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    Lee University
    Jun 19, 2024  
Lee University Catalog 2021-2022 
Lee University Catalog 2021-2022 [Archived Catalog]

School of Nursing Doctoral Studies

Doctoral Level Graduate Studies

School of Nursing

Sara L. Campbell, Dean
Charlotte Webb, Associate Dean


The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Lee University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791(

School of Nursing Doctoral Studies

Doctor of Nursing Practice (NURSE.DNP)

Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family Nurse Practitioner (NGFNP.DNP)

School of Nursing Mission

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

Admission Policies

Submit on-line 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 or one of the interstate compact states.)
  • It is the expectation that newly licensed registered nurses will be engaged in some level of clinical practice
  • Cumulative BSN and/or MSN degree GPA 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • 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 on-line 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)
  • With permission from the SON Director of the Graduate Program, a student may take a maximum of nine credit hours in select nursing courses without being fully admitted to the DNP program.  For consideration, students will need to submit a program application and official transcripts from all post-secondary schools where college credit was earned, not just degree-granting institutions.
  • Out-of-state applicants to the nursing BSN-DNP program should become familiar with their state’s regulations governing distance accessible programs. Prospective students residing in states other than Tennessee should contact their state’s Board of Nursing and Department of Education for specific rules and regulations pertaining to students enrolled in out-of-state programs while residing in their home state.

Other MSN Entry Level Requirements

If MSN prepared, applicant must submit letter of verification of practice hours from MSN program, signed by MSN Program Director or appropriate program representative.

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.

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 an MSN degree program will be allowed to apply 550 practice hours to the required 1,100.  If the student has less than 550 clinical/practicum hours from the master’s degree curriculum, additional clinical/practicum hours will be required in NURS 630 Advanced Nursing Clinical Practicum 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 ( 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 online score of 90 or higher (as applicable; Applicants with a native language other than English are required to submit scores earned on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), designed to ascertain proficiency in English.  Students who wish to take the test should write directly to:  TOEFL, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541.  For further information, go to
  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 the following requirements:

  • Clear criminal background check
  • Copy of unencumbered RN licensure (if applicable: RN & APRN license) (Licenses should be in state of employment and any state where clinical experiences will occur.)
  • Drug/alcohol testing

Students will be required to submit the following:

  • Physical examination
  • Required immunizations
  • PPD skin test or chest x-ray
  • Health Care Provider CPR or ACLS certification
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Verification of fit testing

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 are 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 may 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.


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 didactic course one time and a practicum/clinical one time.  A second failure in a didactic course will result in dismissal from the Program.  A second failure in a practicum/clinical will result in dismissal from the program.

Students must complete all required courses or accepted equivalency for a total of 72 hours.  At least one-third of credits toward the DNP must be earned through instruction at Lee.

Students must complete a minimum of 1,100 faculty supervised clinical/project/practicum hours post baccalaureate degree.  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.

Continuous Enrollment in DNP/FNP Track

Students in the DNP, FNP track, must maintain consecutive semester enrollment in practicum/clinical courses.  Students must notify the School of Nursing Graduate Program Director or designee if circumstances prohibit continuous enrollment.  Interruption in FNP practicum/clinical courses is discouraged and may require competency verification.  If a student does not maintain consecutive enrollment for whatever reason, the student must appeal to the SON Graduate Program Committee for approval to re-enter practicum/clinical course after an interruption in sequence of courses.  Change to a plan of study will likely result in delayed graduation.  Students must contact the Graduate Program Director or designee to develop a revised plan of study.

Nursing Course Withdrawals

Students must communicate with the Graduate Program Director or designee prior to withdrawing from a nursing course. Repeating of courses that students withdraw from for any reason is contingent upon course offerings and space availability in the course.  Students should be aware that withdrawing from courses will likely delay time to graduation.

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 DNP Program prepares the FNP graduates to take the Family Nurse Practitioner Certification exams administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

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.

Doctoral Tuition and Fees

Itemized Expenses Per Semester (including summer) for Full and Part-time Students
Tuition per credit hour $855
Registration Fee (required per semester) 25
Technology Fee (required per semester) 75
Course Fees
Nursing Course Fee (per credit hour)                                  $55
Additional Fees

Other expenses for all students, when applicable, include:

Audit Fee (per credit hour) $75
Auto Registration and Parking Fee (per vehicle registered, per year) 40
Deferred Payment Plan Fee (per semester) 100
Academic Transcript (per copy) 7.50
Graduation Application Fee 150
Late Graduation Application Fee 180
Returned Check Fee (per check) 30
Schedule Change Fee (per transaction) 10
Late Enrollment Confirmation Fee 50

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

Settlement of Accounts

Students should be prepared to pay full semester charges on or before confirming enrollment. Money may be submitted in advance to the Student Financial Services Office. This payment will facilitate confirming enrollment. Off-campus or part-time students are required to pay fifty percent down on or before confirming enrollment according to the deferred payment plan. Students who are unable to pay their accounts in full must either borrow the necessary funds or enroll in the university’s deferred payment plan. Students who will have difficulty paying the full charges within the semester are encouraged to make advance arrangements for borrowing the needed funds. The university also offers services by which students may use Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express to make payment on their accounts.  Note:  If a student confirms enrollment on or after the first day of class, a $50 late enrollment confirmation fee will be applied to their account (this applies to fall, spring, and summer).

