practicum: Advanced Nursing Leadership 2
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
  NURS 785 Advanced Leadership 4
    Healthcare Administration Emphasis Total: 11
ELECTIVES or second emphasis hours
  Select business classes from BEXM 505, HADM 530, and HADM 585. 6
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 7
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 13
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Nurse Educator hours
  EDUC 531 Technology and the Educator 3
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 621 Nursing Curriculum Design 3
  NURS 631 Classroom Instruction and Evaluation 3
  NURS 641 Practicum: Area of Clinical Emphasis 2
  NURS 643 Educator Role Practicum: Area of Clinical Emphasis 3
  NURS 648 Clinical and Simulation Instruction in Nursing 3
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
    Nurse Educator Emphasis Total: 17
ELECTIVES or second emphasis hours
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 18
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 13
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology NP hours
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 645 Practicum I: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 655 Practicum II: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 661 Geriatric Primary and Long-term Care 3
  NURS 664 Practicum: Geriatric Primary and Long-term Care 2
  NURS 685 Advanced Practice Role Development 1
    Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology Emphasis Total: 22
ELECTIVES or second emphasis hours
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 13
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 13
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Primary Care—Family NP hours
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 662 Primary Care of Children 3
  NURS 665 Practicum I: Primary Care of Families 5
  NURS 670 Practicum II: Primary Care of Families 5
  NURS 685 Advanced Practice Role Development 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
    Primary Care—Family NP Emphasis Total: 22
ELECTIVES or second emphasis hours
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 13
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 13
  TOTAL HOURS   77
BS to DNP Core hours
Graduate Core  
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Practice Core  
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core  
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
Scholarly Project Core  
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
    BS to DNP Core Total: 42
EMPHASIS IN Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health NP hours
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  COUN 521 Psychopathology 3
  COUN 556 Theories and Techniques of Counseling 3
  COUN 561 Multicultural Issues in Counseling 3
  COUN 582 Clinical Practicum I 1
  COUN 583 Clinical Practicum II: Clinical Mental Health Counseling 1
  COUN 593 Child and Adolescent Problems and Treatment 3
  NURS 612 Neuroscience for Mental Health Practitioners 3
  NURS 615 Psychopharmacology 2
  NURS 624 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Seminar 1
  NURS 651 Practicum I: Psychiatric Mental Health Care 3
  NURS 653 Practicum II: Psychiatric Mental Health Care 4
  NURS 685 Advanced Practice Role Development 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
  EDUC 531 Technology and the Educator 3
    Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health Emphasis Total: 28
ELECTIVES or second emphasis hours
  Select from NURS courses. May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis. 13
    Electives or Second Emphasis Total: 13
  TOTAL HOURS   77

Faculty

Ronda Christman
Ronda Christman

Associate Professor
rchristman@southern.edu
423.236.2153

Holly Gadd
Holly Gadd

Professor
hgadd@southern.edu
423.236.2961

Frances Johnson
Frances Johnson

Professor
francesj@southern.edu
423.236.2973

Michael Liedke
Michael Liedke

Assistant Professor
maliedke@southern.edu
423.236.2958

Linda Peoples
Linda Peoples

Associate Professor
lindacannon@southern.edu
423.236.2968

Lilly Tryon
Lilly Tryon

Associate Professor
ltryon@southern.edu
423.236.2154

Maria Valenca
Maria Valenca

Professor
valencam@southern.edu
423.236.2952

Holly Walker
Holly Walker

Associate Professor
hdwilson@southern.edu
423.236.2162

Get started

I am here to help if you have any questions about applying to the programs or enrolling. I'm the one who keeps track of all the forms and certifications you are required to have, so let me know if you get stuck. You are welcome to email or call for information about everything from admission to graduation. I look forward to meeting you and working with you!

Jamie Thompson

Graduate Enrollment Counselor
jlthompson@southern.edu
423.236.2957