California Nursing Doctorate Degree Programs


Azusa Pacific University: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) & PhD in Nursing Program Review
Azusa Pacific University, 901 E. Alosta Ave., PO Box 7000, Azusa, CA 91702-7000.
Established in 1899, Azusa Pacific University is a private Christian university in Azusa, located just a few miles outside of Los Angeles. In addition to the campus in Azusa, the university has several regional centers throughout Southern California including the High Desert, Murrieta, Inland Empire and San Diego.

Azusa Pacific University has PhD in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. To apply to the PhD in Nursing program, nurses must have a masters degree from an accredited university with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Additional application requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program include prior experience writing articles or other published work and a personal statement. Prerequisites for the PhD in Nursing program include graduate courses in statistics and nursing research. The PhD in Nursing can usually be completed in four years of study.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practical degree focusing on developing leaders who use research in nursing to manage patient care systems and health care institutions. Admission requirements for the DNP program include an MSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective nursing students should note that submitting both BSN and MSN transcripts are part of the admission process. Education and training for the DNP program require approximately 2 years of post-masters study.

Brandman University: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Review

Brandman University

16355 Laguna Canyon Road

Irvine CA 92618

Brandman University is an Irvine based college founded in 1958. Brandman University is part of the larger Chapman University system established in 1861 and one of the oldest higher education institutions in California. Brandman University awards undergraduate and graduate degrees, and has campuses in California and Washington. Brandman University serves over 6,000 students.

Several DNP Programs are offered at Brandman University for students with a bachelor of science in nursing and master of science in nursing, all of which offer an NP (Nurse Practitioner) specialization. Upon completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, students may take the certification exam to become an NP. The program options for the DNP are as follows:

BSN to DNP, Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

BSN to DNP, Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

BSN to DNP, Family Psych. and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

BSN to DNP, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

BSN to DNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care

Post-Masters to DNP

To apply, nurses with a Masters Degree in Nursing should have an advanced practice nursing certification and specialty such as Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nursing Specialist (CNS), Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Nurse Anesthetist (CNA). For applicants with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing, admission criteria include GPA and GRE scores, both of which must be submitted in order to apply.

California State University Fresno: DNP Program Review

California State University Fresno

Department of Nursing

2345 E. San Ramon

M/S MH25

Fresno, CA 93740

California State University Fresno is based in Central California and offers bachelors through doctoral degree programs. The university is part of the large California State University system which has over 20 universities in north, central and southern California. California State University Fresno was established in 1911. The university is also known as Fresno State University or Fresno State.

The DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) program at California State University Fresno is offered in collaboration with San Jose State University. Designed with the working nurse in mind, the DNP program is delivered primarily online, but does require students to attend on-campus sessions for some training. Technology training is provided to DNP students as several mediums are used to deliver coursework including Blackboard, Skype and Elluminate. Admission requirements to the DNP program include a minimum 3.0 GPA, Masters Degree in Nursing and demonstration of experience necessary for study in a DNP program. Nurses who apply should also have an RN license, a copy of which must be submitted with the application.

The DNP program can be completed in 21 months of study. As part of the requirements for completion of the doctoral program, nurses complete a doctoral project which demonstrates that they have the knowledge necessary to become a clinical nurse leader.

Loma Linda University: DNP & PhD in Nursing Program Review

Loma Linda University

11092 Anderson Street

Loma Linda, CA 92354

Loma Linda University (LLU) is a private university affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The university is known for its healthcare programs in dentistry, psychiatry and nursing and also houses a large hospital next to the campus. Loma Linda University was founded in 1905.

Both a DNP and PhD in Nursing are offered at Loma Linda University. The PhD in Nursing program may be completed by full-time or part-time study. The part-time study option allows nurses to complete courses during the summer. Loma Linda University is part of the NEXus (Nursing Education Exchange) which allows students to take courses in various nursing PhD programs in universities and transfer coursework to their home institution. The PhD program focuses on preparing nurses to conduct nursing research.

Admission requirements to the PhD in Nursing program include a minimum 3.5 GPA in the masters level nursing program, demonstrated scholarly publications and three letters of recommendation.

