BSN to DNP FAQs

Why choose a DNP degree over a master’s degree?

Current evidence clearly connects improved patient outcomes to higher levels of nursing education. It is the terminal degree option for those who wish to excel in practice. If you desire to deepen your practice expertise, translate research into quality care to improve patient outcomes and provide leadership to address key healthcare systems, then the DNP may be a good program for you to consider. In addition, the DNP will prepare you to serve as a teacher and mentor, while improving the quality of your practice.

How does the DNP differ from the PhD in nursing?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice focused doctorate degree. Those who earn a DNP are experts in translating science in research into practice. The PhD in nursing focuses on research and generating new knowledge to advance nursing science. PhD and DNP prepared nurses should work together to advance patient care.

Is it possible to continue working while I am enrolled in the BSN to DNP program?

A majority of students enrolled in our BSN to DNP program are working as full-time nursing professionals, while taking classes part-time. We encourage you to consider a part-time plan of study if you are planning on maintaining full-time employment and have other life responsibilities, as the part-time plan has been constructed with the working professional in mind.

Can I pursue this degree program at the same time as another graduate or professional degree program at Ohio State?

Students who enroll in two graduate degree-granting programs concurrently are called Dual Degree students. Please review this information on the Graduate School website to learn more about the Dual Degree designation.

Dual Degree students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. There may be little overlap between the two sets of coursework, which can result in students being required to fully complete the degree requirements for both programs in order to graduate. This can extend time to graduation. Due to the rigorous nature of some of our graduate clinical programs, prospective students interested in a Dual Degree option with the College of Nursing are advised to closely examine the curriculum requirements of our programs before applying. For degree programs with clinical components, it is important to recognize that adjustments to the standard curriculum plan may not be possible.

To learn more about the process for applying as a Dual Degree student, please visit the Graduate School’s website. After you have reviewed this information, please contact the director of the program in which you are interested for further discussion. The director’s name and contact information can be found by visiting the homepage of the program on the college’s website. This discussion should occur before you begin applying in order to gain a better understanding of program requirements. Applicants interested in applying to a College of Nursing graduate program as a Dual Degree student must follow the application process listed on the program admission webpage and adhere to all deadlines. Please email nursing@osu.edu if you have any questions about how to apply.

I already have a master’s degree in nursing from another institution. Do I have to choose this program if I want to pursue another specialty and get my DNP at the same time?

Yes, Ohio State’s Post-Master’s DNP program does not include APRN certification. If you wish to pursue a second certification along with your DNP, this would be the correct program. We can review your completed graduate nursing coursework once you are admitted to determine what can be applied to the program’s requirements.

If I choose a distance learning specialty, are there any on-campus requirements?

Possibly. The FNP and NNP specialties will require you to visit the Ohio State campus for brief skill assessments later in the program. These visits are typically over a weekend and you will be given these dates well in advance. You are also invited and strongly encouraged to attend orientation and graduation on the Ohio State campus, though not required. 

Do the online courses have any designated meeting times for class? 

Yes, most online, graduate nursing courses will include a synchronous component, which is a time during the week when you will be required to log in online for class. These times are commonly once per week, on a weekday, later in the day or evening, and are scheduled on Eastern time. There may be classes or times that differ from these norms.

Do I earn my master’s degree part of the way through and when do I sit for the board certification for my specialty? 

Typically, you are eligible to sit for your APRN certification upon graduation with your master’s degree after the second-to-last year of the program. 

Do I have to find my own clinical sites?

The College of Nursing’s Placement Office will assist you in locating clinical sites and preceptors. You can learn more about their process here

I work for Ohio State, will this program qualify me for tuition assistance? 

Possibly. Ohio State offers a Tuition Assistance program for employees, which you can learn more about here. Eligibility is based on your employment status. You should consult with your Human Resources representative if you have questions about the Employee Tuition Assistance program. 

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Melanie Hlahol
Melanie Hlahol, current student

“This program is rigorous and has provided me with the best education to lead me to success in my future. I have felt supported throughout the entirety of this program and have been provided with excellent resources to help guide me throughout the
course of my career.”