FAQS about the DNP Program


1. What if I have not met the prerequisite classes of Nursing Theory, Ethics, or Advanced Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses, and I believe I am knowledgeable regarding the prerequisite(s)?

If no formal course was taken, faculty will conduct individual reviews of supporting materials for prerequisite content.  It is the student’s responsibility to provide materials that show they have content mastery. The course then may be waived depending on faculty evaluation. Course syllabi, objectives, papers, assignments, or proof of teaching a class are examples of supporting documents that may be used; other materials may be applicable. Otherwise the prerequisite Theory, Ethics, or Advanced Pharmacology courses will be needed. 

2. What do I do if I need to enroll in a theory or ethics prerequisite class?

Prerequisite courses can be taken through UW Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON) or though another acceptable program.  Courses taken through another University must first be approved by the CON Graduate Program.

Master’s level theory is offered each fall semester and the ethics course is offered for the last time in spring 2013.  Prospective students need to register as special students, keeping in mind that courses start before the DNP application process is complete and students will not know if they have been accepted into the program.

3. I am an advanced practice nurse. How do I show proof that I have adequate, current and sufficient pharmacology content?

You may show proof of pharmacology content by either or the following:

a. Evidence of successful completion of a pharmacology course from an accredited MSN program. 

b. Advanced practice nurses who did not have a formal pharmacology class in their program may show proof of pharmacology content through credits and content taken after their MSN programs. Content must have been taken on a consistent basis (such as the annual Pharmacology updates and/or substantive continuing education units). 

c. Advanced practice nurses who have prescriptive authority meet the requirements of this option based on their continuing education requirements.

4. What is a capstone project?

The DNP capstone project is a culminating project showing practice excellence and demonstrating leadership, knowledge of population health, evidence-based practice, inquiry, and the integration of the DNP role in a comprehensive health care environment.  The capstone is to be a practice-oriented project that meets the needs of the DNP’s community of interest.  The project is NOT a dissertation, but must exemplify scholarly activity.

5. Why do I need a DNP?

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended that by 2015, the DNP be the education preparation for advanced practice nurses (NP, CRNA, CNS, and CNM). 

In addition to the educational preparation of advanced practice nurses, the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice emphasizes the need for further education in regards to leaderships, health care policy, information systems, and health care delivery systems.  These foundations of DNP education supply the Nurse Executive and Nurse Administrator with the highest level of educational preparation in this nursing specialty.

6.  How much does the program cost?

Information regarding DNP tuition and fees can be found at:


University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
College of Nursing
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901 8660
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