Deferred Payment Plan

Students desiring to participate in the deferred payment plan are required to pay fifty percent of the total charges at the time of confirming enrollment and the balance of semester charges in two equal monthly payments on the dates mentioned below. The same financial requirements apply to veterans and others in cases when money is not sent directly to Lee University.  Students enrolling in the deferred payment plan will be charged a $100 fee for this service. This fee will apply to all students owing a balance in excess of $500 at the time of confirming enrollment.

Fall Semester

Students must pay fifty percent of their total charges.  The balance must be paid as follows:

  • First payment by September 30
  • Final payment by October 31

Spring Semester

Students must pay fifty percent of their total charges.  The balance must be paid as follows:

  • First payment by February 28
  • Final payment by March 31

A bill will be sent to the student’s permanent address, unless otherwise indicated, each month. However, the student is still responsible for timely payments, even if a bill is not received. If payment is not made on the due date, a $35 late fee will be assessed.

Deferred Payment Plan for Summer School

Students are ordinarily required to pay the full charges for all sessions at the time of confirming enrollment. However, those unable to pay the full amount may defer up to 50% of the charges for a maximum of 30 days.  Students enrolling in the deferred payment plan will be charged a $100 fee for this service. This fee will apply to all students owing a balance in excess of $500 at the time of confirming enrollment. 

A bill will be sent to the student’s permanent address, unless otherwise indicated, each month. However, the student is still responsible for timely payments, even if a bill is not received. If payment is not made on the due date, a $35 late fee will be assessed.

Refund Policy

No reduction of charges will be granted unless application is made within two weeks of any change in program or departure of the students. STUDENTS WHO WITHDRAW FROM THE UNIVERSITY AFTER THE FIFTH WEEK OF CLASSES WILL RECEIVE NO ADJUSTMENT ON TUITION, FEES, AND ROOM (includes Carroll Court Apartments). Those whose study is interrupted by the university for discipline reasons will receive no adjustment on tuition, fees, and room after the fifth week of classes. When a student withdraws from the university or moves out of on-campus housing, his or her ROOM (includes Carroll Court Apartments) CHARGES WILL BE ADJUSTED ON THE SAME SCHEDULE AS TUITION AND FEES.  Board charges will be prorated from date of withdrawal. If a student withdraws during a semester and requests a refund of advanced payments, the following rules will determine the amount of adjustment, provided the student withdraws formally through the Center for Student Success.

  1. Tuition, fees, and room (includes Carroll Court Apartments), with the exception of matriculation and registration fees, will be adjusted on the following percentages:

o    During first two weeks of semester



o    During third week of semester



o    During fourth week of semester



o    During fifth week of semester



o    After fifth week of semester



  1. Board will be adjusted by the full amount unused at the date of withdrawal.
  3. No person who registers as a full-time student and is later permitted to drop enough courses to place him/her in the classification of a part-time student will be entitled to an adjustment or prorated tuition after the fifth week.
  4. Mandatory refunds and repayments to Federal Title IV student financial aid programs will be calculated based upon earned and unearned aid percentages as outlined by the Federal Government. The formula for such calculations is based on the number of days in a given semester and the number of days attendance completed by the student prior to his/her withdrawal. Refunds mandated by the calculation could possibly increase the amount a student must pay after he/she withdraws from school. Please refer to “Return of Federal Title IV Financial Aid Policy”  in the Undergraduate Financial Aid section.

Refund Policy for Summer School

  1. Withdrawals during the first week of classes will receive 50% credit on tuition and room. THERE IS NO REFUND AFTER THE FIRST WEEK.
  3. If you register for multiple sessions and withdraw prior to the beginning of the second or third session, you will receive full refund for the second or third session (whichever is applicable).

Accounts Must be Paid Prior to Final Examinations

Written commitments for aid from Lee University or other sources are the only substitutes for the required down payment. Therefore, students should assume responsibility for applying for aid in advance and for seeing that the proper letters or cash arrive at the Student Financial Services Office by registration day.

While we recognize the problems involved in increasing costs to the student, education with a Christian emphasis is the greatest personal investment available today. The university will assist students in every way possible to finance their education. If you need financial assistance, please check with our Financial Aid Office.

Accounts with the school must be settled in full before a diploma is released, a transcript of credits is issued, or a letter of honorable dismissal is granted. ACCOUNTS MUST BE PAID BEFORE FINAL EXAMINATIONS ARE TAKEN. NO STUDENT WILL BE ALLOWED TO GRADUATE UNTIL HIS/HER ACCOUNT IS PAID IN FULL.

In the event of default in payment of the account with the school, and if the same is placed in the hands of a 3rd party collector, the student must pay all costs and expenses incurred by the university for collection efforts which may be based on a percentage of no more than 33% of the amount owed to the school.  Delinquency of the account will be reported to the credit bureau and may negatively impact the credit score of the student.  The amount owed to the school is considered a student loan and is not dischargeable under Bankruptcy Law.

For more information:

Contact Lee University Graduate Studies in Nursing Office at