Beginning with the Fall 2016 application cycle, the School of Nursing will participate in the Centralized Application Services for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS). The NursingCAS for VCU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program will be open in early November 2015. To prepare for applying, below are some helpful tips for things you can do now:
Collect copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, including course work taken as high school dual-enrollment credit, nondegree-seeking credit, study abroad or course work taken and transferred to another institution. You will enter data from these transcripts into the coursework section on the application. Applicants who have studied outside of the U.S. must also provide a course-by-course external credential evaluation from ECE or WES no older than two years at the time of application.
NOTE: You will also need to have all official college/university transcripts sent directly to NursingCAS for verification. To do this, you will print off a specific transcript request form from NursingCAS to send to your colleges. The mailing address for transcripts is provided in the NursingCAS instructions.
Begin drafting your personal statement, making sure you address the following topics:
- Discuss your future role as a doctorally-prepared advanced practice nurse or nurse administrator. How do you see your practice changing to encompass the DNP essentials?
- PhD and DNP degrees are both valuable options for nurses pursuing a terminal degree. Please describe how the DNP will address your professional goals.
- Within your particular area of practice, identify and describe three opportunities you see as offering promise for quality and safety improvements, using your DNP education once completed.
- What particular strengths and limitations will you bring to this program that will enrich or challenge the learning environment of your peers and the School of Nursing?
CLINICAL HOURS VERIFICATION
Print the Verification of Precepted Master’s Degree Clinical Hours form, complete the top portion and send to the program director for your Master’s/Post-MS certificate program, requesting the completed form be returned to you. You will upload this form to your NursingCAS application.
Update your resume/curriculum vitae ensuring all professional work experience, certifications, community service and volunteer experiences, and special skills and abilities are highlighted.
Consider who you will ask to submit references on your behalf and collect contact information for each. The three (3) academic and/or professional references must be able to knowledgeably comment on your ability to succeed in a doctoral program or evaluate your ability to be successful in nursing practice. Any personal relationships (i.e., family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc…), even if they can be tied to an academic or professional setting, are not valid and will not be considered. An academic reference is a current or former faculty member or academic advisor. A professional reference is a current/former supervisor of a paid or volunteer position.
NOTE: You will enter the names and contact information in NursingCAS. Your references will receive an email message from NursingCAS that directs them to an online recommendation form.
ADVANCED PRACTICE CERTIFICATION
If you do not currently hold certification in an advanced practice specialty (NP, CNS or nursing administration), obtain authorization to test.
NOTE: You will be required to upload a copy of your APRN certification or a copy of your authorization to test to your NursingCAS application.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
If your native language is not exclusively English, take the TOEFL iBT or IELTS.
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