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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Page

Last updated 10/25/2016

Select a Question:

  1. What nurse practitioner (NP) options does your DNP program offer?

  2. Who should apply to your DNP program?

  3. I am currently in a BSN program. Can I still apply to the DNP program?

  4. Do I have to have passed the NCLEX to apply to the DNP program?

  5. Do you have options for Adult or Family PMHNPs who wish to obtain FNP preparation? Do you have an option for FNPs who wish to obtain PMHNP preparation? Do you have an option for Adult PMHNPs who wish to obtain Family PMHNP preparation? Do you have a Post-Master's Option?

  6. How long is the program? Is there a part-time option?

  7. Is the program online? Will I need to come to campus? 

  8. Are students required to live or do clinical practica experiences in Wyoming?  Can I do clinical practica experiences in my home community?

  9. What kinds of clinical experiences do students get?

  10. Can students who are in the DNP program work?

  11. Are there additional DNP application requirements for international students who speak English as a second language? 

  12. Is a thesis or dissertation required in your DNP program?

  13. Is your DNP program nationally accredited?

  14. What scholarship and funding opportunities are available for students in the DNP Program?

  15. Will the program prepare me for national NP certification?


  1. What NP options does your DNP program offer?

    • The University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing DNP program currently has two clinical tracks:

      • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), preparing students top practice primary care across the lifespan in outpatient settings

      • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), preparing students to practice psychiatric mental health care across the lifespan in a variety of settings

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  2. Who should apply to your DNP program?

    • The program is open to registered nurses with a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program nationally accredited by CCNE or NLNAC. At this point, the program is not considering RNs who have baccalaureate degrees in non-nursing fields, unless they also have a baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing.

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  3. I am currently in a BSN program. Can I still apply to the DNP program?

    • Yes, you can apply to the DNP program as long as your BSN anticipated graduation date is prior to the start of the first fall semester. Your admission will be contingent upon proof of successful completion of your BSN degree.

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  4. Do I have to have passed the NCLEX to apply to the DNP program?

    • No, but all DNP students must have passed the NCLEX by August 1st during their first year in the program. RN licensure is required prior to starting clinical the second fall in the program.

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  5. Do you have options for Adult or Family PMHNPs who wish to obtain FNP preparation? Do you have an option for FNPs who wish to obtain PMHNP preparation? Do you have an option for Adult PMHNPs who wish to obtain Family PMHNP preparation? Do you have a Post-Master's Option?

    • Yes, Masters-prepared Adult or Family PMHNPs who wish to obtain preparation for the FNP role in addition to the DNP degree are welcome to apply. These students need to take the Post-BSN FNP curriculum. Adult or Family PMHNPs who are interested in the FNP track are encouraged to contact Ann Marie Hart, DNP Program Coordinator (annmhart@uwyo.edu).

    • Yes, Masters-prepared FNPs who wish to obtain preparation for the PMHNP role in addition to the DNP degree are welcome to apply. These students need to take the Post-BSN PMHNP curriculum. FNPs who are interested in the PMHNP track are encouraged to contact Ann Marie Hart, DNP Program Coordinator (annmhart@uwyo.edu).

    • No, we do not have an option for Adult PMHNPs who wish to obtain Family PMHNP preparation.

    • No, we do not have a Post-Master's Option or a Post-Master's second certificate option. Students in our DNP program who already have a Master's degree, must be seeking the DNP degree and certification as either an FNP or PMHNP. All students in our DNP program need to complete the Post-BSN Program of Study. For questions related to this, please contact Ann Marie Hart, DNP Program Director (annmhart@uwyo.edu). 

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  6. How long is the program? Is there a part-time option?

    • The program is three years of full-time study (three fall semesters, three spring semesters, and three summer semesters).

    • No, there is not a part-time option. 

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  7. Is the program online?  Will I need to come to campus?

    • The program is designed to be distance accessible for students and is not entirely online. During the first year of the program, students are required to come to campus early in the fall semester for several days of orientation and again during the first spring semester for a several-day intensive experience associated with the Human Cadaver and Health Assessment course. During the first summer semester, students need to come to campus for a week-long intensive "Clinical Boot Camp", as well as 3-4 additional multi-day intensives. During the second and third years, students need to come to campus for multi-day sessions 3-4 times a semester for clinical courses.

