- Accepting applications until: 7/15/2018
- Decision notification: on-going
- Orinetation: 8/22/2018
- Classes begin: 8/23/2018
Applying to the School of Nursing
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing participates in an online Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) to receive VCU Nursing applications. NursingCAS collects and processes your application materials and verifies academic transcripts. All collected documents in NursingCAS are items of the application and reviewed to determine admission decisions.
In addition to the NursingCAS application, all applicants are required to submit a VCU supplemental information application. Instructions to submit the VCU supplemental information application are available on the VCU NursingCAS home page. Application fees apply and full payment are required at the time of submission for the NursingCAS and VCU supplemental information application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the VCU supplemental information application and all required documents are submitted and received by NursingCAS upon the application deadline.
PREPARING TO APPLY
Before beginning the application process, carefully read the items listed below:
- Admission requirements to the DNP program
- Nursing Technical Standards and Criminal Background Check & Drug Screen
- Mandatory On-campus Schedule
Creating Your NursingCAS Application
To find the VCU School of Nursing’s 2017/2018 NursingCAS application visit http://www.nursingcas.org/ and click on the “Apply Now” button. Click on the “Select Programs to Which You Want to Apply” section, choose ‘Virginia Commonwealth University’ from the ‘School’ tab and select the VCU nursing program you wish to apply.
You are required to submit official transcripts directly to NursingCAS. Advanced planning is necessary, as it may take up to several weeks for NursingCAS to receive and verify transcripts. We recommend completing the “Colleges Attended” tab under the Academic History section in an attempt to comply with the application deadline. You may complete this section prior to submitting your NursingCAS application. Details for submitting transcripts by mail or electronically can be found on the NursingCAS transcript processing website. Program-specific details for transcripts are available in the “Your Application” section below.
Recommendations are received through NursingCAS only. To ensure your admissions application is complete by the deadline, we recommend completing the “References” section of the NursingCAS application in advance to allow ample time for references to complete and submit their letter of references. Details for submitting references via NursingCAS can be found on the NursingCAS references website. Program-specific details for acceptable references are below in the “Your Application” section.
VCU School of Nursing values diversity. Therefore, answering all questions and completing indicated sections on the applications provides a comprehensive view of an applicant and allows for a holistic review of your application.
- Race & Ethnicity
- Other Information
- Language Proficiency: Add all languages for which your proficiency level is advanced
- Military Status
- Colleges Attended: Enter all colleges and universities attended. 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.
- Achievements: Enter all academic and professional honors and awards earned
- Experiences: Enter all relevant sections
- Employment: Non-nursing experience only (paid)
- Patient/Healthcare Experience: Nursing experience only (paid)
- Community Enrichment: Community and/or volunteer experience (unpaid)
- Licensure and Certification: Enter all relevant sections
- Licensure: Registered Nurse (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
- Documents: Upload the following documents:
- Personal statement:
The VCU School of Nursing prides itself on a rigorous curriculum that produces a doctorally-prepared nurse for a challenging and rewarding profession in healthcare. The personal statement is an important part of the admission application because it facilitates a holistic view of your application. Secondly, the personal statement provides an opportunity to briefly and concisely present your promise as a future nursing professional, identify your personal and academic attributes, and describe experiences in which you demonstrated the ability to overcome obstacles, including any obstacles or barriers in your education. Sharing those experiences, and highlighting your qualities, supports your overall application. If one part of your academic record is not ideal, due to challenges you faced in that particular area, the personal statement section is an opportunity to explain and direct reviewers’ attention to the evidence of your promise as a nurse.
We value the life experiences of our applicants as well as the ability of our students to communicate effectively. Successful students will be motivated, diligent and passionate about their career choice. The following questions are mandatory and will be evaluated based on organization, content, style, and format.
Respond to each question separately, limiting each response to one (1) page in length, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins. Copy the question you are answering at the top of each page and do not provide your name on any of your responses. Upload all responses to the personal statement prompts in one document to NursingCAS.
- Read the Key Differences between the DNP and PhD/DNS table on the DNP program page and describe how you envision earning a DNP degree will change your practice and discuss how this choice better aligns with your professional goals than a PhD degree.
- 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 only required of international and non-native English speaking applicants without a U.S. degree. Refer to the other information section of the program overview of the DNP program on the VCU Bulletin website.
- License: A copy of your unrestricted, unexpired RN license. This may be a screenshot from the Board of Nursing’s website. If you are in the process of completing your RN program, upload a document that provides the date you anticipate becoming licensed. You must be licensed as a RN to be eligible to enroll in the VCU School of Nursing.
- References: Three (3) academic and/or professional references are required.
References are an important part of your application because they allow individuals who know you well to speak about the characteristics we value and they support a holistic review of your application.
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 must 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). References from any personal relationships (i.e., family, friends, neighbors, co-workers), even if the relationship can be tied to an academic or professional setting, are not valid and will not be considered.
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.
Recommendations can be submitted before or after you apply, however, all references are due by the application deadline. Only references submitted through the NursingCAS application are acceptable.
COMPLETING YOUR APPLICATION
Complete all of the following steps by the application deadline:
- Submit a completed NursingCAS application, including the following items:
- Responses to all questions designated in NursingCAS as optional but indicated above as desired for VCU
- Official transcripts
- Non-refundable NursingCAS application fee ($70 graduate applications; $50 undergraduate applications)
- Submit a completed VCU supplemental information application, details of which are found on the VCU NursingCAS home page, including non-refundable $65 application fee.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT YOUR APPLICATION
Email is the official mode of communication with applicants. To ensure receipt of important information regarding your application status, turn off your email’s spam or junk filters or add the following email addresses to your list of preferred contacts: