Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master’s Degree to DNP

Program Highlights

  • Six semesters
  • Can be completed in 2 years, taking 2 courses at a time
  • Courses offered online
  • Required on campus meetings: summer orientation day, project proposal presentation day, and final scholarly project report presentation day
  • Culminates with a practice-based project in the student’s area of interest
  • Part-time 3-year option available

Otterbein MSN or BSN alumni (with an MSN degree) are now eligible for the Otterbein Graduate School Alumni Scholarship for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program (MSN to DNP). Scholarship support is available NOW for Summer and Fall 2021.

Ready to learn more?
Contact Kelly Cornett, BS, ASN, RN, Graduate Nursing Recruiter at cornett1@otterbein.edu or 614-823-3272 or visit our Alumni Benefits page for information about this and other opportunities.

Innovate & Transform

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (Master’s Degree to DNP) is a practice-focused doctorate designed for expert advanced practice nurses and for nurse executives. The program develops advanced practice nurses and nurse executives committed to scholarly evidence-based practice, innovation, testing of care delivery models, and evaluation of health outcomes for the good of all members of society.

The curriculum culminates in a capstone experience that focuses on a clinical project related to the student’s area of interest and expertise.

Admission Criteria

  1. Degree Requirement
    • Advanced Practice Focus
      Master’s degree in nursing with role preparation in Advanced Nursing Practice from an institution of higher education that is fully accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency and either Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation.
    • Nurse Executive Focus
      Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an institution of higher education that is fully accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency, and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CHEA), and a Master’s degree in a health-related field or a Master of Business Administration degree, from an institution of higher education that is fully accredited.
  2. A current valid and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse in the U.S. In addition, an applicant must not have had a previous revocation, denial, suspension, or restriction of their license from any state or country. Current unrestricted licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state where the clinical experiences, as well as the practice project will be conducted.
  3. Applicants for the Advanced Practice Focus must also have national board certification as an advanced practice registered nurse (certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or certified nurse midwife). National certification in nursing administration/executive preferred for applicants to the Nurse Executive Focus.
  4. Minimum of one (1) year paid clinical work experience within the past three years as a Registered Nurse (which can include work at the advanced level of practice) before the application deadline, documented on the submitted resume.
  5. Evidence of capacity for graduate study.
    • A blended cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all previous graduate course work on the submitted transcripts;
    • Positive professional recommendations; and
    • Completion of graduate-level research course. Completion of a graduate-level statistics course is recommended.
  6. Ability to articulate one’s professional goals, evidenced by the Admission Essay and faculty interview, with applicant’s goals congruent with the objectives and resources of the Otterbein University Department of Nursing.
    The essay should:
    • Summarize the applicant’s professional background;
    • Describe past experiences and reflections that have influenced these goals; and
    • Discuss professional and career goals, and how these goals can be achieved in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, as well as ideas for the final scholarly project.

    The essay should be carefully planned, written, and edited by the applicant.

  7. After review of the written materials, a selected pool of applicants will be required to participate in a faculty interview.

The following experiences are not criteria for selection, but are highly recommended:

  1. Demonstrated facility with computer-based office productivity tools, including word processing, electronic mail, and spreadsheet manipulation. This may be achieved by completing one or more of several online tutorials and face-to-face workshops; and
  2. Demonstrated facility with the most recent version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (also referred to as APA style). This may be achieved by taking one of several available tutorials, including the APA Tutorial available at the APA website.

