Doctor of Nursing Practice

All graduate degrees

The DNP at Southern is a practical alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. We are preparing nurses and nurse practitioners for leadership roles in advance-practice settings. Our program emphasizes advanced clinical practice, research application, and evaluation of practice and care-delivery models. Your knowledge and skills will be enhanced through practical courses and relevant clinical experiences.

How the program works

The DNP is now available as a 1) BS to DNP or 2) post-master’s option for nurses and nurse practitioners. It is an online program, primarily, that includes three short campus visits and may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. As a student, you can complete most of the coursework, the clinical practicum, and a scholarly project at home and in your current work environment (or other convenient setting).

BS to DNP option

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.

Post-master's option

The post-master’s DNP has a number of program options which include campus-based nurse practitioner options and online options for nursing education, lifestyle medicine and the DNP/MBA program. All programs may be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Eligibility and prerequisites

BS to DNP option

  • 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

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 August 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 may 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 may be uploaded to your application status page or submitted via email to grad@southern.edu, or malopez@southern.edu.
  4. Curriculum vitae: Submit a curriculum vitae. Upload to your application status page or email to grad@southern.edu, or malopez@southern.edu.
  5. Writing sample:  Submit a scholarly writing sample, such as a previous graduate-level paper, and email it to grad@southern.edu.
  6. Interview:  Schedule an interview with faculty member(s) by emailing dproffit@southern.edu. Interview dates: Fall 2017 options are March 31 and April 28, 2017; Winter 2018 options are September 22 and 29, 2017; and Fall 2018 options are March 30 and April 27, 2018.
  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 dproffit@southern.edu.

  • 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
  • Hospital orientation documentation (email to dproffit@southern.edu, or you may take the online TCPS general orientation quiz Download Form

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.

  • View more information for international applicants

    • Form I-20:  After all qualifying documentation is received, Southern Adventist University issues a letter of acceptance and the Form I-20. The letter and form must be presented to the U.S. consular officer when applying for a student visa. Only students approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for attendance at Southern may enroll.
    • On campus:  International students are encouraged to arrive on campus two weeks prior to the beginning of classes. They should contact the international student adviser as soon as they arrive. Graduate Studies must be notified if there is any change in the arrival date after admission has been granted. Individuals with student visas are required to be enrolled in a full course study (a minimum of nine graduate credit hours) during the school year.
    • Employment:  International students with an F-1 Student Visa may work on campus, provided that employment is available and provided that the student is enrolled in a full course of study and is making progress to the completion of a degree. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 40 hours per week during university vacation days.
    • When you are ready to travel: International students should not leave their homeland until they have in their possession:
      1. An admission letter of acceptance from Southern Adventist University
      2. Form I-20 issued by Southern Adventist University
      3. A valid passport
      4. A valid F-1 Student Visa to travel to the United States
      5. Sufficient funds for the first year at Southern Adventist University

 

Course guide

Select a Core or Emphasis:

Post Master's DNP Core

Post Master's DNP Core

BS to DNP Core

Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology NP prepares the nurse practitioner to care for patients with acute, complex, and critical health problems. This emphasis prepares graduates for ACNP—Adult/Gerontology national certification.
View the calendar of courses for Acute Care Adult/Gerontology NP

Acute Care Specialization—Post Master's Only prepares the certified acute-care nurse practitioner for an expanded role in an area of special interest (without new certification).
View the calendar of courses for Acute Care Specialization

Acute Care + Family NP (dual emphasis)—BSN to DNP Only

Lifestyle Medicine focuses on wholeness, prevention of disease, and promotion of health and healthy lifestyles—all of which are consistent with biblical teaching.
View the calendar of courses for Lifestyle Medicine

MBA Healthcare Administration

Nurse Educator

Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology NP

Primary Care—Family NP

Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health NP

Post Master's DNP Core Courses 16 hours
  NURS 705 DNP Seminar 0-1
  NURS 716 Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Advance Practice 4
  NURS 722 Genetics and Environment in Disease 3
  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 Courses 42 hours
Graduate Core 16 hours
  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 10 hours
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
DNP Core 7 hours
  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 9 hours
  NURS 810 Scholarly Project Development 1
  NURS 815 Scholarly Project Progression 2
  NURS 820 Scholarly Project Implementation 3
  NURS 825 Scholarly Project Evaluation 3
Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology NP 32-36 hours
Emphasis Core 23-26 hours
  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
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives—Post Master's 6 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Electives or Second Emphasis—BSN 13 hours
May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis
Acute Care Specialization—Post Master's Only 24 hours
Emphasis Core 13 hours
  NURS 570 Emergency and Disaster Management 2
  NURS 761 Acute Care Specialization I 2
  NURS 762 Acute Care Specialization II 2
  NURS 783 Practicum I: Acute Care Specialization 2
  NURS 784 Practicum II: Acute Care Specialization 2
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives 11 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Acute Care + Family NP (dual emphasis)—BSN to DNP Only 36 hours
Acute Care NP 23 hours
  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
Family NP 13 hours
  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 2
Lifestyle Medicine 28-35 hours
Emphasis Core 20-23 hours
  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
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives—Post Master's 5 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Electives or Second Emphasis—BSN 15 hours
May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis
MBA Healthcare Administration 39-48 hours
Prerequisites—Post Master's 6 hours
Prerequisites for students who have not taken undergraduate equivalents
  ACCT 505 Financial Accounting 3
  FNCE 505 Principles of Finance 3
MBA 24 hours
  BUAD 505 Management in a Changing World 3
  BUAD 510 Accounting for Control and Decision Making 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
Healthcare Administration 11-15 hours
  BEXM 505—Post Master's Legal Framework of Decisions 3
  HADM 530 Healthcare Administration 3
  NURS 638 Advanced Nursing Leadership and Role Development 3
  NURS 654 Practicum: Advanced Nursing Leadership 2
  NURS 785 Advanced Leadership Residency 4
Electives—BSN to DNP 13 hours
Select business classes from BEXM 505, HADM 530, HADM 585 6
Select nursing classes from NURS 7
Nurse Educator 26-35 hours
Prerequisites—Post Master's 12 hours
Prerequisites for students who have not taken undergraduate equivalents
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
Emphasis Core 17-20 hours
  EDUC 531 Technology and the Educator 3
  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
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives—Post Master's 6 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Electives—BSN 18 hours
May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis
Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology NP 32-35 hours
Prerequisites—Post Master's 12 hours
Prerequisites for students who have not taken undergraduate equivalents
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
Emphasis Core 22-25 hours
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  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
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives—Post Master's 7 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Electives—BSN 13 hours
May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis
Primary Care—Family NP 32-35 hours
Prerequisites—Post Master's 12 hours
Prerequisites for students who have not taken undergraduate equivalents
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
Emphasis Core 22-25 hours
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  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
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives—Post Master's 7 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Electives—BSN 13 hours
May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis
Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health NP 34-35 hours
Prerequisites—Post Master's 12 hours
Prerequisites for students who have not taken undergraduate equivalents
  NURS 520 Health Promotion 2
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
Emphasis Core 28-31 hours
  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
  RELT 540* Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
Electives—Post Master's 3 hours
Choose any NURS courses. These are required if not taken at the master's level:
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 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
Electives—BSN 7 hours
May require additional hours, depending on completion of dual emphasis

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

Lilly Tryon
Lilly Tryon

Associate Professor
ltryon@southern.edu
423.236.2154

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!

Diane Proffitt

Graduate Enrollment Counselor
dproffit@southern.edu
423.236.2957