The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the terminal practice degree in Nursing. This degree builds upon the student's current knowledge of clinical practice. Graduates of the program will be able to analyze systems of care and provide high level leadership to improve patient safety and to implement evidence-based culturally competent care practices.
The School of Nursing at Western Carolina University (WCU) and the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) have partnered to offer a post-masters Dual Doctor of
Nursing Practice Program. As a student, you will have access to expert faculty from
The DNP program is now offering a full-time and part-time course of study. At this time, we are admitting a small number to the part-time program. Those spots will be filled based on order of applications received. Admitted students will be required to attend a three-day immersion sessions at the beginning of each semester. The location will alternate between UNCC and WCU.
The Dual DNP requires 42 credit hours of coursework and completion of a total of 1,000 clinical practice hours (includes 500 from MSN program). Click here to review the Dual DNP Program of Study.
Applications submitted by April 1, 2020, will be given priority consideration for Fall 2020 admission.
Students must submit a complete, notarized Clinical Hours Documentation form with the Graduate School application or provide documentation that they have received one of the approved national certifications listed below. Students with less than 500 hours should request a meeting with the DNP Program Director to develop a clinical plan.
Visit the Graduate School website to create an online graduate program application.
Interim Program Director:
Mark A. Kossick, DNSc, MS, APN
Full Professor/Director of Graduate Programs
Students will complete a DNP Scholarly Project during their clinical residency courses.
The DNP Scholarly Project brings together the practice and scholarship aspects of
the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. It is designed to address complex practice
issues that affect groups of patients, health care organizations, or health care systems
while utilizing informatics, technology, and in-depth knowledge of the clinical and
behavioral sciences. The clinical scholarship required in the DNP Scholarly Project
reflects mastery and competency in the student's area of expertise.
The DNP Scholarly Project begins in the first semester of study and continues throughout the program, culminating in a scholarly public defense and manuscript prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The DNP Scholarly Project requires students to demonstrate expert practice, the use of evidence-based practice, translational research, and use of skills necessary to lead interdisciplinary teams to improve patient/client outcomes and health status individually, organizationally, or within a community.
Students may choose to complete the required 500 clinical practicum hours in a private practice, clinic, inpatient unit, hospital system, or other institution or community. These hours will be a component of the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of outcomes of the DNP Scholarly Project.