Application Deadline

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program accepts applications on a rolling basis. Completed applications should be received at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the student intends to enroll.

Program Begins

Fall, Spring 


Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions should be uploaded with your electronic application and may be used for departmental admission review purposes. If offered admission, you will be directed and required to submit to the JMU Graduate School an official transcript from any institution from which a degree has been awarded to finalize your admission. Transcripts are considered official if they are sent to JMU directly from the issuing institution.

Required by Program

The Two-Part Application Process:

  1. Apply to The Graduate School
    • After completing the Graduate School application, download a screen shot of your application fee receipt and save it as a PDF file, then upload to NURSINGCAS as directed in the instructions outlined in step 2 (below)
  2. Apply to NURSINGCAS
    • Submit all required documents.
    • DO NOT submit these within the JMU Graduate School application. 


Criteria for DNP Program entry with MSN degree:

  1. Official Transcripts. Applicants must submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants must have completed a Master’s Degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited institution. A minimum of 3.2 GPA for graduate work is preferred.
  2. Registered Nurse Licensure. An unencumbered Registered Nurse license must be presented in the state where you plan to do your clinical practica.
  3. Advanced Specialty Certification. For Nurse Administrator applicants, national certification is desired but not required. Other applicants should have the APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) designation in their home states and national board certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nurse Leader, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in their areas of specialty (as appropriate). Applicants without national certification will be individually evaluated but must submit evidence of their specialty expertise.
  4. Hold current CPR and health records
  5. Meet the School’s technical standards for admission.
  6. Letters of Recommendation. Strong professional references from three persons are required: one (1) academic reference, one (1) from a current clinical supervisor, and a third reference either academic or clinical. Reference should be current, from within the last two (2) years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to select a doctorally prepared nurse as one of the three recommenders.
  7. Curriculum vitae or resume.
  8. Statement of Professional Goals:

    INSTRUCTIONS: On separate paper, answer the following questions. Each question should be answered in no more than 250 words. Scholarly writing will be assessed and content will be used in the overall evaluation of your responses.
    1. What are your professional goals? How will a DNP degree from James Madison University help you attain your professional goals?
    2. Describe your current advanced practice role, or if you are pursuing a new specialty, explain what you are planning to do with your nursing career in your specialty after you complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
    3. In addition to the information contained in your resume, what strengths do you possess that would contribute to your success in James Madison University’s DNP program and in a community of interprofessional scholars? What areas do you see that may be a challenge for you?
    4. Identify the area of scholarly inquiry focus from your practice that you plan to explore as part of the DNP program (e.g., quality improvement initiative, evidence-based practice guidelines, new model of care, policy analysis). Provide details such as the problem or question you seek to study more about and answer through doctoral study. (500 words)
    5. Describe the clinical agency/organization in which you would like to pursue your scholarly activity, providing the name and address of the site. Include your rationale for selecting this setting.
  9. Interview. After the initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.
  10. Technology Requirements. James Madison University School of Nursing considers the Internet communication link an essential learning resource for doctoral students. DNP students will be required to have a home computer, printer and Internet service provider that has high speed broadband Internet access and webcam technology.
  11. For international students, provide evidence of passing grade on CGFNS exam (both parts) or IELFS score of at least 7.0, apply for VA RN license (TOEFL 570 required). Contact program director for more information.
Online Application
Criminal Background Check

The JMU School of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs are graduate-level, clinical programs.  Based on Code of Virginia § 23.1-407.1 (, the James Madison University School of Nursing (SON) Program will not deny admission to any applicant solely on the basis of criminal history.  However, for any applicant who has been admitted, but not yet enrolled, the Graduate Programs may inquire about the applicant’s criminal history.  The Graduate Program may then withdraw an offer of admission to anyone whom James Madison University determines has a criminal history that poses a threat to the institution’s community. Therefore, for individuals admitted to the JMU SON Graduate Programs:

  • It is required that a criminal background and sexual offender check be completed. 
  • These must be completed prior to enrollment.  Additional checks may be required later in the Program, just prior to the start of fieldwork. 
  • The student must comply with these additional checks in order to remain a student in good standing within the Program and before clinical placement can take place. 
  • The cost of these background checks will be the sole responsibility of the student. 

 It is imperative for prospective students to understand that depending on the information appearing on the criminal history record, it is possible that the student may not be able to participate in a clinical site practicum, which will prevent progression in the program.  Students may seek placement at alternative sites; however, it is possible that program completion would be in jeopardy if all fieldwork cannot be completed. 

International Applicants

International Graduate Information

International applicants are welcome to apply, however, this program is offered online only.

If you studied outside of the USA, you will upload a credential evaluation of your non-U.S. college or university degrees and transcripts from one of the services listed at this link: Credential_Evaluation

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