Doctor of Nursing Practice

The West Virginia University School of Nursing offers a post-master's program of study leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Graduates of the DNP program advance the application of nursing knowledge through the translation and implementation of evidence for practice to improve health outcomes for diverse populations. This expert level practice builds on the past advanced practice education, experience, and certification. At the completion of the program, the DNP graduate will be able to practice at the highest level of professional practice in accordance with these outcomes.
The DNP prepared nurse is prepared to participate in healthcare in numerous roles including:
  • clinical nurse specialist
  • nurse practitioner
  • nurse entrepreneur
  • nurse administrator
  • health care advocate

This post-graduate DNP program can be completed in as few as 32 credit hours. Students must complete a minimum of 5 credits of clinical immersion and 6 credits in DNP project courses (additional clinical immersion and DNP project credits may be required to meet program outcomes).

The plan of study for the DNP degree requires 1,000 post-baccalaureate hours of clinical immersion and completion of a DNP project. 

The clinical immersion experience is intended to broaden clinical experience through the assessment of system level changes and the evaluation of such changes. Approved precepted Master's level clinical hours may be counted toward the 1,000 hours, but a minimum of 300 clinical immersion hours must be earned at the DNP level.

The DNP Project documents outcomes of the student's educational experiences, and summarizes the student's growth in knowledge and expertise. The DNP Project experience serves as a foundation for leadership in future scholarly practice with the clinical setting. Guided by faculty, and with assistance of an expert in the area of interest, the DNP project demonstrates the student's ability to identify a practice or system related problem through clinical immersion, to synthesize and critically appraise the evidence related to addressing that practice problem, to negotiate within the system to implement evidence based change within an organization, implement that change, and systematically measure the results of the practice or system related change initiative.
The programs are offered by faculty on the Morgantown and Charleston campuses. Courses are offered via web-based modalities. Enrollment in nursing courses is based upon readiness, availability of space, and an adequate cohort of students. The DNP project proposal and final presentation take place on either campus depending on the preference of the committee chair.

It is a strong recommendation by the University and the School of Nursing that Graduate students limit their credit load if they are also involved in full-time work. Full-time work and studies may negatively affect the student’s ability to succeed academically.

DNP Progression Plan

View the progression plans below for more information.

Advanced Practice Nurse Post-MSN to DNP Progression

Post-MSN to DNP Course Descriptions

Students should work with their advisors to ensure they are completing the agreed upon progression plan.

View the list of course descriptions

Information Request

Our Student Services staff will be glad to answer your questions in person, by phone or by e-mail. To learn more about our program, complete the WVU Online information request and someone will be in touch.