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From the blog


Application opens:
November 1, 2016

Application deadline:
June 5, 2017

If you were thinking of applying but needed more time, VCU School of Nursing is pleased to announce there is space available to admit additional qualified students in the fall 2017 DNP program. The new application deadline is June 5, 2017.

Before you begin the application process, please review to be sure you understand the following items and carefully read the instructions to apply:

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing participates in Nursing's Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which provides you with an online application.  NursingCAS collects and processes your application materials.  We receive this information from NursingCAS and use it to make our admission decisions.

In addition to the NursingCAS application, VCU requires applicants to submit a VCU supplemental information application. Instructions for how to submit the VCU supplemental information application are found on the VCU NursingCAS home page. Application fees are required for both the NursingCAS and VCU supplemental information applications. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documents have been received by NursingCAS and the VCU supplemental information application submitted by June 5, 2017.

NursingCAS Application

To find the VCU School of Nursing’s DNP NursingCAS application, in the Select the Programs to Which You Want to Apply section, for ‘Delivery’ method, select ‘Online’ and then search for ‘Virginia Commonwealth University, under ‘School’.  We recommend that you complete the required NursingCAS fields and submit your application well before the deadline. It can take several weeks for NursingCAS to receive and verify your transcripts.

Please review the required fields below that you need to complete before you can submit an application (the titles will match the NursingCAS portal page):

PERSONAL INFORMATION (do not provide your social security number)

Enter all colleges and universities attended. You will be prompted to download a Transcript Request Form for each school attended and mail to your prior colleges. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including course work taken as high school dual-enrollment credit, nondegree-seeking credit, study abroad, or course work taken and transferred to another institution are required. Applicants who have studied outside of the U.S. must also provide a course-by-course external credential evaluation from ECE or WES no older than two years at the time of application.



  • Awards
  • Honors
    • Name of award/honor
    • Name of presenting organization
    • Issued date
    • Description of award/honor


  • Employment – Non-nursing experience only (paid)
  • Patient/Healthcare Experience – Nursing experience only (paid)
  • Community Enrichment – Community and/or volunteer experience (unpaid)

Licensure and Certifications

  • Licensure
    • Registered Nurse – Complete all sections (You will upload a copy of your unrestricted, unexpired RN license in the ‘Program Materials’ section)
  • Certification
    • Complete this section for all professional certifications you hold, including your certification as an advanced practice nurse. (You will upload a copy of your advanced practice certificate or authorization to test in the ‘Program Materials’ section)


You will upload the following documents:


Personal statement
Please compose a 1-2 page personal statement addressing the following questions. Please answer all of the questions in your personal statement. You may address the questions in either a narrative format or separate each question into a separate section. The personal statement does not have to be formatted according to APA style guidelines or any other formatting guidelines. While this section of the application is just one part we consider when making our admission decision, it helps provide context for the rest of your application. Anything that can give reviewers a sense of you as a person belongs here; you can repeat information about your experiences in your resume or CV, but any experiences that show your promise, initiative, and ability to persevere despite obstacles belongs here. This is also a good place to display your communication skills and discuss your ability to maximize effective collaboration with a diverse cross-section of the academic community. If you have faced any obstacles or barriers in your education, sharing those experiences serves to support your overall application. If one part of your academic record is not ideal, due to challenges you faced in that particular area, this is where you can explain that, and direct reviewers’ attention to the evidence of your promise for higher education.

personal statement, which includes written responses to the following questions in a thoughtful and scholarly manner:

  • Please review the DNP Essentials. After reading the Essentials, please describe how you envision achieving a terminal degree will change your practice and why a DNP degree is more suited to your professional goals than a PhD.
  • Within your particular area of practice, identify and describe three opportunities you see as offering promise for quality and safety improvements, using your DNP education once completed.
  • When considering our student body at VCU, we recognize that each of our learners has a unique story. Overcoming adversities and challenges in life provides an individual the opportunity for reflection on personal growth and resilience. Describe a significant academic, personal or professional challenge you faced, the actions you took, and the growth that resulted.
  • What particular strengths and opportunities for growth will you bring to this program that will enrich or challenge the learning environment of your peers and the School of Nursing?
  • VCU School of Nursing is committed to sustaining a tradition of educational excellence by preparing future scholars and leaders in health care. Leadership is marked by an ability to collaborate with others, and as a DNP student you will be required to lead your DNP project team.  Describe one example of your leadership experience in which you significantly influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to team efforts over time.

Test score report - TOEFL/IELTS score report - Required only of international and non-native English-speaking students without a U.S. degree.  Refer to the DNP admission requirements for details.

License - A copy of your unrestricted, unexpired RN license. This may be a screen shot from the Board of Nursing's website.

Advanced practice certification or authorization to test

Clinical Hours Verification – A completed Verification of Precepted Master’s Degree Clinical Hours Verification of Precepted Master's Degree Clinical Hours form.  This form is not required from VCU Master’s graduates.


You will provide names and email addresses for three (3) academic and/or professional references.  The VCU DNP curriculum focuses on improving quality and safety outcomes in clinical practice.  As part of this, the program emphasizes empowering advanced practice nurses who can act as leaders of change in healthcare.  Your professional references should speak to your ability to succeed in achieving these goals and should not be from personal sources.  Rather, you should invite individuals who can speak to your academic acumen and professional accomplishments.  Ideally, you should invite individuals who are familiar with the roles of DNP prepared clinicians (e.g., other doctorally prepared nurses and clinicians).  In general, an academic reference speaks to your prior academic performance (e.g., former academic advisor, faculty member) while a professional reference speaks to your professional skills (e.g., leader in your organization, supervisor).

Your references will receive an email message from NursingCAS that directs them to an online recommendation form. Notify your references in advance so they can look for the email from NursingCAS since the message can sometimes end up a Junk Mail folder. If your reference cannot find the email, you will need to contact NursingCAS to request that they send it again.

Communication Methods

Email is the official mode of communication with applicants. To be sure you do not miss critical information about your application, either turn off your email’s spam or junk filters or add the following email addresses to your list of preferred contacts:

  • NURADMISSION@vcu.edu
  • GRADMAIL@vcu.edu
  • nursingcasinfo@nursingcas.org
  • noreply@nursingcas.org
  • donotreply@webadmit.org
  • NursingCASemail@nursingcas.org
  • @sendgrid.me domain

VCU School of Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU School of Nursing | Sadie Heath Cabaniss Hall
Box 980567 | 1100 East Leigh Street | Richmond, Virginia 23298-0567
Phone: (804) 828-0724 | Fax: (804) 828-7743 | Email: vcu_nurse@vcu.edu

Updated: Edit Created by VCU University Relations

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