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Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for the Nursing Program?

The DNP, PhD, and Master’s program applications are typically available September 1st and should be submitted by December 1st for priority consideration for admission in the following fall semester. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until class is filled. For more details, please see the individual program web pages on School of Nursing website at https://www.isu.edu/nursing/programs/.

Where can I find the Nursing Program application?

For the DNP, PhD, and Master’s programs, all application materials can be submitted at http://isu.edu/apply/ and select the “Graduate” application process. This is a single application process through the CollegeNet system operated by the Graduate School.

Do I need to take the GRE for the Graduate Nursing Program application?

The School of Nursing does not require the GRE as an application or admission requirement.

I am not an Idaho resident. May I complete the program from the state I reside in?

It depends on the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) status of your state and your state board of nursing, especially if you are entering a licensure/certification program. This will mostly affect the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs but Ph.D. and M.S. in Nursing Education students should still inquire about any requirements for completing a non-licensure/certification program from an out-of-state institution.

Our Graduate Nursing Programs’ courses are online and Idaho State University is a SARA Institution, allowing non-Idaho residents to take our courses. Please make sure your state is SARA approved by visiting https://www.isu.edu/eisu/.

However, SARA approval does not waive any clinical requirements your state board of nursing may have for completing a program from an out-of-state institution. In most cases, this affects our students looking for a new licensure/certification, like FNP or PMHNP certification in the DNP program. It is the student’s responsibility inquire about and meet all of the requirements from their state’s board of nursing.

Can I transfer credits into ISU to count toward my graduate degree?

According to the Graduate School Admissions information, “After admission as a Classified student, students may petition the Dean of the Graduate School to transfer course work taken while in Unclassified status to a degree program. This petition must have written support of the degree program for each course. The total number of such credits transferred shall not be more than 30% of the total credits for the program of study required for the particular degree.”

For any students looking to transfer a course or courses into ISU to be applied toward their nursing graduate degree, this occurs through a petition process after admitted to any graduate degree program. Students entering a DNP option can petition to transfer up to 21 credits excluding Scholarly Project course credits. Students admitted to the Ph.D. in Nursing program can petition to transfer up to 15 credits excluding the dissertation toward completion of the curriculum requirements. Masters in Nursing Education students can apply by petition process to have courses transferred in to meet curriculum requirements, no more than 30% of the total credits.

The student prepares a petition for each course they are requesting to apply toward the degree requirements in the program in which they are admitted, and this is reviewed for approval through the Graduate Studies Council (GSC) of the School of Nursing (SON). The student must also complete a petition process through the Graduate School once the petition[s] have been reviewed through the SON GSC. The student works closely with their advisor to move through this petition process. The student is required to provide all necessary documentation for any petition (see DNP or Ph.D. Student Handbook). 

Can I work while I am in the DNP program?

The DNP degree is to prepare you to practice as a healthcare provider. Graduate education is, by itself, demanding. The DNP degree is even more so. It is a very rigorous and time intensive program. Students are required to fulfill clinical requirements and course work as the first priority. It is highly recommended that you either decrease employment hours to a minimum or eliminate them completely in order to prioritize and have the time required to become the best practitioner you can be.  There is no requirement not to work during the program, but as past students will attest, it can be extremely difficult to do both.

Is the Post Master’s DNP Program a certificate program?

No, the Post Master’s DNP program is a degree program, not a certificate program. Post Master’s DNP applicants can only enter the program with the certification they currently hold. MS-FNPs may only enter the DNP-FNP Post Master’s program and MS-PMHNPs may only enter the DNP-PMHNP Post Master’s program.

I’m a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and I want to add a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate to my license. I also want to earn my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree – can I achieve both through the Post Master’s DNP program?

No. You could earn your DNP as a board-certified FNP but would not be able to add another certificate through our Post Master’s DNP program. Unfortunately, board certified FNPs do not qualify for the Post Master’s DNP program if they are looking to add a PMHNP certificate and vice versa. Master’s prepared nurse practitioners looking to earn their DNP and add another certification would qualify for the BSN to DNP tracks. Please contact the School of Nursing’s Director of Graduate Studies to discuss options for petitioning courses after being admitted to the program.

