DNP Admissions

Entry with an MSN degree requires:

  • APRN certification as either an NP, CNM, CNS or CRNA
  • Or, an MSN in nursing administration or nursing informatics.

Note: Applicants with a master’s degree in nursing education or similar non APRN area must apply to the post-master’s certificate plus DNP program. Vanderbilt also offers post-master’s entry for advanced practice nurses who hold a MSN and wish to add an additional specialty certification as part of their DNP program of studies.

Entry for nurses with a Master’s degree in business, informatics and health degrees other than an MSN, the DNP for Nurse Leaders and informatacists – Systems Focus Option, requires:

  • License as an RN
  • Five years post-master’s leadership experience preferred
  • Business, informatics or healthcare master’s degree (ex. MBA, MPH, MMHC, Biomedical Informatics and MSHA)

Note: The Healthcare Leadership and Informatics Specialty Directors will review the candidate’s portfolio and transcripts to determine specific requirements and design an individualized DNP program of study.

Applicants with a BSN degree can:

  • Make a seamless transition from our advanced practice nursing MSN program into the DNP program.
  • BSN applicants complete the online MSN application (available after September 15, 2014) and indicate their intention to progress directly in to the DNP program after completing MSN degree requirements.
  • Refer to the MSN program information for the details regarding your advanced practice interest area.


The University of North Carolina Board of Governors Rules and Standards require authorization by the state of North Carolina for out-of-state post-secondary degree activity and clinical practica. All specialties in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing MSN program are authorized. All specialties in the post-master's certificate program are authorized with the exception of the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP). Authorization for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the post-master's certificate in psychiatric mental health and women's health nurse practitioner specialties are in progress.