About the Program

The University of Louisville Doctor of Nursing Practice program can be entered with either a BSN or MSN degree.

BSN to DNP option is designed for RNs who are seeking nurse practitioner certification.  We currently offer five specialties.  The degree requires a total of 75 to 78 credit hours to complete depending on the selected specialty.  These credit hours are completed in three years of full-time study with part-time study options available. 

MSN to DNP option is for individuals with a master’s degree in nursing who are interested in taking a more scholarly approach to practice, developing leadership skills, and advocating for health systems changes.  In the Louisville program you will use current evidence and your health care experience to create an innovative practice program, develop a quality improvement project, impact health policy, or write an evidence based practice guideline.  The project will be based on your scholarly interests and will take your involvement in the health care system to a new level. 

MSN to DNP students can choose one of three entry points depending on the individual’s previous academic and professional credentials.

  • An APRN seeking a DNP without a second specialty
  • An APRN seeking a DNP with a second specialty
  • A Master’s prepared student that is not an APRN must choose a first specialty
Upon receipt of your official college transcripts, your program of study will be created based on your previous academic and professional credentials.

Clinical Hours
Students in the BSN to DNP program will complete 1000 hours of clinical work.  This includes the population specific nurse practitioner clinicals as well as clinical work towards the completion of the DNP project.  Students in the MSN to DNP program, with no specialty, will complete a minimum of 330 clinical hours acquired during the completion of the DNP project. 

Delivery of Course Materials
Our DNP program is structured in a hybrid format.  Students are required to attend class on campus 4 to 6 times a semester.  Classes are typically scheduled on Thursdays and the student should plan to be in class or otherwise engaged in academic activity from 9:3 0am to 8:00 pm on those days.  The remainder of the class content will be delivered in an online format.  A variety of online and distance learning techniques are used to facilitate the program and enrich the students’ learning experience.  The majority of coursework will be asynchronous.  Synchronous activities will be scheduled by the faculty and will be listed in the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester.

The DNP Project
The culmination of the practice doctorate is the successful completion of the DNP Project that demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s experiences.  The DNP project will be reviewed and evaluated by a faculty chair and the doctoral academic affairs committee.  The chair will be a member of the University of Louisville School of Nursing faculty with doctoral preparation and who has experience relevant to the student’s topic of interest.  Successful completion of the DNP project demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s coursework and practice application and culminates in a final manuscript and public presentation.

Licensure Disclosure
DNP graduates from the UofL School of Nursing are prepared to apply for APRN certification in their population track upon graduation; however, educational preparation does not guarantee professional licensure. If you have questions regarding Kentucky APRN licensure, please contact the Kentucky Board of Nursing (kbn.ky.gov/aprnlicenseinfo/Pages/default.aspx). For APRN licensure questions in other states, please contact the respective state board of nursing (ncsbn.org/contact-bon.htm).


CCNE logo

The bachelor of science in nursing, master of science in nursing, and doctor of nursing practice programs at University of Louisville are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Application Information

The application cycle for the fall term admission opens October 15 and closes March 15. The BSN- DNP program admits only for the fall term. All applications completed by the deadline will be reviewed and decision letters emailed to all applicants in 6-8 weeks.

Application Deadlines

Fall start - BSN-DNP and MSN-DNP:  March 15

Spring start - MSN to DNP only: October 1

**Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty admits full-time in even years only. 2022 will be the next full-time admission cycle. Students admitted in 2021 will have a part-time progression.


The University of Louisville School of Nursing participates in Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which provides you with an online application. NursingCAS collects and processes your application documents and verifies your transcripts. We receive your application information from NursingCAS and use it to make our admission decisions.

You do not need to submit any of your supporting documents to the University of Louisville.  Only the University of Louisville Graduate Admissions Application is required with a reduced fee of $40.

All required items must be uploaded and transcripts verified by NursingCAS on or before the published deadline. The transcript verification process can take several weeks after receipt of transcript, so please see that all materials are received by NursingCAS well in advance of the published deadline.

NursingCAS provides detailed instructions on their website.  Review information under the “Prepare to Apply” tab. The system provides you with updates on your progression as you work through the application and allows you to check your status online to track the receipt of your application, transcripts and references.

Questions on how to upload required documents or questions regarding receipt of transcripts should be directed to NursingCAS and not to the School of Nursing.

Questions regarding admission requirements should be directed to nursserv@louisville.edu

Admission Requirements

A holistic review process is used when considering applications for admission to the DNP program.  The holistic review considers multiple criteria for admission, including the applicant’s professional career goals, academic capabilities, GPA, work experience, leadership and community engagement.

To the Graduate School:

  • Completed Graduate Admission Application including a reduced application fee. No additional documents required with UofL application. Please send all admission documents to Nursing CAS).

To Nursing CAS:

  • Official transcripts from all college course work. Degree must be from a regionally accredited institution and a NLN, CCNE or ACEN accredited nursing program. Applicants who have attended a college or university outside the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). BSN-DNP recommended undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. MSN-DNP recommended graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your academic and/or professional capabilities and potential.
  • Within the application, be prepared to answer the following questions:
    • Describe your reasons for applying to a doctor of nursing practice program, including your short and long-term professional goals.
    • What is your motivation for choosing your selected specialty?
    • Explain your professional growth and development that has specifically prepared you for the specialty for which you have applied.
    • Identify and discuss a system or population health problem that could benefit from an evidence-based change.
  • Professional resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • RN verification of licensure from the Board of Nursing.
  • Students for whom English is not their primary language must show English Proficiency

Minimum of one year of RN experience in a Level III or Level IV NICU recommended prior to admission. All NNP applicants must have the equivalent of 2 years of full-time clinical practice experience (within the last 5 years) in Level III and/or IV NICU inpatient settings before a student begins clinical courses.


*Please note that all nursing students are required to have background checks upon acceptance of their admissions into the School of Nursing. As a result, the Kentucky Board of Nursing requires nursing students to report all misdemeanors and felonies to them. Carefully read the guidelines on the Kentucky Board of Nursing website.


School of Nursing Costs

Background Check

$58; at point of application to SON

Cardinal Card (Student ID)

$10 Replacement Costs


Visit Campus Health website for individual costs.

Liability Insurance

$75-$100 estimate per year

Major Medical Health Insurance

Visit Campus Health website for individual costs. Required by UofL. May waive with proof of insurance

Parking Permit

Required for UofL campus parking. Costs vary.


$85-$100 estimate pending model

Student Health Fee

$52.50 per semester, Campus Health Services

Financial Aid

    Contact us:

    School of Nursing Office of Student Services

    Phone502.852.1196 or
    1.877.81NURSE (816-8773)

    Health Science Campus
    555 S. Floyd Street
    Third Floor, School of Nursing
    Louisville, KY 40292


    UofL Office of Admissions


    Office of Graduate Admissions