The Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares nurses at an advanced level of nursing practice and evidence-based science, emphasizing the development of the student's capacity to impact the clinical setting as a leader and educator and to translate clinical research to improve and transform health care, with a focus on urban populations. Advanced practice nurses with practice doctorates address significant practice issues in a scholarly way; adopt broad system perspectives for health promotion and risk reduction; and act as agents of change who transform client/community care, participate in the ongoing evaluation of health care outcomes, and assist in the translation of research that leads to positive nursing practice changes.

Each program prepares its students to take the appropriate clinical specialty/APRN licensing exam for the State of Michigan. Graduates who want to practice in other states should review the Board of Nursing's Licensure Professional Requirements by State.

The DNP program is delivered on campus with an option for synchronous distance learning. Visit the College of Nursing distance learning site for requirements to be a synchronous distance learner.

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate nursing degree from an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. A transcript/credential evaluation is required for all international transcripts. All transcripts must be from an accredited institution.

Step 1: Apply to Wayne State University

Admission to the program is contingent upon admission to the WSU Graduate School and the review of application materials by College of Nursing faculty. Applicants can apply online using the GradCAS system.

  • The initial application requires the following:
    • Application fee.
    • Unofficial transcript upload.
    • Resume upload.
  • To upload your supplemental materials (listed below) and complete the application, you must submit your application via GradCAS FIRST. Watch your email for directions on how to access your application, check for missing items, and monitor your application status.

Step 2: Submit supplemental materials 

Applicants to the DNP program must also provide the following supplemental materials: 

  • Completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions must be sent directly from the institution to Wayne State University. If an unofficial transcript is provided, an official transcript must be submitted during the first semester of the program. BSN to DNP students must complete the BSN at the latest by June of the year they are starting fall semester DNP courses. A transcript/credential evaluation is required for all international transcripts (including Canada). WSU accepts World Education Services and Education Credential Evaluators.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae that includes education, work and/or research experience, publications, certifications, licenses, grants, professional affiliations, awards, honors, presentations, and/or courses taught. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional.
  • Two professional letters of recommendation on company letterhead that includes credentials and contact information. An example of a professional letter of recommendation includes prior faculty and/or unit manager. One letter must come from a doctorally prepared individual.
  • Current Michigan Registered Nurse (RN) licensure. Out-of-state or international students must submit current RN license with application, and after admission must submit Michigan licensure within two semesters. All applicants educated outside of the United States must be certified by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to obtain Michigan licensure.
  • MSN-DNP applicants "APRN Certified" must submit a copy of specialty certification.
  • Submission of current specialty certification. Only exception given is to students pursuing the graduate certificate in nursing education.
  • A personal statement of goals for graduate study.
  • If the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required, the minimum total score required is 101 (minimum 25 Listening, 25 Reading, 25 Writing and 26 Speaking). Or, students can submit IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores, with a required minimum overall score greater than 7 (minimum of 8 in Speaking, minimum of 7 in Writing, and greater than 7 in Reading and Listening).
  • Complete an interview.
  • A graduate level Statistics course is a required prerequisite course for all admitted DNP students and must be taken in the first semester (Fall) of the program along with the foundations course NUR 8620.
  • For information on program costs, please refer to the WSU tuition and fees schedule.

Each of the clinical specialties may have additional requirements, including specialty RN work experience prior to the start of the APRN clinical courses.

Step 3: Accept your offer and watch your email

Check your WSU email for updates regarding your application. Once admitted, accept your offer of admission and check your Wayne State email regarding information on registration, important meetings and more.


Director of Advanced Practice and Graduate Certificate Programs

Leanne Nantais-Smith PhD, RN, NNP-BC

Academic Services Officer

Chelsea Smith, MA 

  • BSN second career/degree students
  • RN-to-BSN students
  • Graduate students