Department of Nursing

West Chester University

930 E. Lincoln Highway, Suite 100
Exton PA 19341-2848


Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is for the nurse with an earned Masters degree.

DNP applications for Fall 2015 cohort accepted until 9-30-15
Spring 2016 applications are also being accepted
Go to Graduate Admissions and choose Apply Now

Independence Blue Cross Foundation Grants for tuition assistance are available 2015-16 (residency restrictions apply)

This post-masters DNP is a 35-credit online program which has been approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors as the first doctoral program at West Chester University. The first 2-credit course, NSG 701 Transition to Doctoral Studies, is held on-campus, all other courses are online. Courses are taught by qualified WCU faculty, many of whom are advance practice nurses.

The curriculum has three components: The Science of Nursing (10 credits), Leadership (9 credits) and Practice (16 credits) that build on traditional masters degree programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, systems leadership, and other key areas. A capstone project, in lieu of a dissertation, is the culminating work. Link to the DNP Curriculum Plan.

The DNP program is a cohort model that can be completed in 9 consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring and Summer).  All coursework is online with the exception of the first course, NSG 701 Transition to Doctoral Studies, which is a 2-credit class that is done over a weekend near the WCU campus.

Program eligibility will be individually determined based on transcript evaluation, credentials, national certification, and personal interview.

DNP Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to a graduate program at West Chester University. Applicants must also have an earned masters degree in nursing in an advanced nursing specialty from a nationally-accredited program. Advance practice is defined as a direct care specialization (e.g., nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife) or indirect care specialization (e.g., nursing administration, nursing informatics).

Applicants must have a masters GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale) and be licensed Registered Nurse in their state of practice. Prerequisite to the program is a graduate level research course, and an undergraduate or graduate level statistics course.

Applicants must submit two letters of reference addressing the student's academic ability and professional competence, and complete a telephone or in-person interview with the program Coordinator.


For additional information or questions contact:
Cheryl Schlamb DNP CRNP
Department of Nursing
Graduate Coordinator
West Chester University
(610) 436-2219

Updated: 29 April 2015