Q: How long will it take to complete the program?

A: The DNP Program is currently part time over seven consecutive semesters (including summer semesters). Most students will be able to complete the program in this time frame. Some students may need additional elective course hours to obtain the required 90 post baccalaureate credit hours. All students have up to seven years to complete the program.

Q: Do the credit hours completed in my master's program count toward the total required 90 post baccalaureate hours?

A: Credit hours completed in your master's nursing program may be applied toward the total required 90 post baccalaureate hours. A minimum of 40 of the required 90 hours must be completed at Ball State.

Q: Is the program totally online?

A: Yes, all courses are online.

Q: Are any trips to campus required?

A: Students may attend the mandatory, one-day-each-year meetings either on-campus or via online technology.

Q: Will I be required to have a computer with certain specifications?

A: The following computer hardware is recommended:

    • Form Factor: Laptop or Desktop Model computer
    • Processor: Intel core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB of RAM or more
    • Graphics Card: 128 MB or better
    • Hard Drive: 120 GB or more
    • Optical Drive: 16xDVD +/?RW/CD?RW or better
    • Operating System: Windows XP or Vista
    • Monitor: 15" or larger

Q: What type of network access do I need?

A: You will need a high-speed Internet connection such as cable or DSL with the minimum line speed of 384 Kbps or higher.

Q: Will I need specific computer skills?

A: Skills you will need include, but are not limited to, word processing, online database searching, and e-learning navigation skills (e.g., Blackboard, WebCT). Students who have not taken online education courses at Ball State are encouraged to take NUR 605: Nursing Information Technology as an elective at the beginning of the program. The School of Nursing provides on-campus and off-campus support at the Simulation and Information Technology Center (SITC) where you can ask questions and receive help with technology related problems.

Q: Is a dissertation required?

A: No, a dissertation is not required. You will complete a final DNP project. This will be a scholarly project focused on quality improvement and translation of evidence to practice designed by the student in collaboration with a faculty advisor.


Q: How do I apply and is there a fee?

A: Learn about all these details at our admission requirements and how to apply page.

Q: Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for all applicants?

A: Not required.

Q: Can an advanced practice nurse in any role apply?

A: Nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives with a master's degree in nursing and any population focus (family, adult, neonatal, pediatrics, women's health, psychiatric-mental health) may apply.

Q: Are all qualified applicants admitted to the program?

A: No, admission is selective.  Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not ensure that the applicant will be admitted to the program. 

Q: Can I apply to start in any semester?

A: No, students are only admitted once each year to start course work in the spring semester, which typically starts the first non-holiday Monday in January.


Q: How will I know which courses to take?

A: A plan of study will be developed for you upon admission. You may change the plan by discussing this with the program director.

Q: May I go full time?

A: No, the program is currently designed for part-time study.

Q: Can I take one course at a time?

A: The program is currently designed for students to take two courses each semester (fall and spring) and one course in the summer semesters. The student's initial plan of study will be designed in this manner. If it becomes necessary to only take one course or to skip a semester the program director will work with the student to adjust the plan of study. Because some courses are prerequisite to others and each course is only offered one time each year the student should expect possible delays in completion if the plan of study is changed.

Q: What is the time frame for offering courses?

A: Semesters are 16 weeks for fall and spring semesters and 10 weeks for summer semester.

Q: Are elective courses offered online?

A: Yes, several elective courses are available online through the School of Nursing as well as other departments within the university. A list of online elective courses will be provided to you with your plan of study.

Q: How will I know what elective courses I should take and how many elective course hours I will need?

A: The program director will assist you in determining what elective courses you should take and how many elective hours you will need.

Q: Do I work at my own pace?

A: The program is structured on a semester basis with assignments due at specific times. You may work at your own pace during the assignment period.

Q: How do courses work?

A: The Blackboard course management system is used for courses. This system is structured for course work including an announcement page, access to syllabi, course calendar, modules, links to web sites such as the library, discussion boards, and quizzes. Asynchronous discussion boards are often used for assignments to allow students to post information and for the instructor and other students to respond. Live online chats and conference calls may also be used for small group discussion.


Q: How many of the courses require clinical hours?

A: There is a total of 510 required clinical hours. These are completed in NUR 760 Population Focused Care (60 clinical hours), NUR 764 Leadership and Health Policy in Advanced Practice (60 clinical hours), NUR 790/791 Practicum (300 hours), and NUR 793 DNP Project II (90 hours).

Q: Where do I go for my clinical experiences?

A: Clinical experiences are done in your own community based on requirements for the course.

Q: Will I need to find preceptors to supervise my clinical experiences?

A: Clinical experiences for NUR 760 Population Focused Care and NUR 764 Leadership and Health Policy in Advanced Practice do not require that the student have a preceptor. Depending on the nature of your DNP capstone project, you may or may not need a preceptor/mentor as part of your NUR790/791 Practicum clinical experience.


Q; How do I communicate with course instructors?

A: Course instructors are available to students via phone, e-mail, and when working on projects/papers the use of audio-video and document sharing technology such Skype and Google Docs can be used.  You will receive orientation to all communication technologies used.


Q: Can I apply for financial aid?

A: Every individual has a unique situation. We recommend you contact the experts in our Financial Aid office to see if you are eligible.

Q: Are any scholarships available?

A: There are currently no Ball State sponsored scholarships for doctoral students in nursing. We are happy to complete any required forms if you apply for scholarships at local or national levels.


Q: What is the tuition and do you have a payment plan?

A: View the schedule of tuition and fees. If you have questions, contact the Bursar's Office.

Updated 3/26/15