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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of
Nursing Practice

Doctor of

Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is an online post master’s nursing degree program focused on evidence-based practice, leadership, healthcare policy and advocacy, inter-professional collaboration, and expert clinical, advanced nursing practice. The DNP  program will prepare advanced practice nurses (APNs) at the highest level of practice for leadership roles applying and translating research into practice with the goal of producing expert clinical leaders for positions in practice.

Program of Study

The DNP is a 35 credit hour program. All course work will be provided in an online format. Students will spend up to 2-3 days a year during the summer in on-campus immersion experiences for a program orientation and translational research symposia (a maximum of three summer immersions is anticipated, is planned for the last Thursday and Friday of July each year, beginning with the DNP Orientation in year 1. Students complete didactic coursework in a part-time program (minimum of 6 semesters). Graduation is based upon successful completion of all coursework and a Practice Integration Project (PIP). DNP graduates must complete a total of 1000 hours, including precepted practicum hours earned in the MS Nursing Program.


Upon completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate relationship centered nursing leadership to improve the healthcare, health status, and health outcomes of individuals, families, communities and populations while addressing health disparities.
  • Integrate biopsychosocial, cultural, organizational/systems, informatics, ethical and legal knowledge with nursing science as a foundation for expert clinical nursing practice in a specific nursing clinical specialization.
  • Engage in interprofessional, collaborative partnerships to frame problems, design and implement evidence- based interventions and evaluate outcomes.
  • Formulate health promotion, disease prevention and treatment strategies that translate and integrate genetics/genomics, individual behaviors and lifestyle factors, family, community and culture, social and economic forces, and public and person health systems addressing access, quality and safety.
  • Transform practice through knowledge reflection, knowledge-based resources, information technology/informatics, strategic resource management and evidence-based practice research/action inquiry.
  • Translate knowledge for application in the delivery of advanced nursing practice and nursing administration/health leadership.
  • Implement changes based on evaluation of health systems, health policy, and nursing science in response to social, political, economic and ethical issues.
  • Develop and evaluate care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations based on scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences.


Students will complete a Practice Integration Project Design (PIP) designed to demonstrate clinical scholarship by utilizing the evidence to improve practice and healthcare outcomes.

In addition to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the School of Nursing offers a Master of Science, major in Nursing degree with Family Nurse Practitioner (primary care), Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (primary care), Nursing Administration, Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Specialist options.

State Reciprocity

South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs. State authorization allows CU the ability to offer online programs to students who live outside of SC OR enroll students in learning placements that will take place outside of SC (such as internships, clinicals, practicums, and student teaching). CU must meet all of the regulatory requirements, including those from licensure/certification boards, of the state where the student physically resides or where an activity will take place. IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU UNDERSTAND THE REGULATIONS FOR YOUR STATE PRIOR TO ENROLLING IN ANY ACADEMIC PROGRAM OR COURSE. Please review our state authorizations to determine if specific program offerings or learning placements are available in the state which you will be physically located while enrolled. If you experience difficulty finding the requirements for a specific state, please email for help.

If you are expecting a change in your physical location, contact the State Authorization office as soon as you know the anticipated location(s). Physical presence in a location where we do not meet state regulatory requirements can negatively impact our ability to offer you federal financial aid, military tuition assistance, or your continuation within the program. These restrictions extend to courses taken online over the summer, internships, clinicals or other forms of learning placements if they are conducted outside of an approved state. Students are responsible for providing accurate and updated information about their physical presence to the institution. Early notification allows the institution to minimize, but may not prevent, the possibility of program delays/offerings.


Required documents include:

  • Online Application
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for International Students
  • Official Transcripts for all post-secondary coursework are required Documentation by the nursing program of clinical practice hours in the Master’s nursing program
  • Three letters of reference addressing academic ability and practice knowledge/skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited program
  • Master’s degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited program
  • MS nursing GPA of 3.0 or higher - applicants who attended a program with pass/fail grades will not be competitive
  • Unencumbered, active Registered Nurse (APRN) license in the state in which Practice Integration Project will be completed
  • Current NP/CNS national certification in specialty area
  • Background Check
  • Graduate course in statistics
  • Resume
  • Personal statement – background, career goals and how the DNP program will support fulfillment of your goals
  • Letter of support from practice or healthcare institution/system for DNP Project


The School or Program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.

Program Contact

Ellen B. Chiles, M.Ed
Student Services Coordinator
Office: 467 CU Nursing building
Phone: 864-720-2052