Online MSN to DNP Adding New Specialty Certification


Students pursuing the MSN to DNP for adding a new specialty certificate area will follow the same requirements as the BSN to DNP program students. Since these students should already possess a MSN degree in an area of advanced practice nursing, they should have already completed the support courses (NU 518, NU 545, and NU 578). If they have not previously completed these courses they are required to complete them if required for their specialization. Students in the Executive Nursing Administration and Nursing Informatics specialties are not required to take these three courses to complete their programs.

Specialty Certificate Areas

Specialty Certificate Areas which can be added to the MSN to DNP include the following:

  • Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) Specialty
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult Health
  • Executive Nurse Administrator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The curriculum for the MSN to DNP for adding a new specialty certificate area consists of 69 to 87 credit hours. The program can be completed in 10 semesters of full-time study or in twelve semesters of part-time study. Full-time study is defined as six or more credit hours per semester. Permission to take more than 12 credit hours per semester must be obtained from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs prior to the student enrolling. The program must be completed within 7 years 

DNP Subspecialties

Subspecialties are specialty areas not considered primary areas of advanced practice nursing. Students in all programs can add these subspecialties if they are pursuing any appropriate area of advanced practice nursing.

  • Addictions Nursing
  • Advanced Forensic Nursing Care
  • Cardiovascular
  • Lipidology
  • Nurse Educator
  • Palliative Care

Clinical Requirements

Course work is offered online and students may be required to come to campus when they begin the clinical portion of their program for intensive classroom, simulation and evaluation sessions. Currently, all Nurse Practitioner specialties require students to come to campus for this intensive experience. All specialty tracks within the College of Nursing’s graduate programs require a practice component.  Faculty assist students in locating appropriate practice/clinical sites. Students who are unsuccessful in being accepted by an agency in their home community may have to travel to another area to complete practice requirements.

DNP Project

The program does not require a thesis or dissertation; however, students are required to complete a major synthesis project that results in a quality improvement change and has a substantial effect on healthcare outcomes. The project is completed as a part of the DNP Residency courses.  Residency requirements for the synthesis project can be completed in the student’s home region with an approved mentor.

Readmission Information