How many clinical hours are required for Post Master’s DNP students?

AACN and NONPF require a minimum 1000 hours for clinical hours to earn a DNP Degree. For example, a Master’s prepared, board-certified FNP has around 500 hours of clinical rotations. To comply with accreditation rules, that student would need to complete approximately 500 hours to meet the 1000 hours requirement. Each student’s number of hours and clinical experience will be designed by the student and faculty member to fit the individual interest of the student.

What if I am a Post-Master’s applicant with 1000 hours already completed?

AACN requires some clinical hours for every DNP student, even the Master’s prepared student with over 1000 hours completed. Each student’s number of hours and clinical experience will be designed by the student and faculty member to fit the individual interest of the student.

If I want to work in a specific location, hospital, or with a specific nursing, can I contact the site or preceptor directly to request a clinical site placement?

For Graduate Students looking to complete clinical hours in Idaho: No. The faculty and staff in the School of Nursing need to go through proper legal channels with each clinical site, and some of our clinical sites have threatened to not allow ISU to use them for nursing clinical rotations specifically because students have contacted them directly and have not used the appropriate channels in place. If you would like to request a clinical placement at a specific site, please talk with your School of Nursing Clinical Placement Coordinator and/or your faculty member for the course.

For Graduate Students looking to complete clinical hours OUTSIDE the state of Idaho: Yes, you should contact the preceptor or site directly to see if the preceptor would be willing to work with you. Graduate students outside the state of Idaho will work closely with the School of Nursing Clinical Placement Coordinator as well as the faculty for the course to make arrangements for clinical rotations.

Are iPads required for clinicals?

No! The ISU School of Nursing does not require iPads or any technology for clinicals. Some students may use mini iPads or smartphones to look up medications as long as they are kept out of sight and used in a break room, but it depends on the individual clinical placement. Some hospitals may not allow iPads or even cell phones. Check with your individual clinical instructor for more details.

How much does the Nursing Program cost?

ISU tuition costs are available on the Finance and Administration website at Cost of Attendance. In addition to tuition, you will need to factor in the professional nursing program fee, other miscellaneous fees, books, health insurance, annual background check, traveling to and from clinical sites (if applicable), and the cost of keeping your immunizations and CPR certification up to date.

Do you have nursing scholarships available?

Yes, we have about 20 nursing scholarships and about $42,000 available annually in addition to other scholarships available through the Division of Health Sciences and larger ISU institution. All of the nursing scholarships require the student to be admitted to ISU and to the Nursing Program.  For most of the nursing scholarships, the application is available and submitted electronically during the spring semester with the scholarship funds awarded in the fall semester. For more information on nursing scholarships, please contact the School of Nursing Academic Advisor at 208-282-4481 or sonadvis@isu.edu. For more information on non-nursing scholarships, please see http://isu.edu/scholarships/ and/or contact the Scholarship Office at scholar@isu.edu.

Do you accept International Students into Graduate Nursing Programs?

It depends on the student and on the program. To start, please discuss Idaho State University application and admissions information with the ISU International Programs Office. Their staff will have a better idea how international degrees/credits transfer into ISU and what other admissions requirements you may have to complete for Idaho State University. You should also contact the ISU Graduate School and review their requirements for International Students. Once you have contacted those two offices and found out whether or not you are eligible to apply, contact the Academic Adviser for the School of Nursing to discuss program eligibility.

For International Students not located in the United States:

Our graduate programs require admitted students to attend program Orientation on our Pocatello Campus and certain programs require clinical and/or practicum hours be completed domestically in the United States. These requirements may prevent International Students from successfully completing our graduate programs.

For more details about the International Programs Office, please see their website at http://www.isu.edu/ipo/ and contact ipomail@isu.edu. For more details from the Graduate School, please contact them at gradadmissions@isu.edu. For more information about the nursing program, please see www.isu.edu/nursing and contact the Academic Advisor.

What if I have other questions?

If you have other questions, please contact the School of Nursing and our staff can better assist you.

School of Nursing Website:                www.isu.edu/nursing

School of Nursing Email for Advising:          sonadvis@isu.edu

School of Nursing Email for Other Questions:          profnurs@isu.edu

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