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Doctor of Nursing Practice areas of study

Admission requirements

There are two pathways to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP):

Pathway 1: Bachelor's to DNP

For Registered Nurses with a  Bachelor's degree in nursing

  • Annual Fall admission
  • 78 total course credits for the Family Nurse Practitioner (Total course credits vary based on specialization)
  • Face-to-face method accompanied by online and hybrid delivery
  • Three course schedule options available:
    • Completion in 3, 4 or 5 years (includes summer semesters)

Specialty Options

SDSU Graduate Nursing features collaboration and placement with over 200 established  partnerships in a variety of local and regional  clinical settings.  Our clinical preceptors are engaged, caring healthcare professionals who provide an invaluable piece of our students’ clinical education.


Pathway 2: Master's to DNP

Master's to DNP Option 1*

For Registered Nurses with a Master's Degree in nursing with CNP, CRNA, CNS, or CNM focus from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program

  • Annual fall admission
  • 31-36 course credits
  • Executive delivery model in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, includes online components
  • Designed for part-time study (including summers)

3 Year Curriculum Plan

Master's to DNP Option 2**

For registered Nurses with a Master's Degree in Nursing (non-clinical focus) from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited program

  • Annual fall admission
  • 69 course credits
  • Executive delivery model in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, includes online components
  • Designed for part-time study (including summers)

3 Year Curriculum Plan

4 Year Curriculum Plan

SDSU Graduate Nursing features collaboration and placement with over 200 established  partnerships in a variety of local and regional  clinical settings.  Our clinical preceptors are engaged, caring healthcare professionals who provide an invaluable piece of our students’ clinical education.

Certification Eligibility

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Announcement

The South Dakota State University DNP Family Nurse Practitioner, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan), and the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner programs have met ANCC's certification eligibility educational requirements.

Students who complete these programs have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC certification in the respective role and population.

Applicants must also meet any additional eligibility criteria in effect when they apply for certification" (ANCC, December 14, 2016).

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