Accelerate Your Nursing Career with the BSN to DNP Pathway

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The Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP) pathway allows RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to enter directly into the DNP program without first earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, allowing for a seamless and accelerated progression from the completion of a baccalaureate degree to advanced nursing practice. The pathway meets the program learning outcomes for the DNP degree at APU and is aligned with The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2021). Learn more about program admission requirements.

Program Highlights

  • Bypass the need to first obtain a master’s degree, which is required in most traditional DNP programs.
  • Focus your studies by adding a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty or a Health Systems Leadership emphasis.
  • Benefit from core nurse practitioner (NP) and leadership courses, along with specialized NP courses, all of which are integrated in the curriculum and course progression.
  • Choose from full- and part-time options.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:

  1. Utilize nursing, bioethical, physical, spiritual, psychosocial, and organizational sciences in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of advanced clinical nursing practice.
  2. Provide transformative and collaborative leadership in the organization and management of healthcare delivery systems for ethnically and culturally diverse populations to improve patient and population outcomes.
  3. Critically examine, develop, and translate research and other evidence as a basis for developing, implementing, and evaluating advanced clinical nursing practice and healthcare delivery.
  4. Employ current technological and informational advances from health care and other disciplines to promote the highest level of healthcare delivery.
  5. Actively participate in evaluating, formulating, and implementing healthcare policies that address health disparities and health care from a social justice and ethical framework.
  6. Integrate faith traditions and Christian values in the development of professional and advanced nursing practice.


Students enrolled in APU’s BSN to DNP pathway participate in an intensive campus experience each semester, either online or in nearby Monrovia, California. Intensives are usually scheduled for Friday and Saturday, and provide an opportunity for faculty-student engagement, networking with colleagues, interaction with library and Writing Center resources and personnel, and course enrichment through guest speakers. Intensives support students in developing the required DNP project, from early question development to DNP project completion. Our highly skilled and engaging faculty make these experiences educational and enjoyable, and content supports the accompanying didactic course. DNP Student Association meetings also take place during the intensives.

Attendance at these Intensives is required. Intensives are held anywhere from the fourth to the sixth week each semester. Writing Boot Camp is another student resource and is held once per semester.

Residency Practice Hours

In alignment with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical residency is required for the completion of the DNP degree. The GNRS 732 DNP Clinical Residency course is a continuous enrollment course in which the student enrolls each semester until their 1,000 hours are completed and their DNP scholarly project is done.

DNP Scholarly Project

The DNP is a practice-focused doctorate that includes integrative practice experiences and an intense practice immersion experience. Each student in the program generates an evidence-based project as an integral part of their practice experience. There are a number of practice doctorates at the university, which provide opportunities for interdisciplinary coursework and collaborative projects.

The DNP project is the culminating scholarly, clinical inquiry project of students in the DNP program. This project represents the translation or application of research evidence into direct or indirect advanced nursing practice roles, such as APRNs (CNS, NP, CNMW, CRNA), nurse administrators, nurse educators, nurse informaticists, and public health nurses. The completion of the DNP project lays the groundwork for future scholarship and evidence-based practice.

School of Nursing Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Azusa Pacific University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The traditional baccalaureate nursing program, upper-division transfer (2+2/LVN to BSN) programs, entry-level master’s program, and the nurse practitioner program are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Azusa Pacific University (APU) is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.