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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Cedarville University prepares the graduate nurse for advanced nursing practice. This DNP degree provides in-depth, professional, and advanced practice study for nurses to expand their knowledge of healthcare delivery, clinical expertise, leadership, and use of evidence-based practice grounded in biblical truth.

I have many choices for a DNP program, why would I choose Cedarville’s DNP program?

The Cedarville University School of Nursing is uniquely positioned to provide a rigorous academic graduate program while maintaining a low student to faculty ratio and affordable price. The faculty are dedicated to the integration of a biblical worldview into the DNP curriculum which prepares graduates to use nursing as a ministry for Jesus Christ.

What will my credentials and certifications be?

Upon degree conferral, credentials for completion of the DNP program is DNP. Students completing a track such as the family nurse practitioner or pediatric nurse practitioner will need to successfully complete a certification exam before certification as an FNP-C or PNP-PC.

Can I work full time and be a full-time student?

The majority of grad students maintain full-time employment.

BSN to DNP - NP track (FNP/PNP)
Once you begin the clinical courses, anticipate two days a week to meet the 200-hour clinical requirement for each of the 4 clinical semesters. If you have flexibility with self-scheduling, 12-hour shifts, and working weekends this will be more conducive to maintaining full-time employment. We recognize that you are balancing many life demands and your decision to apply to graduate school implies you have determined that you will be able to balance work, school, and life demands.

What are the clinical requirements for the specialty?

There are 800 clinical hours required for the NP tracks. The clinical hours will be spread over four semesters to include 200 hours each semester. The clinical experience will be congruent with the clinical course.

How do you match me with clinical/practicum preceptors?

The Graduate Clinical & Practicum Placement Coordinator (GPC) will partner with you to secure clinical/practicum site placement. The GPC will initiate contact with you early in your program to establish goals and map out a tentative clinical/practicum plan. There are many variables that impact clinical/practicum placement choice including desired hours, geographic location, career goals, previous background, and preceptor/clinical site availability.

Is travel required as part of my clinical placements?

Travel is often necessary during the clinical courses. While the CPC will work with you to secure clinical site placement as close to your geographical location as possible, it may be necessary to travel to obtain required clinical hours.

How many times do I need to be on campus?

The on-campus experiences are intentionally designed to meet course and program objectives and enhance curriculum delivery through teaching-learning practices for every learner. There are required on campus experiences for students. NP students have required on campus experiences during enrollment in clinical courses.

Program Delivery

The DNP program is designed to be flexible and courses are delivered in an online format. Courses are primarily asynchronous with some synchronous session during the semester. On campus experiences are required for NP students.

Course Offerings

The DNP courses will be offered every semester. PNP students begin clinical courses as a cohort starting every Spring semester.

Graduation Requirements

Students may choose to stop out or pause but completion of all requirements for the DNP program must be fulfilled within seven years after enrollment in the program.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits are allowed for up to nine semester hours.

DNP Practice Hours

The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education (2021) informs the practice experiences for DNP students. DNP graduates are equipped to improve health outcomes, through translating and applying evidence to clinical decision making, lead quality improvement initiatives, advocate, and collaborate within complex health systems. DNP practice hours are designed to foster growth and proficiency in advanced practice nursing or system competencies.

Post-Graduate: NP

Post-Graduate DNP students are required to complete a minimum of 500 practice hours in a professional practice setting or practice sites with a minimum of 1000 hours when combined with MSN clinical hours. A gap analysis of MSN clinical hours will be completed by the Director of the Program and the Admission, Progression, Retention Committee during the application process. All admitted DNP students will have an individualized curriculum plan based on a gap analysis.


BSN to DNP students are required to complete a minimum of 500 practice hours in a professional practice setting or practice sites in addition to the required direct care clinical hours within the FNP or PNP area of focus; or the required practicum hours for the NLHI area of focus. A minimum total of 1000 hours is required for completion of the DNP program.

DNP Scholarly Project

A hallmark of the practice doctorate is the successful completion of a project that embraces the synthesis of both coursework and practice application. The final outcome is a scholarly product reviewed, evaluated, and approved by a faculty committee chair/advisor and a project committee member. Dissemination modes include a final paper or journal article and a poster or slide presentation.  Projects are related to advanced practice in each student’s nursing specialty, and the project must demonstrate potential benefit for a group, population, or community rather than an individual patient.