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Indiana Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs offer a terminal level nursing degree that is focused on clinical care, rather than research. Currently, there are six programs in Indiana offering the DNP. This number is expecting to grow in the following years as advanced practice licensure and certification begins to move toward requiring a doctoral level degree, rather than a master's.
The common mission of these programs is to prepare nurses to be leaders in the healthcare field. The programs often have a strong focus on evidence-based practice and on improving the quality of care provided in medical facilities. The programs aim to not only further the expertise of advanced practice nurses, but also to prepare graduates to transform clinical practice and shape healthcare policy.
Indiana DNP programs vary in terms of admission entry-points. Some programs, such as those offered by Valparaiso University and Purdue University, offer entry to both post-baccalaureate and post-master's applicants. The University of Southern Indiana and Indiana State University, on the other hand, offer admission only to those who have already earned a master's degree.
Admissions requirements are similar for Indiana DNP programs, though some are stricter than others. The University of Southern Indiana requires applicants to have a master's from accredited program, 3.25 GPA or higher, completion of graduate research course, an unencumbered RN license, current resume, three professional references, a personal essay, and an interview. Indiana State University requires applicants to have a minimum of 2 years nursing experience and submit a DNP goal statement, and Non-Nurse Practitioner applicants must submit a professional portfolio. Those who do not speak English as a first language are required by most programs to submit proof of English proficiency.
Credit hours also vary between programs. Valparaiso's curriculum, for example, is made up of 70 post BSN credit hours and 1000 clinical hours, while Purdue's post-BSN curriculum is made up of 83 credit hours and 1,526 clinical hours. Purdue's post-MSN pathway curriculum consists of 37 credit hours, and other post-MSN programs range between 30-40 credits. Most programs require students to complete a capstone or final project.
The cost of tuition varies between programs in Indiana, and not all programs disclose of this information online. The cost of tuition to attend Valparaiso University's DNP program is $655 per credit hour.