Doctor of Nursing Practice – Application Process

Steps for Applying to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

The UCA School of Nursing receives applications for admission and most applicant credentials exclusively through the Nursing Central Application Service (NursingCAS), provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Applicants must submit a separate supplemental application and application fee directly to the UCA Graduate School after notification of admission to DNP program.

The steps for applying are as follows:

  1. Select the “Apply” link at
  2. Create an account and log in to your secure NursingCAS online application. When creating an account, be sure to click ‘yes’ to the question: “Are you applying to a graduate level program in nursing?”.
  3. When logged in, complete all ‘Required’ items on the ‘Application Checklist’ as directed by the NursingCAS website. This includes arranging for all official  transcripts to be sent to NursingCAS.
  4. In addition, the UCA School of Nursing requires the following items to be submitted through NursingCAS (these items are indicated as ‘Optional’ on the NursingCAS website):
    1. In the ‘Professional Experience’ section, submit information regarding your work experience, professional activities, certifications, honors/awards, etc.
    2. In the ‘References’ section, submit two (2) reference forms.
      • One reference should be from your recent immediate supervisor
      • The second reference should be from someone in the clinical agency in which you anticipate completing your DNP Capstone Project. The reference should address your ability to access necessary resources and key personnel to facilitate the completion of the Capstone Project.
    3. In the document upload section, please upload and designate University of Central Arkansas:
      • CV/resume
      • Published manuscripts (optional)
      • Other documents:
        • Verification of precepted Clinical Practice Hour Validation from master’s program of study.
        • Verification of RN license
        • Personal Essay (writing sample) – Submit a 2-3 page personal essay describing your professional goals and how participation in the DNP program will enhance these goals. The essay is an important part of the application and serves as a basis for the interview with faculty members. The purpose of the essay is to provide the Admissions Committee insight into the professional goals and expectations of the applicant, congruency of topic area with faculty expertise, and an opportunity to evaluate the applicant’s written communication skills. The essay should identify a topic of clinical interest or a practice-based problem of interest that you might address as the topic for your final DNP project and address the following:
          • What is your primary reason for pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing?
          • The DNP is a practice focused doctoral degree; as oppose to a PhD, which is a research focused doctoral degree. Tell us about your clinical practice and how you see the DNP fitting in with your future career goals.
          • What preliminary ideas do you have for a DNP capstone project?
          • Describe clear connection(s) or relationship(s) you currently have with systems, agencies and/or facilities necessary to successfully complete your proposed DNP capstone project.

          Essay Requirements:

          • Submit as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) file
          • Double-spaced
          • 12-point font (Times New Roman preferred)
          • APA (6th ed.) format for in-text citations and references (if applicable)
  5. Be sure to designate University of Central Arkansas in the ‘Designation’ section of the application. NursingCAS charges $65 for your application to be sent to the first program destination and $35 for each additional designation.
  6. International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting official TOEFL scores (required minimum of 83 or higher on the iBT). The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years. Scores should be sent directly to the UCA School of Nursing (attention Rose Schlosser).
  7. Following a preliminary review of the completed application file, the School of Nursing Graduate Admissions Committee will invite selected applicants to interview prior to the final admission decision.
  8. Apply to the UCA Graduate School (requires an online supplemental application and fee of $25).  This only applies to those applicants that are applying after January 15, 2016 (initial DNP application deadline).  This is necessary due to the extended deadline.  All applicants that applied prior to January 15, 2016 will be instructed when application to the Graduate School is necessary.
  9. Send official transcripts directly to NursingCAS, UCA Graduate School and Ms. Schlosser.  Ms. Schlosser’s address is: UCA, School of Nursing, ATTN: Rose Schlosser, 201 Donaghey Ave, Conway, AR 72035.


Enrollment Requirements: Once accepted, candidates must complete the following before enrolling in courses:

  1. Complete a background check, as directed by the School of Nursing, with favorable results.
  2. Provide proof of required immunizations.
  3. Provide proof of health insurance coverage.
  4. Attend on-campus intensive and orientation to the program on May 31-June 1, 2016.

If any of the above requirements are not satisfied, admission to the program may be rescinded.


Questions about your application and/or requirements should be directed to:

Ms. Rose Schlosser, M.Ed

School of Nursing

University of Central Arkansas

201 Donaghey Avenue

 Conway, AR 72035-0001


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