The DNP is a practice degree which offers the highest qualification possible in a clinical setting. Admission requirements for the DNP program include an MSN and BSN. The GPA for the Master of Science in Nursing degree must be 3.2 or higher. Applicants should have certification in management or an advanced practice role, dependent upon if they are pursuing the clinical or management track.

Samuel Merritt University: DNP Program Review

Samuel Merritt University

3100 Telegraph Ave

Oakland, CA, 94609

Samuel Merritt University is a public institution awarding bachelors and masters degrees in Oakland, California. The university was established as an institution for training nurses in 1909. Samuel Merritt University continues has over 1,400 students enrolled in various health science programs.

The DNP program is a clinical program designed to complement the nursing research role by offering a practical program which implements new findings in nursing practice. The doctoral program can be completed in two years of study, and is composed of 36 academic credits. Students are admitted to the program in cohorts each January. A cohort is composed of a group of students who will transition through the academic program together. Eighteen to twenty students are admitted to the cohort each year.

Prerequisite courses to the DNP program must be completed with a minimum grade of “B.” Prerequisite courses include a college level statistics course, which must have been completed within three years. Other admission criteria include a master of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students with a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and a master’s degree in a field other than nursing may be considered for admission on a case-by-basis. A GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score is not required for admission to the program. The DNP is delivered primarily online, with one campus visit required each year. The DNP program may be completed in two years.

San Jose State University: DNP Program Review

San Jose State University

1 Washington Sq

San Jose, CA 95112

San Jose State University was founded in 1857 as the first university of the 23 member California State University System. The university offers bachelors through doctoral degrees and is based in the southern portion of Northern California. San Jose state University began as a normal school, a teacher training institution.

San Jose State University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in conjunction with California State University Fresno (also known as Fresno State University). The program is delivered primarily online with students completing select education and training at the San Jose State University and California State University Fresno campuses.

Students in the DNP program are uniquely prepared in teaching and scholarship. Students will complete curriculum development and pedagogy course and also have the opportunity to teach a class. An intensive scholarly session is part of the DNP, and trains students to complete a scholarly project. The intensive scholarship session is set according to guidelines of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The Doctor of Nursing practice is designed to be completed in2 years (or 5 semesters) of study, which includes 1 summer session. Admission requirements include an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degree with relevant specialization to the clinical or administrative track. Students with a master’s degree in a field other than nursing may be admitted and required to complete prerequisite courses.

University of California Los Angeles: PhD in Nursing Program Review

University of California Los Angeles

A105, 110 Westwood Plaza

Los Angeles, CA 90095

The University of California Los Angeles (more commonly known as UCLA) is part of the 10 member University of California System, one of two public university systems located in California. UCLA is one of the more popular and selective campuses of the University of California system due to its award winning research and desirable location in Westwood, California. Westwood is located just miles from Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other desirable areas of Los Angeles.

The UCLA School of Nursing offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) program. The PhD is a nursing research program, with an emphasis on clinical nursing research. The focus areas of the program include biobehavioral sciences, biologic sciences, health services and health disparities/vulnerable populations.

Admission requirements to the PhD in Nursing include a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or MSN (Master of Science in Nursing). Students with a BSN and masters degree in a field other than nursing are also eligible to apply.

Nursing Research and Statistics are both nursing course prerequisites and must be completed before the PhD program commences. An unofficial prerequisite, as no course is required, students should be comfortable using the computer for various tasks related to academic study and research.

University of California San Francisco: PhD in Nursing Program Review

University of California San Francisco

Nursing Student Affairs Office

2 Koret Way, #N-319X

UCSF Box 0602

San Francisco, CA 94143-0602

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is part of the University of California system. Other campuses in the University of California system include Los Angeles, Berkeley, Riverside, Merced, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Irvine and Davis. The University of California San Francisco offers graduate degrees only and focuses on careers in the health sciences including training for physicians and nurses.

The PhD in Nursing program focuses on scholarly inquiry and developing answers to research questions in the nursing profession. Students in the nursing doctorate program have the option of earning a Master of Science Degree in Nursing while completing doctorate coursework. This option is only available for nurses who have not yet completed a Masters of Science in Nursing degree.

Specific research areas in the PhD in Nursing program include:

Community Health Systems

Family Health Care Nursing

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Physiological Nursing

Admissions criteria for the PhD in Nursing program include a minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA if applying for the program with a BSN or a 3.5 GPA if applying for the program with an MSN. Although not required, it is recommended that nursing have at least one year of professional nursing experience in their career background. An RN (Registered Nurse) license is required.

