Doctor of Nursing Practice

DNP graduate, Doctor Mae Lavente Dizon


The DNP program was life-changing and I know just how cliché that sounds. I entered the program as a seasoned Clinical Nurse Specialist but really left with a clear vision as a leader in nursing... The DNP has afforded me a broader view of healthcare and allowed me to influence nursing in a variety of ways in my current role. I’m forever grateful for my DNP."

- Lisa Walker-Vischer RN, DNP, CNS, CCRN (2014 NCCDNP Graduate)  

About the DNP program

We are utilizing the best of the past to create the future of nursing, nursing education, and improved patient outcomes throughout California. We are pursuing this mission by offering this post-Master’s degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

"The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at San José State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ("

 The SJSU DNP degree program is designed to mesh with a professional, working schedule.

  • Majority online program; asynchronous classes with synchronous support
  • Has a single on-campus meeting at the beginning of each semester (otherwise, entirely online)
  • Admits as a cohort in the Fall semester
  • Occurs over five (5) semesters/twenty-three (23) months
  • Consists of three (3) courses per semester
  • Clinical hours accrued during Master’s work are applicable to required 1,000 post-Baccalaureate practicum hours
  • Computer Programs/Applications used:

Mission and Vision of the DNP Program

The program’s mission is to prepare promising nurse leaders, advanced practice clinicians, and nursing faculty in evidence-based practice implementation. Graduates will examine current healthcare practices, policies, and education from a broad theoretical and practical perspective, and formulate clinical, administrative, and leadership strategies to improve the quality of healthcare throughout the community. 

The program’s vision is to be an exceptional advanced nursing degree program, within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, dedicated to improving health and wellness via evidence-based practice, collaborating across disciplines, and communicating knowledge to the broader healthcare community.


Learn About SJSU’s DNP Program – Live!

Live-hosted online Info Sessions are held during the winter/spring, via Zoom meetings. For schedule, additional information, or general questions, contact

Aren't able to make one of the scheduled live info sessions? Watch a pre-recorded info session on the youtube channel of one of faculty members.

Interested in Applying?

After reading through the Admissions section, please submit your initial application through Cal State Apply. You will be asked to upload transcripts, among other documents, so apply early!

Apply Now

Want a preview of what will be asked during the application process? Take this brief survey

[Return to Top]



Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is a 5-semester post-master's degree program designed to mesh with a full-time professional work schedule.

Eligibility and Prerequisites

Prospective students applying for admission to the DNP program must have the following: 

  • Active, unrestricted California RN licensure and (if applicable) an advanced practice national certification
  • Master's Degree in Nursing Science (MSN). Or, a Master’s Degree in a health-related field (e.g. Public Health, Health Administration) with additional post-baccalaureate courses in nursing theories, research methods, trans-cultural nursing, and informatics.
    • Master’s degree must be completed/received no later than July 1st prior to admission
  • GPA of 3.0 or above, in pre-doctoral courses
  • Meet admission requirements of San Jose State University Graduate Admissions
  • Demonstrate sufficient preparation and practice experience as an APN, nurse manager, nurse administrator, executive, educator, or professional nurse. 
  • A personal written statement of purpose. Must be doubled-spaced and address the following: what you expect to accomplish in the DNP program and how the DNP program will advance your nursing career and practice. You may include your potential area of focus, which should be your primary area of focus for your DNP project.
  • U.S citizenship or U.S permanent residency

Application Deadline and Procedures

The DNP program admits students in the Fall semester only. Students will be admitted as a cohort.

Three Steps to Admission

Step One: Cal State Apply application

Application Window: October 1st - May 31st

  • Apply to SJSU through Cal State Apply.
    • Complete this application as early as possible to allow time for all required university documentation to be processed. Documents include official transcripts, residency status information, and more.
  • Choose Fall of the appropriate year in the drop-down menu (the DNP program admits students in the Fall only), and indicate that your degree goal is a Graduate or Professional Degree, and select the Doctor of Nursing Practice program/major option.
    • For applicant support during the application process, please contact Cal State Apply directly at 857-304-2087.
  • Submit transcripts as directed (see Have Applied and Next Steps for more information).

See required steps to complete your Graduate Admissions/university application.

For a preview of documents which will be required during the Cal State Apply process, and to let the DNP Program Team know of your interest, fill out this brief survey.

Step Two: Interview with Program Coordinators

Deadline: November 1st - May 31st

Once completed, Cal State Apply applications will be reviewed, and applicants who meet the minimum criteria for admission will be contacted for an interview with the Program Coordinators. Once the interview has taken place and a decision has been made, those accepted will be sent an acceptance letter with next-step instructions.

