DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner

The DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner option prepares graduates to function as doctorally prepared nurses at the highest level of clinical practice, to translate knowledge into practice, to apply policy, as well as design, implement and evaluate innovations to improve health care systems and patient centered outcomes. 

This option prepares registered nurses for leadership in primary care settings for treating families and individuals of all ages. This option offers didactic and clinical experiences that prepare you to deliver high-quality, patient-centered primary care.

We recommend that you have some clinical experience before starting this program option, but it is not required. Due to the rigorous nature of this program option and the clinical hours required, we strongly recommend that you not work full-time while pursuing this degree.

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Who Should Apply

If you’re already working as a nurse and are interested in achieving the highest level of nursing practice you should consider our DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner program.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2024

Application Open: 10/03/23

Priority: 12/01/23  

Release Date: Rolling

Final: 07/01/24
Release Date: Rolling



The DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner program is a practice doctorate program designed to prepare advanced practice nurses and nurse leaders as practice scholars to improve patient outcomes, systems change, and translate evidence into practice to improve safety and quality. The DNP graduate is prepared to apply evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking to transform health care systems and improve patient care. Graduates are also prepared to lead inter-professional collaborative teams to shape policy, health care systems, and clinical and patient care innovations. The Post-BSN DNP graduates are further prepared as family nurse practitioners to deliver and manage health care, health education, and health promotion to clients and families across the lifespan.

The DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner option consists of 72 credit hours and a minimum of 1000 direct and indirect clinical hours. Questions about program requirements should be directed to the program director, Carol Braungart or Associate Dean of DNP Program, Mercedes Echevarria.

Programs of Study

Fall 2020 or Later Start

Fall 2019 Start

Prior to Fall 2019 Start


For full listing of courses and descriptions, please visit the University Bulletin.

New Student Orientation

This mandatory virtual orientation, held in the summer, gives you the opportunity to connect with your faculty and fellow students, consult with advisers and prepare for your program.

On-Campus Requirements

  • Campus Learning and Skills Intensive (CLASI)

    • Students come to campus before they start their first clinical course to participate in CLASI.  Students participate in simulation-based learning and workshops to progress toward clinical competency
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)

    • While enrolled in NURS 6231and NURS 6232 you are required to attend a series of simulation-based learning events designed to augment the Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum. These events also allow faculty the opportunity to objectively evaluate student clinical skills in taking patient history, physical examination, critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, formulation of differential diagnoses, patient management and interpersonal communication while working with standardized patients (SPs). OSCEs also provide opportunities for professional development, networking, mentorship and one-on-one coaching from course faculty in preparation for program completion.
  • DNP Project Presentation

    • During the last semester students will present their work in an open forum to their faculty and peers.

Technology Requirements

Each student admitted to the DNP program is expected to own and have ready access to a laptop or tablet with basic productivity software for classroom use. View Policy.

Complete applications that are submitted by the priority deadline will be reviewed first. Applications do not have to be verified by the priority deadline, only completed and submitted. Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected].

A completed application includes the following components:

  • Minimum of bachelor's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Preferred scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts (from all post-secondary schools)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • Statement of Purpose describing your career goals relative to the doctoral study. You should include a general idea for your DNP project. Your vision for your post-DNP contributions to advance the nursing profession through scholarship and evidence-based practice must be emphasized in the statement Also, briefly describe your professional nursing practice and indicate any current or previous leadership roles. The applicants with a clear idea of a potential DNP project and the ability of the project to enhance/improve/contribute to nursing practice will be given preference for admission. 
  • Active and unencumbered RN license from a U.S. state or territory


  1. GW Nursing is subject to state authorization requirements in order to offer an approved nursing curriculum. View available states.

At the conclusion of this DNP program, you will be able to:

  1. Integrate findings from the sciences that provide the foundation for nursing practice.

  2. Apply leadership and systems thinking to ensure accountability for the quality of health, health care and patient safety for populations through the application of ethical, organizational, political and economic sciences.

  3. Synthesize, translate, implement, evaluate and disseminate research findings and best evidence into advanced nursing practice.

  4. Critically appraise information systems, data analytics and technology to evaluate and monitor patient and population outcomes and care systems to improve the quality and safety of health care.

  5. Formulate and evaluate health care policy to advocate for accessible, equitable and ethical healthcare for patients and populations.

  6. Convene and lead interprofessional teams that communicate and collaborate effectively to enhance patient and/or population health outcomes and health care delivery models. 

  7. Design initiatives to prevent disease and promote the health of diverse populations.

  8. Provide leadership in advanced nursing practice by incorporating evidence-based guidelines, and innovative care models to influence individual population and organizational outcomes.

All DNP students are expected to complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate practice hours as part of an academic program. You must record a minimum of 600 hours of clinical experience with an approved preceptor. We provide coursework within the program for the remaining 500 hours.

You must record a minimum of 600 hours of clinical experience with an approved preceptor. You are encouraged to find your own preceptor, but we can provide information on local clinical sites if needed.

The following clinical courses are required:

  • NURS 6230 (120 clinical hours) – Adult (Internal Medicine or Primary Care Clinics; Family Practice site is recommended)
  • NURS 6131 (240* clinical hours) – Pediatric (Outpatient Pediatric Clinics) & Women’s Health (Women’s Health Clinic; Students MUST be able to deliver routine prenatal and postpartum care to women)
  • NURS 6232 (240 clinical hours) – Family Practice Outpatient Clinical Setting *Pediatrics (120 hours) & Women’s Health (120 hours)

*Pediatrics (120 hours) & Women’s Health (120 hours)

Questions about clinical placement requirements should be directed to [email protected].