Direct Entry DNP

The Connell School of Nursing’s accelerated Direct Entry Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) offers students with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing an exceptional education that will prepare you to succeed as an advanced practice leader in your area of specialty.

  • Summer: Nine credits.

  • Pre-licensure: Throughout the first year-and-a-half of intensive, full-time study, students prepare to take the NCLEX exam and become licensed RNs. At the end of this portion of your studies, you will be confered a generalist Master of Science in Nursing.

  • Preparing for NP boards: During the final portion of your program, you will complete courses and clinical fieldwork in your specialty and take classes with both Connell School traditional DNP students and other direct entry DNP students. You will graduate prepared for certification as a nurse practitioner.

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Ready for a rewarding challenge that will change your life — and the lives of others?

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Application requirements and deadlines

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Five nurse practitioner specialties help you identify your ideal career path and excel in your practice. Direct Entry DNP students may choose from adult-gerontology primary care, family health, pediatric primary care, psychiatric/mental health, and women’s health.

Learn about our specialties

Program Overview

Full-time students, Direct Entry Doctor of Nursing Practice (Projected Curriculum)

Year One

 Summer (SS 2)                          Fall Spring

 Adult Health (Theory & Clinical)

 Pedi (Theory & Clinical) 
  Pharm & Nutrition  Psych (Theory & Clinical)  OB (Theory & Clinical) 
  Health & Illness



Year Two

 Summer (SS 1 & 2)                         Fall  Spring 

 Population Health

 Advanced Health Assesment 
  EBP I  Pop Health Clinical  Advanced Pharmacology I

 Advanced Pathophysiology

 EBP 2




 NCLEX/MS degree awarded


Year Three

 Summer 3                          Fall 3 Spring 3
  Bridge Course

 Specialty Clinical 1

 Specialty Clinical 2 
  Elective  DNP 1  DNP 2 



Direct entry students are required to complete prerequisite courses prior to the start of the program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by June 30.  Students must receive a minimum grade of B- (80) in each of the prerequisite courses and AP credit is not accepted as fulfilling prerequisite coursework. The prerequisite courses include:

  • Social Science 
    Course may be in the area of sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, or political science.
  • Human Development, Lifespan Development, or Developmental Psychology
    A course that covers the lifespan (infancy to older adulthood) is preferred; child development (infancy through late adolescence) will be accepted. A course that only covers a single phase (e.g., infant development or adolescent development) is not acceptable.
  • Statistics 
    An introductory course is acceptable.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab (Human)
    If taken separately, one semester of anatomy and one semester of physiology are acceptable. Must focus exclusively on human anatomy and physiology (not comparative or mammalian). Courses must include lab and must have been taken within five years of application.
  • General Chemistry I with Lab
    Course must include lab and must have been taken within five years of application.
  • Microbiology (Biology of Microbes) with Lab
  • Course must include lab and must have been taken within five years of application.
  • Pathophysiology
    Course must have been taken within five years of application. Course may be waived for students with biology/neuroscience degrees in good academic standing.


It is preferred that applicants have at least 4 of the following 5 science prerequisites completed or in process at the time of application: General Chemistry with Lab, Microbiology with Lab, Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab, Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab and Pathophysiology. 

For coursework completed before applying, please submit transcripts as part of your application.

For coursework that you plan to complete after applying, but prior to starting the program, please indicate this on the application and submit transcripts following course completion. 


  • Applicants are responsible for ensuring that coursework they have completed satisfies the prerequisite requirements. The graduate program staff will not contact applicants during the admissions process to verify prerequisite coursework.
  • Prerequisite courses may be taken at any accredited college or university. This includes in-person and online courses with virtual labs, and also those available at community colleges. Please call if you have any questions.