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.

Am I able to visit campus to learn more about this program?

We do offer a campus virtual tour and multiple information sessions to educate prospective students about the programs we offer in the College of Nursing. For more information on current sessions and when tours will resume, please visit our campus tours page.

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 full-time. Students entering with a BSN will take 8 semesters for full-time and 11 semesters for part-time study. DNP level coursework may be transferred, pending approval after admission.

How many times will I have to travel to the MUSC Campus?

All newly admitted DNP students will travel to MUSC to attend orientation held the last week in July. Students living in South Carolina will present their project proposal during NRDNP 862 and the final poster presentation during the last Residency course on campus. Out of state students in these courses are able to present remotely. In addition, Post-BSN and Post-MSN Certificate 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. Each of these visits are 2-4 days and students are given at least 90 days notice of exact dates.

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 the focus of your DNP program?

The DNP program consists of four post-baccalaureate clinical specializations all with a primary care focus, which include adult-gerontology, pediatric, family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and a post-master's option for advanced practice nurses. A DNP student may elect to take education courses as well.

How much is the program?

Tuition and fees vary per program, full-time vs. part-time study, and whether in state or out-of-state. For tuition and fee information.

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.

How do I apply for admission to the graduate program?

MUSC College of Nursing participates in an online Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) to receive applications. You must create an account, search for this program for your intended semester of entry, and complete the required steps to apply online. All application materials must be submitted through NursingCAS.

A supplemental university application, through MUSC’s Office of Enrollment Management, is also required. We encourage applicants to finish the application within NursingCAS before submitting the supplemental MUSC application.

How do you make your admission decisions?

Our Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee review each application in its entirety. Undergraduate and BSN GPA, professional goals and references are used in the decision-making process. Another important aspect is what an applicant shares in their essay, as well as their leadership and volunteer experiences.

Applicants who attended a program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be competitive applicants. 

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.

Do you accept out-of-state students?

MUSC accepts applications to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program from students who live in all states except the following: Louisiana, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington.

How do I become a South Carolina resident?

Residency is determined by the Office of Enrollment Management. For more information, please visit this site.

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.

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.

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

Characteristic DNP Degree Program PhD in Nursing Program
Objectives The practice of clinical nursing at the highest level The conduct of research for the advancement of nursing science
Curricular Emphasis Analytical methods for evidence-based practice, organizational and systems leadership and management, and the translation of research to improve practice Theoretical, methodological, and analytic approaches to discovery, testing, application and dissemination of new knowledge
Program Outcome Nurse practitioner, nurse administrator, nurse educator in clinical practice or professional education settings; eligibility for national certification examination Nurse scientist in an academic or research-intensive settings
Final scholarly product Evidence-based, population-level practice, health, or policy improvement project Original 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 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.

Is MUSC’s DNP program an approved online program in my state?

MUSC’s DNP program is approved to offer online distance education for students in all SARA states and California. Additional information can be found here. Out-of-state applicants are responsible for contacting their State Board of Nursing to determine any requirements that are needed in order to complete clinical rotations as a distance student.  The NCSBN provides a quick search of Prelicensure Distance Education Requirements per state.

What is necessary to obtain my APRN license where I live or intend to practice?

The Board of Nursing for each state dictates licensure requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. MUSC College of Nursing applicants and students should familiarize themselves with the requirements for the state(s) in which they intend to practice using this site. DNP graduates are eligible to sit for national certification (ANCC, AANP, PNCB) in their specified track (A/GNP, FNP, PMHNP, PNP).