We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about our accredited graduate nursing programs.

Admission & Application

Program Expectations

  • Can I take a semester off?

    No. Each track requires you to take a certain number of credits and clinical hours each semester. Please see the Plan of Study page for each track’s requirements. However, there is a Leave of Absence policy which would allow for exceptions under extraordinary circumstances. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Does the program require a thesis?
    No. You have three options to develop your knowledge and gain experience related to the research process. You can do a thesis, a master’s paper, or a research practicum. You should make an appointment with a faculty member in your clinical specialty track to discuss which option is right for you.
  • Is your DNP program online?

    Our Traditional DNP program is completely online. It is designed to be convenient for working professionals. As per university guidelines individual faculty may request students to meet on campus for testing or other purposes, however alternative arrangements for meeting these requirements can be made with the approval of the faculty member.

    Our post-BSN to DNP programs are a combination of classroom and online courses.

  • Does the DNP program at FIU admit non-clinical advanced practice nurses who are educators or administrators?

    No. Currently the Traditional DNP program at FIU is only open to advanced practice nurses prepared as Nurse Practitioners (e.g., ANP, GNP, PNP, FNP, etc.), Certified Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), and who have their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

  • Are you still offering MSN degree programs?
    Yes, the NWCNHS at FIU is offering the MSN Nurse Educator and the MSN NP programs in the specialties: Adult Gerontology PC NP / Family NP / Pedi NP / Psych-Mental Health NP.

About DNP

  • How is a DNP different from the PhD in Nursing?

    The DNP focuses on providing leadership for evidence-based practice. This requires competence in translating research in practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision-making, and implementing viable clinical innovations to change practice. Emphasis is placed on a population perspective, how to obtain assessment data on populations or cohorts, how to use data to make programmatic decisions, and program evaluation. The PhD program at FIU offers training and education in the formal research role. 

  • Why has the advanced nursing practice moved toward a DNP? Is there a gap in clinical practice?

    Recent reports from the Institute of Medicine describe the challenge of healthcare and represent a mandate for change in the educational program for the health professions. Nurses are constantly working with individuals who have a higher level of preparation in their respective fields. Nursing educational preparation and the time commitment ought to be analogous to other members in the health professions such as Pharmacist (PharmD), Physical Therapist (DPT), Occupational Therapist (OTD), Social Workers (DSW), and Audiologist (AuD) that have all also moved to preparation at the clinical doctoral level. The DNP provides a clinical option for advanced preparation in nursing practice that is more comparable to other interprofessional educational programs.

  • Does implementation of the DNP mean that current advanced practice nurses will no longer be permitted to practice without a doctorate?

    No, nurses with master's degrees (MSN) will continue to practice in their current capacities. Recommendations are included in the Roadmap Task Force report on how to facilitate rapid transition to the DNP for master's-level nurses seeking this credential. It is yet to be finally determined but nursing has a history of “grandfathering” in current practitioners as we transition to new standards. However, there will soon come a point where a DNP degree is required to be eligible to become a new advanced practice nurse.

  • Will the DNP program at FIU prepare me to assume a role as a physician?

    No. Nursing and medicine are distinct health disciplines that prepare clinicians to assume distinct roles and meet different practice expectations. The DNP program at FIU will prepare nurses for the highest level of nursing practice. Transitioning to the DNP will not alter the current scope of practice for advanced practice nurses as outlined in each state's Nurse Practice Act.

  • What is a good reliable information resource about the DNP?

    The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) maintains a current up to date website that includes information about the DNP.