    • Students also must be available every Wednesday morning from 9-11:30 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters throughout the entirety of the program for online seminar/webinar participation. Seminar/webinar participation can occur wherever there is reliable internet connectivity! Students are informed of the dates of campus-intensive sessions no later than November 1 for the spring semester, March 15 for the summer semester, and July 15 for the fall semester.

    • Students are required to attend all on-campus intensives and seminars/webinars and should not schedule other activities (work, vacations, weddings, etc.) until they know the required on-campus dates for that time period. The DNP program does NOT schedule on-campus intensives when UW is not in session. Click here to view UW’s academic calendar. .

    • Inclement weather is common throughout much of the year in Wyoming and frequently impacts roads and travel. Students should check the weather frequently and plan to arrive in Laramie early if inclement weather is expected around required on-campus intensives.

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  8. Are students required to live or do clinical practica experiences in Wyoming?  Can I do clinical practica experiences in my home community?

    • Students are not required to live in Wyoming, but must be able to attend the intensive sessions on the Laramie campus and do clinical practica in Wyoming, northern Colorado, or southern Montana.

    • With the exception of the Innovative Practice Models course, all DNP clinical practica must occur in Wyoming,  north central Colorado (i.e., Ft. Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Walden), or southern Montana. Although we aim to assist students to do clinical practica in their home communities, we cannot guarantee this, and travel or relocation may be required.

    • Similarly, students who live in Colorado or Montana will need to have a Wyoming license and should expect to do some placements in Wyoming (clinical sites in Colorado and Montana have been become more difficult to obtain because of the large number of NP students in these areas).

    • There are a large number of medical and DNP students who live in Laramie, thus, students who live in and around Laramie should also expect to travel and/or relocate for some clinical placements.

    • With the exception of students who are employed by UW as graduate assistants, we cannot accommodate students’ work schedules when making clinical placements. We also cannot accommodate family schedules. Students must be able to temporarily relocate to another community for their clinical placements (i.e., a community where you may not be able to return home for 2-3 months or only return home on the weekends).  

    • As public transportation is limited in Wyoming, all students should have access to a vehicle for traveling to and from clinical.

    • Students are responsible for all travel/relocation costs associated with clinical practica.

    • Bottom line:  ALL students should be prepared to travel or temporarily relocate for clinical placements.

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  9. What kinds of clinical experiences do students get?

    • Students who are seeking preparation for the FNP role receive a variety of outpatient clinical experiences in the areas of family practice, adult health, women’s health and pediatrics.

    • Students seeking preparation for the PMHNP will receive a variety of outpatient and inpatient clinical experiences in the areas of health assessment and psychiatric mental health. Clinical courses are still being developed.

    • All DNP students do a one-week practicum with the Innovative Practice Models course at an innovative, integrative health care facility. Previous students have completed this practicum at locations such as: Denver Health, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and Virginia Mason (Seattle).

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  10. Can students who are in the DNP program work?

    • The University of Wyoming School of Nursing offers a rigorous full-time DNP program that requires a major time commitment. Students who are in the DNP program to become certified as FNPs or PMHNPs are going through the program on a full-time basis. This is equivalent to a full-time (40-50 hour) work week, thus we strongly discourage outside work while in the DNP program.

    • With the exception of students who are employed by UW as graduate assistants, we cannot accommodate student work schedules when making clinical placements. Thus all student employment should be flexible (i.e., be able to accommodate student absences for 2-3 months).

  11. Are there additional DNP application requirements for international students who speak English as a second language?

    • Yes, international students need to demonstrate proficiency in English. International students also need to be eligible for nursing licensure in Wyoming.

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  12. Is a thesis or dissertation required in your DNP program?

    • No. However, all DNP students need to complete a practice-oriented DNP project that is incorporated into the curriculum.

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  13. Is your DNP program nationally accredited?

  14. What scholarship and funding opportunities are available for students in the DNP program?

    • For information regarding scholarship and funding opportunities, check out the following:

      • School of Nursing Scholarship and Financial Aid page at www.uwyo.edu/NURSING/scholarships

      • Graduate Assistantships (GAs). GAs are part-time (18-20 hours/week) teaching or research positions that pay students a monthly stipend AND tuition. The number of GAs the school offers varies from year to year. For more information regarding GAs, see the UW Grad web site.

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  15. Will the program prepare me for national NP certification?

    • Yes, students who complete the FNP program will be eligible to sit for either of the two national certification exams offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

    • Yes, students who complete the PMHNP program will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

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Last updated 10/25/2016

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

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Why DNP program accreditation is a big deal

Read about the 2014 full accreditation for the DNP program here.

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