University of California Davis Health System: PhD in Nursing Program Review

University of California Davis Health System

One Shields Avenue

Davis, California 95616-8678

The University of California Davis is part of the University of California System, and was founded in 1905. The University of California Health System campus is located in Sacramento with the main campus located in Davis, California. The University of California Davis is a public research institution that awards bachelors through doctoral degrees. In a report by NewsWeek, the University of California Davis is ranked among the 10 happiest colleges in the nation.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing offers a PhD in Nursing program on the University of Davis Health System campus in San Francisco. The application process for the PhD program requires submitting an application and transcripts

A BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or bachelor’s degree in a related field, three letters of recommendation, personal statement and a GPA of 3.0 or higher are admission requirements for the PhD in Nursing program. Applicants may be required to complete an interview as part of the admission process, though it is not necessary to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam).

The PhD in Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership is a four year degree program designed to be completed on full-time study. As with many doctoral programs, students will be required to complete an oral qualifying exam prior to commencing the dissertation.

University of San Diego: DNP & PhD in Nursing Program Review

University of San Diego

5998 Alcalá Park

San Diego, CA 92110

The University of San Diego is a private, Roman Catholic University founded in 1949.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the Hahn School of Nursing at the University of San Diego in the top 10% of nursing programs in the nation. The university offers comprehensive options for nursing study and both a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) and PhD in Nursing program.

Both a Post-BSN DNP and DNP for nurses with a master’s degree and advanced practice specialization are eligible to apply for the DNP program. The DNP prepares clinical nursing leaders to lead and direct quality health care programs.

The deadline for priority consideration of the DNP applications is March of every year. Nurses from a variety of backgrounds and degree programs will find the BSN to DNP program a viable option. In addition to nurses with a BSN, nurses with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing may or nurses with a master’s degree without an approved advanced practice specialty may also apply to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program has specific entry tracks for nurses with a BSN, MSN or DNP. The PhD program prepares students for a career in scientific inquiry as it relates to the nursing profession. A variety of preparation methods are used and students have the flexibility to develop an individual area of focus and suit the program requirements to their individual needs.

University of San Francisco: DNP Program Review

2130 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

The University of San Francisco (not be confused with the University of California San Francisco) is a Jesuit institution in San Francisco, California. Other campuses in the University of San Francisco include Santa Rosa, San Jose, and Pleasanton and Sacramento. The University of San Francisco is the self-proclaimed first university in San Francisco and was founded in 1855.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a focus in Health Systems Leadership or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Both students with a BSN and MSN may apply to the DNP program. A DNP in executive leadership is offered specifically for nursing executives.

The admissions process at the University of San Francisco places equal importance on each student’s educational history, career background, experience and statement of goals. Admission requirements to the DNP program include a GPA of 3.0 or higher as an undergraduate. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency by taking the TOEFL exam.

The DNP program is held on the San Francisco campus. Students interested in the program may attend one of the campus information meetings or participate in one of several recruitment events which are held off campus. Interested students should contact the university for the recruitment schedule.

Western University of Health Sciences: DNP Program Review

Western University of Health Sciences

309 East 2nd Street

Pomona, CA 91766

Western University of Health Sciences is a private higher education institution offering graduate programs in various health professions including nursing, podiatry and pharmacy. Western University of Health Sciences was founded in 1977.

The DNP program at Western University of Health Sciences prepares students for a career as a leader in the clinical setting with the highest qualification for advanced practice nurses.

The Doctor of Nursing program is a full-time two year program completed through a hybrid method. Students participate in self-directed classes online and attend the campus two times each semester for on-campus training. DNP students may complete the required clinical practicum in their hometown.

To apply to the DNP program, nurses must meet the following admissions requirements:

-A scholarly writing sample (which may include work for a previous degree program, or simply a piece which demonstrates writing ability and the ability to think critically)

-an MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing) from a program accredited by CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education)

-Completion of prerequisite courses in Biostatistics, Nursing Research, Nursing Theory and Epidemiology

Students will complete coursework online, which includes discussion groups and opportunities to connect with colleagues and professors. Students interested in receiving aid for the DNP program should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

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