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Application Checklist

Application Process

Applicants to the UHCON DNP program will be reviewed holistically on an individual basis. Criteria have been established by the faculty against which each applicant is evaluated for admission.

  • Complete the NursingCAS online application for graduate admission at the NursingCAS website. NursingCAS is a national centralized application service for students applying to registered nursing programs. Submit all required documents to NursingCAS so that your application can be processed in a timely manner. Request all official transcripts be sent directly to NursingCAS. Students should ensure that all official documents have been submitted to Nursing CAS at least 6 weeks prior to the deadline date. To be eligible for this program you must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in your cumulative (all) course work.
  • Applicants must submit official transcript(s) from EACH college or university attended. Transcripts must be sent directly from each institution to NursingCAS.
  • The mailing address for NursingCAS is:
    P.O. Box 9201
    Watertown, MA 02471
  • Please direct all questions regarding your application to:
    NursingCAS Customer Service
    Telephone: 617-612-2880
  • Earned baccalaureate degree in nursing from a national accredited program.
  • Earned master’s degree in an advanced nursing specialty from a national accredited nursing program.
  • Evidence of current, unencumbered, valid licensure as a registered nurse in the State of Texas.
  • Certificate as an advanced practice nurse (if applicable).
  • Certified, or eligible for certification, in American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nurse Executive (NE-BC), or ANCC Nurse Executive, Advanced (NEA-BC) (if applicable).
  • Minimum of one year’s experience as a nurse practitioner, or one year’s experience in a healthcare leadership position.
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0-point scale in upper division nursing and/or graduate courses.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    • The TOEFL score required is 79 for the internet-based test.
    • The minimum TOEFL score for the paper-based exam is 550.
    • TOEFL scores must be received directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS).
    • The University of Houston’s ETS Institutional Code is 6870.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)
    • The minimum IELTS score required is an overall score of a 6.5.
    • The testing agency should mail the official results directly to the University of Houston.
    • No electronic IELTS are accepted.
  • Written statement for area of clinical practice interest, career goals after earning the DNP, reasons for pursuing doctoral study in a DNP program, why the DNP will help achieve your career goals rather than a PhD in nursing, and ideas for a final DNP project. (500-word limit.)
  • Resume or CV.
  • Two satisfactory letters of recommendation:
    1. Doctoral prepared university nursing faculty
    2. Employer
  • Completed GRE or MAT within the last 5 years.
  • Scheduled interview with DNP faculty if invited.
  • Satisfactory completion and review of security screening prior to enrollment.
  • All clinical readiness requirements including immunization requirements met prior to enrollment as outlined in the student policy S101.

Graduates of a DNP program must achieve 1000 clinical hours from a combination of clinical hours in the master’s program and the DNP program. Each student will achieve a minimum of 500 clinical hours in the UHCON DNP program. To ensure students meet the required minimum 1000 clinical hours, students with an MSN degree that did not include 500 clinical hours must have a portfolio review to determine an action plan for achieving the required clinical hours. A plan will be developed to achieve any additional hours required. The portfolio may include a written description of the individual’s practice experience, participation in academic and specialized programs in the specialty area, national certification in specialty area, and/or additional activities and experiences that exemplify expert practice in nursing and healthcare leadership. The clinical hours accepted to meet the 500-hour requirement at the master’s level must be outside the individual’s normal scope of paid employment.

The DNP has become the preferred preparation for advanced nursing practice. In contrast to PhD programs that prepare nurse researchers, the DNP emphasizes preparing practice leaders with the expertise to apply and translate research evidence into practice. A DNP scholarly project is required rather than a dissertation. The DNP project will include learning acquisition from both coursework and clinical application. The faculty serving as the DNP scholarly project team will review and evaluate the student’s project the DNP scholarly project team will consist of doctoral prepared faculty engaged in practice relevant to the student’s chosen DNP project topic. Successful completion of the DNP scholarly project culminates in a final manuscript, oral presentation, and poster presentation.