Application Process

  1. Complete the online application. Include your entire list of colleges/universities attended, and have your nursing license number ready. You do not need to log back into this application once submitted.
  2. Submit to gradadmit@otterbein.edu the following documents, preferably as an MS Word or PDF file:
    • A resume with all professional experience documented. Also include leadership activities, scholastic awards, nursing organizational memberships, and community service, as applicable.
    • The Admission Essay.
    • Evidence of licensure and certification, if any. Include professional licensure numbers and licensing state, and a copy of the certificate issued by your national board certification body. The Graduate School will verify licensure and certification, which will be added to the student file.
  3. Request from all institutions of higher education where you have earned credit, irrespective of number of courses taken, that an individual official transcript be sent to The Graduate School, Otterbein University. They may be sent directly from the institution electronically to gradadmit@otterbein.edu.
  4. Request from two individuals who can support your potential academic ability, clinical competency, and personal character that they complete and submit a recommendation form. At least one should be from a clinical preceptor or person who has evaluated your clinical ability. Otterbein University reserves the right to contact persons providing recommendations and to acknowledge receipt of recommendations. Request that they be sent electronically to gradadmit@otterbein.edu.

Students must submit documentation of meeting health requirements – including completion of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) curriculum – prior to starting classes, and must submit documentation of keeping health requirements current throughout their course of study.

Curriculum Requirements

Total of 32 graduate credit hours.

Note: A minimum grade of B minus (B-) is required in all courses. Students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 throughout the program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Core Courses
NURS 7210 3 hrs Knowledge Building for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7220 3 hrs Evidence-Based Practice & Informatics for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7230 3 hrs Biostatistics & Epidemiology for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7240 3 hrs Quality Practice for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7250 3 hrs Policy & Politics for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7260 3 hrs Leadership for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Nursing Practice Project Courses
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study Note: NURS 7920 is taken the last three semesters of study for a total of 3 cr hrs.
NURS 7940 3 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice I
NURS 8000 3 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice III
Choose one course from the following:
NURS 7950 5 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice II – Advanced Practice Focus only
NURS 7955 5 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice II – Nurse Executive Focus only

Sample Plan of Study Grid

First Year Master’s Degree to DNP – Advanced Practice Focus

Summer Semester
NURS 7210 3 hrs Knowledge Building for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7220 3 hrs Evidence-Based Practice & Informatics for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Semester Hours = 6
Fall Semester
NURS 7230 3 hrs Biostatistics & Epidemiology for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7240 3 hrs Quality Practice for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Semester Hours = 6
Spring Semester
NURS 7250 3 hrs Policy & Politics for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7260 3 hrs Leadership for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Semester Hours = 6
Total Year Hours = 18

Second Year Master’s Degree to DNP – Advanced Practice Focus

Summer Semester
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study
NURS 7940 3 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice I
Semester Hours = 4
Fall Semester
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study
NURS 7950 5 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice II
Semester Hours = 6
Spring Semester
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study
NURS 8000 3 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice III
Semester Hours = 4
Total Year Hours = 14

Total Program Hours = 32

First Year Master’s Degree to DNP – Nurse Executive Focus

Summer Semester
NURS 7210 3 hrs Knowledge Building for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7220 3 hrs Evidence-Based Practice & Informatics for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Semester Hours = 6
Fall Semester
NURS 7230 3 hrs Biostatistics & Epidemiology for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7240 3 hrs Quality Practice for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Semester Hours = 6
Spring Semester
NURS 7250 3 hrs Policy & Politics for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NURS 7260 3 hrs Leadership for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Semester Hours = 6
Total Year Hours = 18

Second Year Master’s Degree to DNP – Nurse Executive Focus

Summer Semester
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study
NURS 7940 3 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice I
Semester Hours = 4
Fall Semester
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study
NURS 7955 5 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice II: Nurse Executive
Semester Hours = 6
Spring Semester
NURS 7920 1 hrs Final Scholarly Project for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Supervised Study
NURS 8000 3 hrs Doctor of Nursing Practice III
Semester Hours = 4
Total Year Hours = 14

Total Program Hours = 32

DNP FAQs

Q. How long is the program?
A. Six semesters as a Master’s Degree to DNP student taking 2 courses a semester and completing in 2 years. You may also elect to take one course per term the first two years and finish the program in 3 years.

