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DNP Family Nurse Practitioner

Virtual Open House

Tuesday, August 6, 2024: 5-6:30 p.m.

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University, understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

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Program Overview

Location - Biltmore Park and Online

Time to Complete: 36-months, full-time

Priority App Deadline: October 1, 2023

Pre-Reqs: BSN, GRE/MAT not required

100% pass rate for graduates

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Family Nurse Practitioner


The School of Nursing offers a BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration. The program prepares nurses in the advanced practice role of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with competencies in family health promotion and the clinical management of common health conditions across the lifespan.

Certificate Option: The certificate program is not currently available.

The Family Nurse Practitioner Program admits once a year. Priority application deadline is October 1, 2024 and the final application deadline is February 1, 2025.  Note: applicants will only be considered through the final deadline if space is available.

The full-time hybrid program is designed so students are only required to be on the Biltmore Park campus one day a week (Tuesdays). All other coursework is taught online. The course load ranges from nine to eleven hours during the spring and fall semesters and six to nine hours during the summer semester. See the DNP Program of Study below for more details. Clinical placements are available in a variety of settings in or near the students' communities.

Degree Requirements: The DNP Program requires 83 semester hours of coursework, and 1000 total clinical hours. Students will complete a DNP scholarly project. During the last semester of the program, students are required to pass a comprehensive exam. 

In order to be eligible for admission in the DNP Family Nurse Practitioner Program, applicants must meet the following criteria. Requirements may be in progress at the time of application but must be completed prior to beginning the program.

  • BSN from a regionally accredited college or university and nationally accredited nursing program
  • Cumulative college grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on 4.0 scale or higher
  • Statistics course (undergraduate or graduate level) preferably completed within the past 5 years
  • Nursing Research course, undergraduate
  • Registered nurse eligible for licensure to practice in the state of North Carolina
  • Minimum of one year of clinical experience as a registered nurse within the last five years
  • Three professional references
  • The GRE or MAT is not required
  • Submit a resume and professional statement with the online Graduate School application

The Family Nurse Practitioner Program admits once a year. The priority application deadline is October 1, 2023 and the final deadline is February 1, 2024.  Note:  applicants will only be considered through the final deadline if space is available.

Admission into the DNP program is competitive. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission. 

Application to the DNP Program requires application to the Graduate School. Only complete applications will be eligible for review. As part of the online application, the applicant needs to prepare the following:

  1. Upload a copy of college transcripts from all secondary schools attended.
  2. As part of your online application, be prepared to submit:
    a. Names of (and contact info for) three professional references who can attest to the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate study; one must be from a current or recent employer. 
    b. Professional Statement and Resume

DNP students are eligible for full financial aid due to the program's full-time status. Visit the WCU Financial Aid Office website for more information. Click here for current graduate tuition and fees rates. Information on additional loan and scholarship opportunities can be found on the WCU School of Nursing's Nursing Scholarships webpage.

Jaclyn Bandell


Program Director:
Jaclyn Bandell, DNP, FNP-C
Assistant Professor

Core Faculty:
Lydia Elliott, DNP, FNP-BC
Tamera Pearson, PhD, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC

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