Doctor of Nursing Practice

We are very excited about the addition of this new program to the School of Nursing and would like to tell you about it. The DNP started at FSU in August of 2017 and is a MSN to DNP program available to Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and MSN nurses with specialties in Informatics, Administration or Education.

The focus of the DNP is leadership in advanced practice or specialty nursing. It is a clinical or practice doctorate degree that culminates in a practice project. 

The DNP at FSU is primarily an online user-friendly program. To foster DNP learning communities, two short periods (3 and 4 days each) of person-to-person synchronous course work called intensives take place on the FSU campus in Big Rapids, Michigan. Students will complete 1 credit of work in 3-4 days while interacting with peers and faculty. 

The DNP at FSU is a 6-8 semester program. The total semesters will vary per student and will be determined by each student’s MSN clinical hours when entering the program. Most semesters will include 2 courses. These courses may be offered back to back or simultaneous depending on the semester. Course content is centered on how to evaluate, translate, and integrate new knowledge in increasingly complex healthcare systems.

Clinical time will be specialty or advanced practice clinical time and will focus on leadership project development and completion. While faculty at FSU will assist you with clinical placement, you are encouraged to find a clinical site and preceptor/clinical expert that will fit with your clinical interests and project goals. Clinical courses are called residencies in the FSU DNP curriculum. The integration course provides the opportunity to share your work by presenting and disseminating it.

While this program was developed as a cohort program, we know that life happens and you may need to adjust the pace of your course work. We are committed to flexibility and the success of our students.

The DNP curriculum at FSU was developed from AACN’s Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. It is our intent to obtain CCNE accreditation as soon as possible. Please peruse the menu on the left. It provides essential information on all the FSU nursing programs, DNP admission requirements, course descriptions, a semester by semester course guide, the DNP handbook, and other useful information.

Schedule an appointment with me to learn more about our program. I look forward to helping you take your education and career further at Ferris

Stephanie Gustman, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN 
DNP Program Coordinator
College of Health Professions
200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Ferris State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

 CCNE Seal

June 10, 2019