Post-BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice | Kent State University

Kent State's BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program will prepare you to be an advanced practice nurse with the highest level of leadership, technology, and clinical expertise.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is the terminal degree for nurses who want to advance their knowledge of nursing practice, gain leadership and technology skills, and become clinical scholars. In this program, students develop leadership skills to affect health outcomes for individuals and populations by translating scientific evidence into clinical interventions, managing healthcare systems, and collaborating with other health care providers.

This program is ideal for registered nurses who want to enter advanced nursing practice. While the master's in nursing is currently an acceptable entryway into advanced practice, a DNP may be a requirement to practice in the future. In addition, the DNP may position you for higher leadership positions where you can affect change in practice.

Why Kent State? We offer you:

  • Online core courses, in-person practice role courses*, and practicum experiences at a location near you.
  • An experienced faculty advisor who will work with you to develop and conduct a Scholarly Project that will contribute to nursing practice and positively impact patient outcomes.
  • Mentorship and guidance from our doctorally prepared faculty, which include nationally certified advanced practice nurses, active researchers, and experienced nurse leaders who understand the challenges of today's healthcare environment.
* Practice role courses are online in the Adult-Gerontology CNS and Women's Health NP concentrations.

A structured pathway to the DNP

Diagram outlining the past to the post-BSN to DNP program - Complete the MSN, get Advanced Practice certification, and complete the DNP coursework

The first two years of the program are focused on preparing you for an advanced practice role in the concentration you choose. After completing the necessary coursework and practicum hours, you will receive your MSN and will be eligible to sit for certification.

After you are certified as an advanced practice nurse, you will complete the remainder of your DNP courses and scholarly project. The timeframe to complete this part of the DNP is 2 years on average but can range from 1.5 to 3 years.

Concentration Options

You may choose to complete your DNP in any of these advanced practice areas:

Admissions Criteria

We invite you to apply to the DNP program if you meet the following requirements:

  • An active, unrestricted RN license in the state in which practica will be completed
  • A BSN1 or an MSN in advanced practice nursing from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited school 
    • MSN applicants must have current, national APRN certification2
  • A minimum overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point scale
  • Completion of an undergraduate- or graduate-level statistics course with a minimum C grade
  • GRE scores (no more than five years old)

Additional Requirements

  • Résumé or vita that demonstrates professional experience in nursing
  • Three letters of reference from health care professionals or academic faculty who can speak to the applicant's professional and academic abilities
  • Essay (300 words) describing professional goals and reasons for seeking the professional practice doctorate
  • Pre-admission interview
  • International applicants must meet additional requirements. Students selected for admission to the nursing program must meet the College of Nursing's Clinical Compliance Policy.
1. Post-BSN applicants will be admitted to both the DNP & MSN programs. This will allow students to complete MSN coursework and enroll in some DNP coursework after successfully completing their first two full-time semesters of graduate study. Students must first complete MSN coursework, earn the MSN degree and obtain APRN national certification before they can continue with DNP coursework and earn the DNP degree.
2. Proof of the appropriate licensure must be obtained within the first semester of the student's program. or prior to beginning practicum hours, whichever comes first
Additional Requirements


The BSN-to-DNP program is 72-79 total credits, 1,050-1,200 practicum hours, and can be completed in 3.5-5 years.

Below you will find a sample curriculum plan for 4-year students.

Year 1

Fall Semester

  • MSN coursework / 9-12 credits

Spring Semester

  • MSN coursework / 11-13 credits

Summer Semester

  • MSN coursework / 0-3 credits
  • HI 80441: Clinical Analytics / 3 credits
Year 2

Fall Semester

  • MSN coursework / 7-11 credits
  • NURS 70680: Population Health / 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • MSN coursework / 6-11 credits
  • NURS 70640: Advanced Leadership in Healthcare / 3 credits

Summer Semester

MSN is awarded. You must pass your national APRN certification exam during this time.

Year 3

Fall Semester

  • NURS 70620: Doctor of Nursing Practice Seminar / 1 credit
  • NURS 70630: Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice / 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • NURS 71392: DNP Scholarly Project Practicum I / 2 credits
  • NURS 70635: Application of Evidence Based Practice / 3 credits

Summer Semester

  • NURS 72392: DNP Scholarly Project Practicum II / 2 credits
  • NURS 70650: Organizational Systems / 3 credits
Year 4

Fall Semester

  • NURS 73392: DNP Scholarly Project Practicum III / 2 credits
  • NURS 70670: Quality Improvement in Healthcare Delivery / 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • NURS 74392: DNP Scholarly Project Practicum IV / 1 credit
  • NURS 70685: Healthcare Finance and Economic Policy / 3 credits

View Course Requirements

Meet the Faculty

Learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice faculty members:

Photo of Lisa Echeverry

Lisa Echeverry
Program Director

Photo of Yea-Jyh Chen

Yea-Jyh Chen
Ph.D., RN
Assistant Professor

Photo of Kim Cleveland

Kimberly Cleveland

Photo of Louise Knox

Louise H. Knox
Assistant Professor

Photo of Marilyn Nibling

Marilyn S. Nibling
Assistant Professor

Photo of Patricia Vermeersch

Patricia Vermeersch
Associate Professor


Begin Your Transformation

Discover why Kent State's BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice program is right for you. Enrollment advisors can be reached at 330-672-7911.

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