Advanced Practice Nurse

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program is for nurses who have earned their MSN with specialization as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, are licensed ARNPs, APN certified (or have ability to become certified the first semester of enrollment), and now want to earn their DNP.

Track Description

The post-master’s DNP program is designed to prepare nurse clinicians and nurse practitioners for leadership roles in specialized areas of advanced nursing practice. This program prepares nurses at the highest level of practice for the current health care environment. Graduates of this program will be able to redesign health care systems based on critical analysis of complex practice situations.


Program Objectives

The objectives of the clinical DNP program are to prepare graduates to:

  • Critically analyze complex clinical situations and practice systems.
  • Assume leadership roles in the development of clinical practice models, health policy and standards of care.
  • Demonstrate advanced diagnostic reasoning skills and clinical judgment through scholarship and nursing practice.
  • Analyze the social, economic, political, epidemiological and other scientific data to improve individual, aggregate and population health.
  • Demonstrate information fluency and advanced communication skills to lead quality improvement initiatives to improve patient care and health care systems.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive care to clients within an area of advanced practice specialization.

back to top

Application Requirements

UCF General Education Requirements 

UCF requires all prospective student to fulfill the general UCF graduate admissions requirements. Visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog.

Nursing Program Requirements

  • Transcript: an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • MSN degree: in an APN specialty role or a post-MSN certificate (NP, CNS, CRNA, CNM) from a regionally accredited institution (Applicants not holding the appropriate MSN degree may enter the DNP program through one of the two tracks: Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner)
  • GRE: an official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years
  • ARNP License: must be a licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner in the State of Florida. (Out-of-state applicants must be eligible for licensure in Florida and must achieve ARNP licensure to begin clinical courses.)
  • Certification: APN certification or ability to obtain certification in the first semester of enrollment is required
  • Written Essay: address the following three items in a written essay (See essay requirements below):
    1. Describe how your professional experiences have prepared you for future education in the role which is the focus of your desired track
    2. Describe your plans to alter your work, professional and/or personal obligations in order to have the time needed for graduate course and clinical practice work
    3. Identify one significant contemporary issue/problem in the U.S. health care system and explore how members of the nursing profession can help address that issue or solve that problem
  • Curriculum Vitae: CV should reflect prior education, recent clinical accomplishments, any recent scholarly work (publications and presentations), awards, additional certifications, and activities with professional organizations. For recent graduates, this can include accomplishments as a student.
  • Interview: an interview with faculty may also be required

Optional for All Applicants

  • ETS PPI (Personal Potential Index) report: Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the necessary information requested for the ETS PPI report that is available during the GRE examination. All official PPI reports must be submitted directly to the UCF College of Graduate Studies (use UCF Institution Code: 5233).

back to top

Written Essay Parameters

Before submitting your application, it is recommended that applicants call the College of Nursing Graduate Office at 407-823-2744 to schedule an appointment with a DNP advisor to discuss your goals for doctoral study. It is advantageous to discuss the program before writing the required essay because the essay must address your goals for doctoral-level preparation for advanced nursing practice.

  • Total word count for entire essay—not each item—500 words or less
  • double spaced
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • 1-inch margins 

back to top

Program Coordinator


Angie Ritten,
p: 407-823-2744
f: 407-823-5675


Online Gold.png


Please note: Online programs may not meet immigration requirements for students holding an F1 or J1 Visa to maintain status. If you have questions, please contact the International Services Center at or call 407-823-2337. 

Please note: Due to restrictive state regulations, UCF is not permitted to provide online courses or instruction to students in select states. If you reside in one of these states, you may not be permitted to enroll in or be admitted to a UCF online program. Please contact your state’s higher education regulation authorities or the respective program coordinator for more details.