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online phd, dnp, msn programs for nurses

"MUSC Nurses Change Lives"

Online DNP - FAQ

Learn More about our Post BSN to DNP here | Learn more about our Post MSN to DNP here

Why should I apply to the MUSC College of Nursing?
The College of Nursing is an integral part of the Medical University of South Carolina, which is the only academic health science center in the state. We are widely recognized for providing a supportive learning environment that has a low student to faculty ratio, expert faculty and preceptors as well as highly successful complex clinical settings.

How does an online program differ from one that is campus-based?
The integrity of our doctoral coursework, mentoring, and interaction with faculty and students is preserved in our online doctoral program through the use of synchronous and asynchronous technology. The only thing that differs between an online and campus-based program is the method through which access is achieved – through advanced technology and yearly Residency programs. 

What is special about the Medical University of South Carolina?
MUSC is an academic health sciences center ranked within the Top 100 in the nation for receipt of federal funding. With a focus on Translational Science - bench to bedside to community - nursing plays a critical role in transforming health care within the state and nation. With numerous funded research centers and special initiatives, the possibility for interprofessional collaboration to nurture student projects is tremendous!

What is the difference between a DNP and a PhD?
The DNP Program will prepare expert nurse clinicians. The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates who will practice nursing at the highest clinical level. It is commensurate with practice doctorates offered by other professions, including dentistry (DDS), medicine (MD), and pharmacy (PharmD) among others.  For more information about the DNP please access: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/index.htm

The PhD in Nursing Program prepares nurse researchers/scientists.  It is the highest degree awarded in academia.


Comparison of the DNP and PhD in Nursing Programs
CharacteristicDNP Degree ProgramPhD in Nursing Program
ObjectivesThe practice of clinical nursing at the highest levelThe conduct of research for the advancement of nursing science
Curricular EmphasisAnalytical methods for evidence-based practice, organizational and systems leadership and management, and the translation of research to improve practiceTheoretical, methodological, and analytic approaches to discovery, testing, application and dissemination of new knowledge
Program OutcomeNurse practitioner, nurse administrator, nurse educator in clinical practice or professional education settings; eligibility for national certification examinationNurse scientist in an academic or research-intensive settings
Final scholarly productEvidence-based, population-level practice, health, or policy improvement projectOriginal Research

Ratner, 2007, p.33

What is the difference between a Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant?
Please click here to learn more about about the similarities and differences between a Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant.

What is the focus of your DNP program?
The DNP program consists of three post-baccalaureate clinical specializations which include adult-gerontology, pediatric and family nurse practitioner and a post-master's option for advanced practice nurses. A DNP student may elect to take education courses as well.

Who would be a good match for your program?
We seek to admit current and future clinical nurse leaders who bring diverse interests and experiences to our program. Alignment with faculty interests is key to establishing the necessary guidance for successful completion of the program.

How long will it take me to achieve the DNP?
The student with a Masters in Nursing can complete the DNP program in four semesters to two years of part-time study. Students entering with a BSN will take three years of full-time and four years of part-time study.  DNP level coursework may be transferred, pending approval after admission. Full and part-time plans of study exist for Post-BSN and Post-MSN entry.

How many times will I have to travel to the MUSC Campus?
All newly admitted DNP students will be required to travel to MUSC to attend orientation held the last week in July as well as to present their project proposal during NRDNP 862 and the final poster presentation during the last Residency class.  In addition, Post-BSN students will have to travel to campus during NRDNP 856, 864, 865, and 866.  Please refer to the posted program plans of study to determine if and when these classes are scheduled.

What if I am interested in achieving a Nurse Educator degree in addition to a DNP?
Please click here to review your options of adding Nurse Educator courses to your plan of study.

What is the access to faculty, preceptors, and technology support?
Online students will have access to College of Nursing faculty and advisors through established “office hours” when synchronous communication can occur via videoconferencing, email, or telephone. Faculty and students may chose to make additional arrangements to meet. Students at a distance can use regional experts as preceptors. Technology support is available Monday - Friday via the Technology Help Desk.

How do you make your admission decisions? Our Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee takes their responsibility very seriously. Each application is reviewed in its entirety. Data about grades, professional goals and references are used in the decision-making process. Another important aspect is what an applicant shares in their essay.

Who should I use as references? The Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee prefers references from employers or academic professionals who are familiar with you and your abilities. They must use the reference form provided in the application. Letters may not be used as a substitute.

How do I apply for admission to the graduate program? Applications must be submitted electronically through the Office of Enrollment Management. Applications are received and processed by this office. Questions or problems concerning the application should be addressed to Sue Coates at coatess@musc.edu

Do you accept out-of-state students? Please click here for a list of states we are authorized in.  Tuition and fees are higher for out-of-state students, however. For tuition and fee information, please click here.

How do I become a South Carolina resident? Residency is determined by the Office of Enrollment Management. For more information, please visit this site: Click Here

Do you accept international students? Due to the distance-education nature of this program, MUSC is unable to issue I-20 forms to allow students to obtain F-1 student visas.  Only U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and those holding other valid U.S. visas will be accepted. Please note that MUSC cannot establish a legal contract with any sites outside of the United States for clinical courses, so clinicals must be done within the U.S.

Is financial aid available? Yes, for more information, please visit this site: Click Here

Are scholarships available? Yes, scholarships are available to students who have completed a FAFSA with the Office of Financial Aid. They are awarded based on need, academic merit, and scholarship criteria after a student has been admitted to the College of Nursing. To review scholarships offered through the College of Nursing, click here.

To learn more about the College of Nursing, read our monthly newsletter, E-Connections, and Lifelines, the College of Nursing magazine.  Click here to view these publications.

For more information, please contact:

Coordinator of Graduate (MSN/DNP) Program and Alumni Services


Telephone: (843) 792-8515
Fax: (843) 792-5395

conservices@musc.edu

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