Doctor of Nursing Practice

All graduate degrees

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How the DNP program works

The post-master’s DNP degree program is for the registered nurse or advanced practice nurse who has completed a master’s degree in nursing and who wishes to expand their scope of practice. All emphases may be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis.

This DNP program offers campus-based nurse practitioner options and online options for nursing education, lifestyle medicine, and the DNP/MBA programs. All students, including those in completely online options, are required to register for and attend a DNP seminar on campus each fall until completion of their program.

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.

Don't have an MSN yet? The BS-to-DNP program is designed for you »

Southern's guide to advanced nursing degrees cover

To get an inside look at Southern’s nursing programs, download The Complete Guide to Advanced Nursing Degrees at Southern Adventist University.

Eligibility and prerequisites

Post-master's option

  • Master’s degree:  A master's in nursing from an accredited program
  • Graduate GPA:  A minimum cumulative graduate 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
  • Work experience: A minimum of two years (4,000 hours) of work as a registered nurse or nurse practitioner
  • Acute-Care emphasis:  Provide verification of your current advanced-practice certification and licensure and documentation of your acute-care skills set.

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 the Graduate and Professional Studies office ( 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.
  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

  • Personal health assessment and physical exam Download Form
  • Criminal background check Download Form
  • Medical-information disclosure and drug-screen consent Download Form
  • Current health information and immunizations Download Form
  • CPR/BLS certification from the American Heart Association

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. All non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted through one of the following approved credential evaluation agencies: Evaluations are to be sent directly to Southern, Graduate Studies, by the service. All evaluation reports are considered to be advisory. Southern reserves the right to make final equivalency decisions.
    2. Certification of English proficiency.
      See School specific requirements in the Graduate Catalog. Scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at:
    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

Explore Career Paths, Compare Degrees, and Hear from Alumni

Check out our blog posts for some awesome content on the world of nursing, which career paths you can take with different degrees that Southern offers, and what our Alumni found most valuable about their experiences.

Nursing Student Spotlight

Don't just take our word for it—hear directly from our nursing students and alumni about their experiences with Southern and how it helped their nursing careers.

Course guide

Select an emphasis:

Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology NP

Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Emphasis

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


Jill Buchholz
Jill Buchholz


Ronda Christman
Ronda Christman


Frances Johnson
Frances Johnson

AVP of Acad Admin/Dean of Graduate & Professional Studies

Linda Peoples
Linda Peoples


Lilly Tryon
Lilly Tryon

Professor Pt

Maria Valenca
Maria Valenca


Holly Walker
Holly Walker

Associate Professor

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