Q. What are the course formats?
A. Courses are online with one or more required virtual meetings in the late afternoon or evening. There is a required all-day face-to-face meeting the first semester for orientation. The project proposal presentation and final project presentation are generally held on campus and in person as well.

Q. Will I get credit for any of my master’s clinical hours?
A. Otterbein has adopted the recommendations from the AACN on clinical hours. Students must complete 1,000 supervised clinical hours in an academic program after attaining the bachelor’s degree in nursing. If the student has completed national board certification, some of these hours may be credited. Otterbein University requires students complete at least 300 of these hours while enrolled in Otterbein University courses.

Q. Can I get transfer credit for any of my other graduate work?
A. Limited transfer credit may be available. Generally, at the graduate level not more than two courses can be transferred.

Q. Are there any courses I need to take prior to the program?
A. Students must have completed a graduate-level research course. We also recommend taking a graduate-level statistics course.

Q. Can I hold a RN in license in a state other than Ohio?
A. Yes, you must hold an active unencumbered RN license in the state in which you will conduct your clinical hours and your final scholarly project.

Q. Does my work experience need to have been in a clinical environment in the last 3 years?
A. If pursuing the Advanced Practice Focus, recent clinical experience will be helpful. Thus, we require 1 year of full-time (or part-time equivalent to full-time) direct care experience in the last 3 years for those students.

Q. What if I have been most recently working in administration?
A. We do offer a Nurse Executive Focus and it requires 1 year of full-time (or part-time equivalent to full-time) experience in a nursing administrative position in the last 3 years.

Q. When is the admission deadline?
A. Check each degree page to see application deadlines. First courses begin Summer Semester. See the published Academic Calendar for details.

Q. How should I prepare for the faculty interview?
A. The faculty will be interested in your career goals, your planned academic trajectory, your ideas for your final scholarly project, and any concerns you may have.

Q. What are some examples of the final project?
A. Samples of our DNP graduate projects are listed on our Digital Commons Website.

Q.How much time does a final project generally require?
A. The final scholarly project timeline depends on the project selected. Generally, the project can be completed in the final year of study.

Q. How many hours should I plan to dedicate to my studies per week?
A. Per Otterbein University’s Statement on Credit Hour Definition & Expectation for Student Work
“For each credit hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction, students are expected to engage in two hours of out-of-class work (e.g., readings, homework, studying, and project preparation). A four-semester credit hour course requires eight hours per week of out-of-class work.”

Q. What can I expect as an increase in salary with a DNP?
A. Salary is determined by individual employers. Average national salary figures are available at the AACN Website.

Q. If I need to drop out for any reason, how long do I have to complete the program?
A. Students must complete the program within six years. In the case of an emergency, see the Department of Nursing’s Leave of Absence policy in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Program Tuition Estimates

The following fees are for tuition only. Additional lab, resource, and technology fees can be found on the fee schedule on the Business Office websiteAcceptance deposit fees that are credited towards tuition are: BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia $1,000; all other degrees and certificates $500. Costs subject to slight increases each academic year.

Graduate Nursing Program MSN Tuition Estimate DNP Tuition Estimate
BSN2(MSN+1)=DNP
Family Nurse Practitioner, BSN2(MSN+1)=DNP $28,191 $46,989
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, BSN2(MSN+1)=DNP $36,144 $54,942
BSN to DNP
Nurse Anesthesia (Click here for more cost info for the NA major) $100,680
Master’s Degree to DNP
Advanced Practice Nurse Focus $23,136
Nurse Executive Focus $23,136
Post-Master’s Certificate
Family Nurse Practitioner $22,407
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner $29,637
Graduate Nursing Tuition Fees per Credit Hour
5000- and 6000-Level Courses $642 per cr hr
7200-, 7300-, 7400-, 7500-, 7900-, and 8000-Level Courses $723 per cr hr
7600-, 7700-, and 7800-Level Courses $1,250 per cr hr

 

Payment Options

To help you manage your graduate school expenses Otterbein offers the ePay payment system and resources you may research for scholarship opportunities (see non-Otterbein Sources of Aid below). We recommend that you speak with the graduate financial aid counselor at 614-823-1379. See the Business Office site for information about ePay.

