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There are currently three Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs in Kansas. The DNP is a terminal level nursing degree with a clinical focus. This differs from the PhD, which focuses on research. This number is expected to grow, as the AACN aims to replace the MSN in advanced practice with a doctoral level degree.
The mission statements of Kansas DNP programs bare many similarities. The common mission is to prepare graduates for an advanced practice role in an increasingly-complex medical industry. The programs aim to prepare advanced practice nurses to be leaders who have the ability to shape healthcare through administration and policy changes.
Admission requirements vary between universities. Depending on the program, a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher from an accredited program is necessary in order to be considered. Students must submit official transcripts, RN or Certified APRN licensure, a statement of career goals, and letters of recommendation, in some cases. Applicants who do not speak English as a first language must document English proficiency.
Two of the three DNP programs in Kansas, those offered by the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, offer both a MSN-DNP and BSN-DNP pathway, though Washburn University States that it plans to add the post-BSN entry-point in the fall of 2015. Washburn University's DNP program is the most unique, in that it was the first in the country to give DNP students concurrent access to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. In addition, Washburn does not require that nurses are nurse practitioners in order to be admitted to the program.
The curricula differ between the three programs. Wichita State, for example, offers four different specializations: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). This particular program is four years in length for post-BSN entrants and the curriculum is comprised of 74 CORE and specialization credit hours. Post-master's entrants take 2-3 years to complete the program, and the curriculum consists of 29 credit hours in a specialization.
The University of Kansas offers a curriculum similar to that of Wichita State. Post-MSN students can choose between the Advanced Practice Major and the Leadership Major, both of which have a 32 credit hour curriculum. The curriculum for BSN-DNP students is comprised of 74 credit hours.