Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) post-BSN

Program Description

BSN-DNP class 300px The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the UVA School of Nursing enrolls bachelor’s or master’s-prepared nurses with clinical specialty preparation. The program builds upon the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice as ratified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and avails itself to the high quality of graduate education at the University of Virginia and clinical training at the University of Virginia Health System. The DNP at the University of Virginia is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

The BSN-to-DNP program will enroll students for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) specialty only in fall 2013. It is expected that the program will enroll students preparing for other specialty certifications in future years. The program of study for AGAC students is linked below. Didactic classes will meet regularly (weekly or monthly) in Charlottesville and practicum requirements will be completed at the UVA Health System. Students will complete a minimum of 1000 practica hours for the BSN-DNP program for preparation for AGAC Clinical Nurse Specialist certification. Students interested in dual AGAC CNS/NP certification will complete a minimum of 1500 practica hours.

The DNP program culminates in the successful completion of a scholarly project, which is designed by the student in collaboration with a three-member committee. The scholarly project must be a significant, evidence-based application of existing nursing practice knowledge and be suitable for publication in a peer reviewed journal or a book. This scholarly 'Capstone Project' could be a program needs assessment with program development and evaluation, evaluation of an existing program, development of an assessment instrument/protocol, a cost/benefit analysis of program models, or other scholarly project as approved.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

The School of Nursing prepares nurses for the care of acute and chronically-ill adults at the MSN, post-master’s, as well as the doctoral levels. This is an advanced practice role that prepares the student to assume the roles of clinician, educator and researcher, as well as clinical consultant and clinical leader. Emphasis is placed on providing the student with the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to function in increasingly complex acute care settings. Evidenced-based practice, outcomes management, clinical research, and advanced clinical decision-making are emphasized.

Full-time students are expected to complete the BSN-DNP in Adult-Gero Acute Care CNS  or NP in 33 months. In the first year the student has didactic classes on Thursdays and Fridays (in the fall and spring). Clinical practica start in the summer between Years 1 and 2 and continue through the second summer. In the second academic year, the some classes will meet weekly and other will meet monthly.  The third year of the program is focused on the DNP Capstone project. Students may select to pursue a second Acute Care certification (ACNP, CNS or WOC) and the practica hours for that second certification are also completed in the third year.

WOC Nursing: Students in the Adult-Gero Care CNS or NP programs can select to pursue Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing specialty preparation. Students in this program would complete two didactic courses in WOCN, as well as an additional preceptorship specifically in WOC nursing. This would enable the student to sit for AWOCN certification following program completion.

Information Sessions

We hold monthly information sessions on the DNP program. Click here for the schedule of upcoming sessions.

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Dorothy Tullmann, DNP Program Director


Kathryn Reid, Assistant DNP Program Director

Renee Breeden, Administrative Assistant

Faculty Leaders

DNP Program Director: Dorothy Tullmann, PhD, RN, CNL; (434) 924-0131;
Assistant DNP Program Director: Kathryn Reid, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, CNL; (434) 924-0115;

Direct all questions on admissions and financial aid to Assistant Dean Clay Hysell, (434) 924-0066,

  • The admissions application is available on your My Grad UVa page.  If you have not created a MyGrad UVa page, please click here.

Financial Aid

Students applying for or enrolled in the PhD in Nursing or DNP programs can apply for the Virginia Doctoral Nursing Student Loan Assistance Repayment Program administered through the University of Virginia. Full-time doctoral students are eligible to borrow up to $25,000/year during the coursework phase of their programs (Year 1 and Year 2 in either doctoral program). These loans would be cancelled if you taught full-time at any public or private nursing program in Virginia for four years (two year of teaching for each year of loan). The application deadline is May 15.

DNP students are also eligible for other School of Nursing aid (teaching assistantships, scholarships, nurse traineeship funds, and the Nurse Faculty Loan Program). Visit our tuition and financial aid website for more information.  


The American Academy of Colleges of Nursing have mandated that all DNP graduates have completed at least 1000 hours of precepted clinical experiences in their specialty area. Most MSN programs and Advanced Practice certifications require only 500 hours.

All DNP students at the University of Virginia will complete at least 1000 precepted clinical hours post-BSN. Approximately 1/2 of these hours will prepare you to sit for Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) certification as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinial Nurse Specialist (AG-ACCNS) or Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP).   Your faculty mentor in the DNP program at the University of Virginia will create an individualized clinical plan with you to meet the goals and objectives of your proposed Capstone.

Even though most practica requirments will be met at the University of Virginia Medical Center, the School has existing clinical contracts across Virginia. 


Students in the BSN-DNP program will be eligible to sit for AG-AC Clinical Nurse Specialist or AG-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification at the completion of the program.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive and based on evaluation of all portions of the application. To be considered for the Doctor in Nursing Practice, applicants must submit a completed application and:

  • Have a BSN degree from a nationally accredited (CCNE or NLNAC) school.
  • Have at least 2 years of full-time RN experience in a relevant area (acute care or intensive care).
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate and graduate study.
  • Have completed an intermediate-level course in statistics within the past 5 years.
  • Possess an unencumbered RN license in the US and be eligible for RN certification in Virginia.  All matriculating students who are not active-duty military nurses must have a Virginia RN license before the first day of classes.
  • Submit three satisfactory academic and professional recommendations.
  • Submit a copy of your resume or CV.
  • Send official transcripts for all post-secondary study.
  • Be available for an interview if requested.
  • International applicants have additional requirements.
  • Submission of GRE scores is optional*.

Application deadline - November 1 for Fall entry

*If you want to send GRE scores to the University, the Institutional Code is R-5820. The School of Nursing accepts GRE scores that are more than 5 years old. If you have your 'older' scores, you may submit a copy of the Student Report. 


A competitive candidate for admission to the BSN-DNP program would have the following at the time of application:

  • BSN gpa of 3.50 or higher;
  • More than one year of relevant, full-time RN experience;
  • Active member of a national nursing organization (preferably in your practice area);
  • Exhibit leadership behaviors in a nursing practice setting (mentoring other nurses, participating in unit or hospital-based leadership teams, engaged in practice change and evidence-based projects);
  • Posess a clinical certification or on the pathway to one or more certifications; and
  • Demonstrate excellent writing skills.

Program of Study, Downloads & Links


For More Information

For additional information on admission to and programs of study at the UVA School of Nursing, please complete our inquiry form. You are also welcome to call the Office of Admissions and Student Services at (434) 924-0141 / (888) 283-8703.

Questions on admissions and financial aid should be directed to Clay Hysell, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid,