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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest level of education that a nurse can achieve. Individuals who have achieve this title typical work as nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. Although DNPs hold a doctoral degree by education, they are generally not referred to doctors in a medical setting, where MDs are typically the only professionals referred to as doctors.
There are currently only two universities that offer DNP programs in Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America and The George Washington University. Both of these programs have been designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in nursing and healthcare.
A student may either pursue a DNP degree after earning a baccalaureate degree or after he or she has earned a master's degree. The amount of education that the individual has received before pursuing a DNP affects the number of credits that are necessary to earn the DNP degree. For example, the Catholic University of America requires DNP students to earn 34-37 credits (including up to 6 transfer credits) for a post-master's degree and 71-89 credits for a post-baccalaureate degree. The George Washington University requires students who currently hold a BSN to earn 81 credits, while students who currently hold an MSN are required to earn 36-47 credits.
Some schools offer online DNP programs, in addition to traditional classroom setting. If an individual requires or prefers the flexibility and convenience of an online program over a traditional classroom program, that may be the best option for him or her.
The requirements to get admitted are different for every program. DNP programs in Washington, D.C. generally require students to have a 3.2 GPA or above. Other requirements for DNP programs in the District may include previously holding another nursing degree, submitting a professional portfolio (including a resume, a copy of his or her nursing license, letters of reference, etc.). The requirements to get into a DNP program also depend on what degree the individual already holds.
Admission dates are different for each DNP program. For instance, the Catholic University of America admits new DNP students each fall, reviewing applications, conducting interviews, and making decisions from February to the end of March.