Graduate Nursing Financial Aid Options

Graduate students are eligible for consideration for a variety of scholarships and loans.

Non-Otterbein Sources of Aid

National Scholarship Opportunities

Ohio Scholarship Opportunities

Loan Repayment Opportunities

Otterbein Financial Aid

For information about financial aid available from Otterbein, see the Office of Financial Aid site.

Application Deadlines

Program of Study Annual Deadline Starting Term
Family Nurse Practitioner
BSN to DNP (MSN included)
Post-Master’s Certificate
Priority deadline December 1st, then Rolling* Summer
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
BSN to DNP (MSN included)
Post-Master’s Certificate
Priority deadline December 1st, then Rolling* Summer
Master’s Degree to Doctor of Nursing Practice
Advanced Practice Focus
Nurse Executive Focus
Priority deadline December 1st, then Rolling* Summer
Nurse Anesthesia
BSN to DNP August 1st Summer (yearly)
Associate’s Degree to Doctor of Nursing Practice, MSN Included
Family Nurse Practitioner, Associate’s Degree to DNP
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Associate’s Degree to DNP
Not accepting applications at this time.

*Rolling admission application review, while seats remain available.

DNP Student Learning Outcomes & University Learning Goals (KMERI*)

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from the natural and social sciences as a basis for the highest level of nursing practice. Knowledge
2. Provide organizational and systems leadership in advanced nursing practice roles to improve patient and health care outcomes, through advocacy and implementation of management and quality improvement strategies. Responsible
3. Provide leadership for evidence-based practice, through translation of research for practice, dissemination of research findings, application of research findings, implementation of quality improvement methodologies, evaluation of practice outcomes, and participation in collaboration research. Inquisitive
4. Demonstrate proficiency in the utilization and evaluation of information systems/technology resources for knowledge application, management of individual and aggregate data, and quality improvement. Knowledgeable
5. Provide leadership in the analysis, development, implementation and evaluation of healthcare policies, congruent with advocacy for social justice, equity and ethics in global health care. Multi-literate, Responsible
6. Employ effective communication, collaboration and leadership skills with individuals, groups and teams to facilitate problem solving and team functioning for improvement in health care and health care delivery. Engaged
7. Analyze epidemiological, bio-statistical, environmental and other appropriate data for developing, implementing and evaluating clinical prevention and population health interventions. Inquisitive
8. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment in designing, implementing and evaluating therapeutic interventions to improve patient and/or health care outcomes. Knowledgeable
9. Analyze the legal, ethical, economic, and professional functions of the APN. Multi-literate, Inquisitive
10. Integrate caring behaviors and patterns including cultural competence and attention to underserved regional and global individuals and groups into ANP roles. Engaged, Responsible

MSN Student Learning Outcomes & University Learning Goals (KMERI*)

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Synthesize knowledge from nursing and relevant fields of study as a basis for an advanced nursing role. Knowledgeable
2. Use the nursing process to perform the independent, collaborative, multifaceted functions of an advanced nursing role to optimize health care outcomes. Engaged
3. Demonstrate critical thinking when making decisions regarding the delivery of quality, cost-effective, culturally relevant health care to individuals or populations. Responsible
4. Analyze the legal, political, ethical, financial, and professional functions of advanced nursing roles. Inquisitive
5. Examine the implications of health care issues, health care delivery systems and informatics on nursing. Multi-literate
6. Provide leadership in advanced nursing roles through advocacy and change management within the health care delivery system. Multi-literate
7. Integrate caring behaviors and patterns into advanced nursing roles. Engaged
8. Apply the body of nursing knowledge through systematic inquiry, professional standards of care, and evidence-based practice. Knowledgeable, Responsible