Lee University Catalog 2018-2019 
    Jan 19, 2019  
Lee University Catalog 2018-2019

Doctoral Graduate Studies at Lee University

Doctoral Level Graduate Studies

School of Nursing

D.N.P. Doctor of Nursing Practice NURSE.DNP
D.N.P., F.N.P. Doctor of Nursing Practice NGFNP.DNP

Doctoral Tuition and Fees

Itemized Expenses Per Semester (including summer) for Full and Part-time Students

Tuition per semester hour $810
Seat Fee (required per semester, non-refundable, applied to tuition) $150
Technology Fee $75

Course Fees

Course Fee                                    $75


Additional Fees

There are fees for optional, specific services that students may choose.  See General Graduate Studies Tuition and Fees.

School of Nursing Doctoral Studies

Sara L. Campbell, Dean
Charlotte Webb, Associate Dean

School of Nursing Mission

The Mission of the School of Nursing is to prepare nurses who view professional practice through the lens of a caring, Christian worldview and who demonstrate transformational servant leadership that is intentional, bold, infused with Christ-centered confidence, and radically compassionate in caring for others in an increasingly diverse, global, complex, and changing world.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Goal

The goal of the proposed DNP Program is to prepare graduates who are highly functional in five primary spheres:

  1. Scholarly evaluation of evidence using translational science in clinical application
  2. Improved quality of care delivery and outcomes through advanced nursing practice
  3. Ethical leadership for application in advanced nursing practice
  4. Health disparities among domestic and global populations
  5. Integration of Christian Worldview perspectives in advanced practice

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the DNP program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from other disciplines to design and evaluate practice approaches.  (Essential I, VIII)
  2. Model accountability in the provision of systems leadership for excellence in practice.  (Essential I, II, VIII)
  3. Exhibit clinical scholarship using analytical methods to improve targeted health outcomes.  (Essential III, VII)
  4. Analyze critical components necessary for the selection, use, and evaluation of health care information systems and patient care technology.  (Essential III, IV)
  5. Influence health policy by providing leadership in the areas of education, influence, and advocacy for the nursing profession and healthcare communities.  (Essential I, II, V, VIII)
  6. Serve as a leader in communication and collaboration with interprofessional teams to create change for health and complex health care systems.  (Essential II, VI)
  7. Analyze scientific data related to individual, aggregate, and population health. (Essential I, IV, VII)
  8. Use advanced clinical judgment to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based care for improved outcomes.  (Essential III, VIII)
  9. Focus on gaps in healthcare access to improve health status among rural and global populations, considering culture and disaster recovery, and related issues.  (Essential I, II, V, VII)
  10. Demonstrate a Christian worldview as an advanced practice nurse.

Admission Policies

Submit online School of Nursing DNP application.  General Admission Requirements are listed below (students entering with a MSN, also see section named “Other MSN Entry Level Requirements”)

  • Achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) from accredited program
  • Unencumbered Nurse License (Registered Nurse (RN; or eligible for licensure), or Advanced Practice RN (APRN) if applicable.  (Students must be licensed in Tennessee, one of the interstate compact states, or in unusual circumstances, within a different state of residence)
  • It is the expectation that newly licensed registered nurses will be engaged in some level of clinical practice
  • GPA 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale on all courses in the BSN or MSN degree
  • GRE general exam scores are not required, however, may be submitted to strengthen the application, if the applicant desires
  • GRE scores must arrive before the application deadline date to be considered
  • TOEFL online score of 90 or higher if native language is not English
  • Submit School of Nursing Graduate Rating form from three (3) college faculty and/or nurses who have supervised applicant’s professional work
  • Submission of official transcripts from all post-secondary schools where college credit was earned, not just degree-granting institutions
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • An essay describing how the DNP will help the applicant to achieve personal and professional objectives in nursing practice
  • Interview (may be completed via phone, use of technology, or in person)
  • If MSN prepared, applicant must submit letter of verification of practice hours from MSN program, signed by MSN Program Director or appropriate program representative

Other MSN Entry Level Requirements

Submit evidence of advanced practice national certification in one of the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) roles (certified nurse-midwife (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and nurse practitioner (CNP)).

Graduates of MSN programs other than those listed above may be accepted, but must enroll in the DNP-FNP track.

Submit evidence of MSN core courses, (Advanced Health Assessment across the Lifespan, Advanced Pharmacology across the Lifespan and Advanced Pathophysiology across the Lifespan).

A graduate level statistics course is required for the program.  If a course has already been taken, it must be approved as acceptable by the Director of the Graduate Program.

MSN students entering with practice hours in the MSN degree program will be allowed to apply 500 practice hours to the required 1,100.  If the student has less than 500 clinical/practicum hours from the master’s degree curriculum, additional clinical/practicum hours will be required in NURS 630 Advanced Nursing Clinical Practicum (Variable 1-4 credit hours; 150 clinical/1 credit hour) to achieve the required 1,100 clinical/practicum hours post BSN.

International Students

The University is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students on an F-1 visa.  International applicants are expected to apply well in advance of their projected beginning date.  All academic records and other credentials must be accompanied by an official English translation.  If transfer credit from an institution outside the United States is desired, an evaluation from World Education Services (www.WES.org) must be submitted (refer to the “Transfer Credit” section under Graduate Academic Policies for additional information).
In addition to general admission requirements, international students must supply the following:

  1. TOEFL Scores:  All applicants who are not native speakers of English and who will attend the University on a student visa and who are graduates of an American college or University are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  Information on this test can be attained by writing to TOEFL Educational Testing Service; Princeton, New Jersey 08540; U.S.A. (or go to www.toefl.org).  All test scores should be sent directly from the testing agency to Lee University (Lee University Code:  1401).  To be admitted to the School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Program, a TOEFL online score of 90 or higher is required if native language is not English.
  2. Financial Statement:  An applicant on an F-1 student visa must supply, on the form provided by the University, sufficient evidence of financial support for the applicant and all members of his/her family who will accompany the applicant to Lee.  This requires that the applicant certify that his/her intent is to attend full-time and that no employment will be required.