Step Three: Receive Acceptance Notifications

Window: November – June

Acceptance notifications will be sent after completion of the Cal State Apply application and after a successful interview with the Program Coordinators. Once the Acceptance notification is received, applicants will be prompted to confirm their Intent to Attend, will be asked to produce a Doctoral Project Brief (template will be provided), and will need to comply with University Registrar’s instructions.

Application to scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs should be made as soon as possible after acceptance has been received.

[Return to Top]


The DNP program tuition is $7,635.00 per semester, plus SJSU student and registration fees, books, and travel (for the once-a-semester meeting) expenses.

[ Return to Top ]

Degree Requirements

Program Learning Outcomes 

The goal of the DNP program is to prepare nurses for advanced practice roles as clinical scholars and health policy leaders. The expected Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) were developed based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006).

The PLOs of the DNP program are such that graduates will:

  1. Provide safe, effective, and efficient care within the scope of advanced nursing practice.
  2. Develop effective strategies to ensure the safety of patients and populations.
  3. Critically analyze literature and develop best practices.
  4. Translate research into clinical practice.
  5. Measure patient outcomes.
  6. Design, implement, and evaluate quality improvement measures.
  7. Analyze the cost-effectiveness of practice initiatives.
  8. Evaluate information systems and patient care technology.
  9. Influence healthcare policy, educate others about health disparities, and advocate for social justice.
  10. Demonstrate leadership skills to ensure patient outcomes, enhance communication, and create change in healthcare.


The DNP program course roadmap outlines the classes which each student will need to complete in order to graduate.

Doctoral Project - your graduate project

Rather than a thesis, a dissertation, or a comprehensive exam as the culminating experience of the program, students earning their DNP degree will produce a Doctoral Project which will be presented to faculty during the final semester of the program, and an article on the project will be submitted for publication. Work related to a student’s Doctoral Project begins during the first semester, and is worked on throughout the entire program (via practicum hours). Applicants should consider developing a practice-related quality improvement, or evidence-based area of study, for their DNP Project and should be prepared to discuss this idea during the admissions process and in interviews.

For Doctoral Project inspiration, visit the ScholarWorks archive from the previous DNP program, the Northern California Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Applicants who require assistance in formulating appropriate topics are encouraged to contact the Program Coordinators.

National Certification

Students entering the Doctor of Nursing Practice program should have advanced education in a specialty field. Candidates who are eligible for clinical certification as advanced practice nurses (APNs) should have valid state licensure and state certification. Graduates from other advanced specialty areas (such as public health nurses, nurse educators, or health administrators) need not have APN certification; however, these individuals must be prepared to sit for a national certification examination in a specialty field to meet this requirement.

[Return to Top]

Advising for Prospective Students

Live-hosted online Info Sessions are held during the Fall and Spring semesters, via Zoom meetings. The schedule can be found on the Advising page. For additional information, or general questions, contact

Aren't able to make one of the scheduled live info sessions? Watch a pre-recorded info session on YouTube.


Applicant Resources

[ Return to Top ]

Student Resources

[ Return to Top ]

Contact Information

General Inquiries:
Fax Number: 408-924-3135

Program Coordinator and Program Advisors:

Robin Whitney, PhD, RN
DNP Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor
Phone: (408) 924-1336

Denise Dawkins, DNP, RN, CNL, CHSE
DNP Program Advisor
Assistant Professor
Phone: (408) 924-1327

Lisa Walker-Vischer, RN, DNP, CNS, CCRN
DNP Program Advisor
Phone: (408) 315-5800

Program Staff:

Maya Carlyle
Recruitment and Event Associate

Brian Gothberg
Student Support Analyst

 [Return to Top]


Announcements And Current Events

DNP Newsletter

Keep up with news, highlights, and announcements from SJSU's DNP program! Sign up for our newsletter by emailing us at


Application Window for Fall 2022

Interested in applying to the DNP program for Fall 2022 admitance? The application window will open on October 1, 2021 (mark your calendars). Fill out this short form for a preview of the questsions asked and documents asked for during the application

Fall Intensive: Cohort 2

August 13, 2021 will be the Fall Intensives for Cohort 2 (Semester 4). Reach out to for more information.

Fall Intensive: Cohort 3

August 13 and 14, 2021 will be the Fall Intensives for Cohort 3 (Program Orientation and Semester 1). Reach out to for more information.


Find out more about the academic calendar on the Registrar's website.


Return to Top