The APNI to DNP program is a full-time, four-year program of graduate study leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree for students who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. You are admitted directly into an advanced practice pathway (Nurse Midwifery, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or either primary care or acute care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner). The first 5-quarters of your graduate studies, the APNI sequence, is based, in part, on the AACN BSN Essentials (American Association of Colleges of Nursing Bachelors of Science in Nursing) and is designed to enable you to meet two benchmarks (1) 600 hours of clinical education as required by the Washington State Administrative Code; and (2) achievement of the SU College of Nursing BSN student learning outcomes. Successful achievement of those two benchmarks make you eligible to sit for the registered nurse licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) and be awarded a BSN. Continuance into advanced practice coursework requires passing the NCLEX. Upon completion of DNP studies, graduates are eligible for national certification exams in their advanced practice specialty.
The APNI program, as the name states, is very fast paced and immerses the student in the study of nursing and health care. Seattle University has a quarter system; each quarter lasts 11-12 weeks. Students take 3-5 courses per quarter. Most quarters involve work in our Clinical Performance Lab and at clinical sites in the Seattle metro area. The program is rigorous and intense, involving 45-60 hours of study beyond the time spent in class/labs/clinicals each week. Testing and evaluation in courses mimic that in the discipline; the bar is set high throughout the program. See the FAQ below for the supports and resources that SU has available to assist student success.
Because nursing students work within health care agencies as part of the program of study, there are health and legal requirements.
Students are required to manage their transportation needs to clinical sites; clinical sites can be as far as 20-30 miles from Seattle during the APNI sequence. Clinicals in the subsequent quarters may be farther than 30 miles and some may be out of state (see below).
Health care experience is not required to be accepted into the APNI to DNP program, but it may be very helpful. Applicants are encouraged to learn as much as they can about their desired future nursing role to ensure that this program is right for them. Researching roles online, job shadowing, and working in health care can help an applicant evaluate which role is right for them.
Clinical experience is not required for admission to the APNI to DNP program. Students who have such experience may be more comfortable in their initial clinical nursing experiences, and you may choose to work in health care to attain this increased comfort level.
The Society of Jesus is a congregation of the Catholic Church and its members are called Jesuit. Jesuits have a long and distinguished history in higher education. Seattle University believes in educating the whole person and in professional formation so that our graduates are leaders in creating a just and humane world. Jesuit education is rigorous and demanding, valuing diversity and excellence. Students and faculty from very diverse personal and spiritual backgrounds and are welcomed at Seattle University. For more information on Jesuit education visit www.seattleu.edu/jesuit-tradition.
We plan to enroll 65-72 students into each APNI to DNP cohort. The number accepted per specialty varies between 10-20 students.
The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. Factors you might consider include how certain you are that you want to be an advanced practice nurse (such as a nurse practitioner) or a registered nurse, whether you need to work while going to school, and the amount of time you feel you can invest in school. If you know you want to be a nurse practitioner or a nurse who assumes a leadership role in health care, the APNI to DNP program may be right for you. However, if you wish to practice as a registered nurse, and are not yet ready to pursue an advanced practice degree, applying to the SU BSN transfer program (or an upper division BSN program at another college or university) may be the best initial step for you.
Today's reality is that entry to all nursing programs is competitive. The best strategy for many people may be to apply to both the BSN and the APNI to DNP program. Once you know which program(s) offer you admission, you can make the decision about pursuing entry in to practice as an RN or a DNP prepared advanced practice nurse.
Between 2016-2020 the average pass rate is 93.6%. Students take the exam after completion of their first five quarters of graduate study, an NCLEX review course (in some cases), and individual study. Students can plan to take their NCLEX exam in their second summer by mid-July, and if not successful, may retake 45 days after their first attempt. Students must pass NCLEX and be licensed as an RN at the end of their sixth quarter (second Fall quarter) to remain in the DNP program.
New graduates do not always get their first-choice job upon program completion. However, most are in the position they want within one to two years of graduation. Nationwide and in rural areas, advanced practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives, are in high demand.
Yes, you will learn the essential knowledge and skills for the registered nurse, and you will complete the graduate nursing curriculum in your chosen focal area. After completing the APNI portion of your program and earning your RN license, you will be eligible to work as an RN. Many APNI to DNPs work part-time while pursuing their Nurse Practitioner education. APNI to DNP graduates’ rates of employment are the same or better than those of our traditional students who enter with registered nurse experience. The first-time pass rate for certification in all focal areas (Family, Adult-Gerontology and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife) is between 95% and 100%.
For the first five quarters of the program, students will be placed at clinical sites. These sites include local inpatient and outpatient agencies within Seattle city limits and sites that are at a distance within 30-40 miles from Seattle, such as Renton, Everett, Bremerton, Tacoma, etc. In the first five quarters, students are typically working clinically within a group of 5-12 students. Post RN licensure, students will be placed with preceptors in local and distant clinical sites. Students are responsible for their own transportation needs.
In the first year of study, most courses are classroom-based, and some course activities may occur partly or fully online. In the post RN portion of programs, there may be courses online. Currently these courses are “hybrid,” that is, having both an online and classroom learning environment.
You should not plan on working during the first five quarters of the program. The credit load is high in most quarters, and success will require that your main focus be on school. Many students work part-time during the next three years of study often as registered nurses. All jobs need to have flexible working hours to accommodate clinical schedules, which vary from quarter to quarter.
Since you registered as a graduate student for the entire length of the program, so you are eligible for financial aid (i.e., loans) as a graduate student. There are several need- and merit-based scholarships for APNI to DNP students available from SU. In addition, SU has scholarships available for people from ethnic minority groups that have been under-represented in nursing. Additional information about financial aid and scholarships is available on our website.
Seattle University recognizes that students may need assistance to succeed. Seattle University offers the following resources:
APNI to DNP students have a dedicated APNI adviser. APNI students who are struggling with the pace are encouraged to seek advising and to communicate directly with their course faculty to ensure success. Courses in the graduate program are typically offered once a year. If a course is not passed, it may not be possible for the student to continue in the usual sequence of courses, which means the student may need to wait to retake the course when it is offered next. Retaking a course will likely change the original timeline for completion of the graduate program.
Students should make their choice of focal area very carefully. Switching to a different focal area is rarely done and can only be considered on a space available basis. Students who desire to switch need to submit a new application for the APNI to DNP focal area they wish to enter and progress through the same application and interview process, competing with the group of new applicants for the following academic year.