All of the above credentials must be received and approved before a SEVIS Form I-20 can be issued to the applicant.  More information can be found in the Graduate International Student Booklet.

Health and Safety Compliance Requirements

Prior to enrolling in nursing coursework students must meet health and safety compliance requirements, which include:

  • Drug/Alcohol Testing
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Physical Examination
  • Various immunizations
  • PPD skin test or chest x-ray
  • Health Care Provider CPR or ACLS Certification
  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Copy of RN Licensure (if applicable; RN & APRN license) (License/s should be in state where employed and any state where clinical experiences will occur)

Transfer Policies and Criteria

Policies and criteria used for awarding transfer credit are published on the Lee University website and in the University catalog.  DNP policies and criteria will be published on the School of Nursing (SON) website and in the SON Graduate Student Handbook.

Any student applying to the DNP Program at Lee University can transfer up to nine (9) semester credit hours of a graduate program from a regionally accredited graduate program if the final course grade was B or better.

Application of transfer credit must be approved by the SON Graduate Program Committee.  To be considered for transfer of credit, a course must be taught at the graduate level, a grade of at least a B attained, and taken within the last 5 years of application to the DNP Program.  If the approval of transfer credit is given, the student requesting the credit is required to submit the official transcript for the course work to the SON.  Following receipt of the official transcript, the SON will request by email to the University Registrar to have the academic record updated with transfer work and Lee University SON course equivalents.

A student who plans to take work elsewhere should obtain prior approval from the SON indicating that the course or courses are appropriate to the student’s curriculum at Lee University SON.


Satisfactory progress toward the degree is required.  If the GPA drops below the minimum level, the student may be given one enrollment period to raise it to the satisfactory level.  A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.  A grade lower than B in a Nursing course will require the student to repeat the course.  Students may only repeat a course one time, with a maximum of two courses repeated for the nursing program.  Students with more than two course failures may be subject to dismissal from the program.

Program length minimum is designated by the accrediting body (CCNE).  According to CCNE, full-time BSN to DNP plans cannot be completed in less than a minimum of three calendar years.  The proposed Lee BSN to DNP degree is three calendar years and thus, meets the criteria.  CCNE states that post-MSN to DNP cannot be completed in less than one calendar year.  The proposed program will be four semesters in length (1 calendar year and 1 semester) and meets the criteria.

Students must complete all required courses or accepted equivalency for a total of 72 hours.  The last 25% of credit hours required for the DNP degree must be earned through instruction offered by Lee University, and at least one-third of credits toward the DNP must be earned through instruction at Lee.

Each doctoral student will agree to a plan of study.  This plan of study will be part of the student’s permanent file.  In addition, all applicants will be evaluated individually based on prior educational work as well as current experience.  The plan of study will be designed to include additional coursework, if necessary, to best position the student to achieve the educational objectives of the curriculum.  The plan of study should be reviewed each semester, and any revisions to the plan must be approved by the Director of the Graduate Program and the student’s faculty advisor.  If approved, a revised plan of study must be submitted with the appropriate signatures.

Students must complete a minimum of 1,100 faculty supervised clinical/project/practicum hours post baccalaureate degree.  One academic credit hour for a clinical/practicum course is a minimum of 40 practicum hours (i.e. 1 credit hour/40 clinical/practicum hours).  Clinical Inquiry courses which relate to the DNP scholarly project are based upon 1 credit hour for 100 project hours (i.e. 1 credit hour/100 practice hours).  Students are required to complete the degree by the end of six (6) calendar years starting from the initial registration date as DNP student.

A characteristic of Lee University School of Nursing practice doctorate is the successful completion of a DNP Project that demonstrates the synthesis of the student’s experiences.  The DNP Project will embrace learning from both coursework and practice application.  The DNP Project will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the student’s DNP project team, led by a member of the Lee University School of Nursing faculty with doctoral preparation, and who is actively engaged in practice relevant to the student’s topic of interest.  Successful completion of a DNP project demonstrating the synthesis of the student’s coursework and practice application culminates in a final manuscript submitted for publication and an oral presentation.

Completion Requirements for Doctoral Degree in the School of Nursing

Students must meet the following graduation requirements:  1)Successfully pass all nursing courses according to criteria set by the School of Nursing; 2) Complete the nursing program within six consecutive years, starting from the first day of enrollment as a DNP major; and 3) Apply for graduation with the University’s published policy.

Professional Certification/Licensure

Completion of the degree requirements does not constitute Professional Certification/Licensure.  The candidate must complete all of the applicable state/organization requirements, including passing any certification/licensing exams.

School of Nursing Graduate Program Committee

The School of Nursing Graduate Program Committee responsibility is to give oversight to the graduate program.  The committee considers and recommends curricular changes to the Graduate Council, approves all program policies, assesses and evaluates components of the graduate program, serves as the Admission Committee, reviews candidacy and approves applicants for graduation.

For more information:

Contact Lee University Graduate Studies in Nursing Office at DNP@leeuniversity.edu