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Successful applicants to the DNP program at Carolina will meet the following:

  Academic Criteria

  • Possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in your undergraduate nursing program. Applicants with a GPA between 2.75–2.99 may apply but must offer a strong justifiable explanation.
  • Hold a BSN degree from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program conferred by matriculation.
  • An active unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina or compact state prior to entering the program.
  • Be admissible to all previously attended colleges/universities.
  • Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, at least one year of paid clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse. The following specialties have additional requirements:
    • Adult/Gerontology (AGPCNP): applicants must have direct care experience in community, hospital or ambulatory settings that serve adult or geriatric patients.
    • Family (FNP): applicants should have experience as a Registered Nurse in a public health/community, hospital or ambulatory setting that serves patients across the life span.
    • Health Care Leadership and Administration (HCLA) applicants should have leadership experience within a health care setting (e.g., committee member, leading a service/QI project).
    • Pediatric (PNP-PC): Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, applicants must have the equivalent of 6 months of full-time clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse in a neonatal or pediatric setting, or community setting that serves children and families.
    • Psychiatric/Mental Health (PMHNP): Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, applicants should have the equivalent of 6 months of full-time clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse in an acute or community setting that serves psychiatric illness/substance abuse.
  • Provide evidence of successfully completing an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of B or better within five years of applying and prior to matriculation. The credit-bearing course may have been part of the undergraduate degree program. Note: continuing education courses will not satisfy this requirement.
  • PLEASE NOTE: BSN to DNP students at Carolina are required to enroll full-time (at least nine credit hours per semester).
  • Possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or greater in graduate coursework
  • Hold a master’s in nursing in an advanced nursing practice specialty from a nationally accredited CCNE or NLN program or a health-related MBA, MHA, or MPH from a regionally accredited university. Transcripts will be reviewed individually for admissibility and to develop a plan of study that meets program competencies for graduation. Nurses with a master’s degree in education must apply to the BSN-DNP program in a specific advanced practice area.
  • An active unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina or compact state and, if applicable, verification of current certification as an advanced practice registered nurse.
  • Eligible to return to any institutions of higher learning previously attended.
  • A completed DNP Verification of Precepted Clinical Hours Form. The top of the form is to be completed by the applicant, while the bottom is to be completed by a school official from the college or university you received your MSN degree from. Please upload this form in NursingCAS under Program Documents as “Other.”
  • Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, have a minimum of one year of full-time, paid clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse.
  • PLEASE NOTE: MSN to DNP students may enroll full-time (nine or more credit hours per semester) or part-time (six credit hours per semester). Students may work while enrolled in the program to the extent that the student’s academic progression is not compromised. However, in accordance with School of Nursing policy, full-time graduate students employed by the University may work no more than 50 percent (20 hours/week) while actively engaged in coursework. The Graduate School permits all students a maximum of five years to complete degree requirements.

 Non-Academic Criteria

Obtaining a degree from Carolina Nursing requires students to engage in diverse and complex experiences directed at acquiring and practicing skills and functions essential to the profession of nursing. Candidates for Carolina Nursing degrees must be able to meet the following minimum standards:

The practice of nursing involves the care of individuals who are ill or injured. Communicable diseases are common in health care delivery settings and may be a threat to nursing students. During the performance of clinical practice/research activities, a student may have contact with patients/subjects with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other infections. Such contact, although rare when proper preventive measures are used, may result in a student’s being exposed to infectious agents and/or transmitting an infectious disease to other students, faculty, patients, family members, and subjects. During pregnancy, the fetus may be at risk. As a student enrolled in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students are expected to provide care to patients who may have known or unknown communicable diseases. Application to and acceptance of an offer from the School of Nursing indicates a student’s understanding of related professional risks.

All students admitted to the School of Nursing are required by the North Carolina Board of Nursing to provide documentation of their fitness to provide safe nursing care to the public. Failure to provide requisite documentation will result in the withdrawal of the admission offer. Additionally, North Carolina law requires incoming students to present to the University, before the first day of enrollment, evidence verifying that the student has received all required immunizations.

Further, federal and state statutory regulations and clinical affiliate contractual mandates require that nursing students demonstrate particular cognitive and clinical competencies consistent with their minimum professional practice standards. As such, students must attain and maintain full compliance with all requirements. The school also requires students to undergo a criminal history database check following admission acceptance at the student’s expense. The check covers all addresses in which the student has lived, worked or attended an educational institution in the past seven years or since the 16th birthday, whichever is less. Database checks will address all criminal charges, felony and misdemeanor level convictions (except minor traffic related violations), and the Sexual Offender/Predator Registry for all states in which the student has lived. Reports are shared with clinical agencies who require all charges be resolved prior to the start of clinical practice. Questions about these requirements may be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at 919-966-4260.

Multiple clinical agencies now require students undergo drug testing prior to the start of clinical practice at their sites. A 12-panel urine screen to test for drugs is required per contract specifications and conducted at student’s expense.

Students who seek reasonable accommodations for disabilities must contact the Office of Accessibility Resources & Service (919-962-8300). Staff in this office will determine a student’s eligibility for, and recommend, appropriate accommodations and services. Also see the School of Nursing’s policy.

Consistent with its mission and philosophy, the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing educational opportunities to students with disabilities. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the school provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The decision regarding appropriate accommodations will be based on the specifics of each case.

All School of Nursing students are required to use e-mail for conveying course/clinical/research/other School related business. All e-mail communication regarding School of Nursing matters must utilize the student’s University MS-Exchange e-mail address only. The use of external email services is not permitted. Most School of Nursing courses use the Sakai Learning Management Systems which requires frequent reliable access to Internet resources. For both these reasons easy access to personal computers and the Web are imperative.

Because of the broad scope of clinical facilities and locations, graduate nursing students must have access to a car. For information about the North Carolina requirements for automobile liability insurance, vehicle registration, and operator’s license, write to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Raleigh, NC 27602. Students and/or parents are responsible for maintaining appropriate insurance coverage. Some insurance companies may consider such travel as “business driving.” Expenses for travel are the responsibility of the student.